1 ABRAMOVICH, N. Ia. “Stikhiinost’ v molodoi poezii: K. Bal’mont, V. Briusov, F. Sologub, V. Ivanov, Al. Blok, S. Gorodetskii, A. Remizov, L. Semenov, A. Belyi, I. Bunin i dr.” [The “elemental” in young poetry: K. Bal’mont, V. Briusov, F. Sologub, V. Ivanov, Al. Blok, S. Gorodetskii, A. Remizov, L. Semenov, A. Belyi, I. Bunin, et al.]. In Literaturno-kriticheskie ocherki: Kniga I. Tvorchestvo i Zhizn’ [Literary critical essays: book 1. Art and life]. St. Petersburg: Pushkinskaia Skoropechatnia, 169—204 passim.

Reprint of 1907.1.

2 ADRIANOV, S. “Kriticheskie nabroski” [Critical notes]. Vestnik Evropy (St. Petersburg), no. 10: 838—54.

In Russian. Considers the disparity between the aims and achievements of recent modernist literature, focusing on two works, Ivanov’s collection of essays, Po zvezdam [By the stars] and Briusov’s collected poems, Puti i pereput’ia [Roads and cross-roads] (3 vols., Moscow, 1908—1909). Regards


Ivanov as a key writer, who has exerted a vital influence on the formation of the aesthetic worldview of the younger generation of poets, as much through personal interaction as through his essays and verse. Recognizes the importance of Po zvezdam, but criticizes it for its obscure form of expression and idiosyncratic interpretation of myths and other writers’ works. Disagrees with Ivanov’s reading of Pushkin’s “Chern’” [The rabble] as a poem marking the beginning of the split between poet and people (in the essay “Poet i chern’” [The poet and the rabble]). Ivanov’s distortion of facts to fit his theories results from the illusory and doomed aspirations of modernist writers to solve national problems far beyond their grasp. See Maksimov, 1975.8.

3 ANNENSKII, IN. “O sovremennom lirizme” [On contemporary lyricism]. Apollon (St. Petersburg), no. 1 (October): 12—42 (first pagination); no. 2 (November): 3—29 (first pagination); no. 3 (December): 5—29 (first pagination).

In Russian. An extensive essay in three sections. The first part criticizes Ivanov’s verse for pedantry and for the obscurity of its classical references. Describes his poems as cryptograms, discusses “Menada” [The maenad] and “Sud ognia” [The judgment of fire], and argues that myth should not be obscure. The difficulty of Ivanov’s poetry also results from his heavy, unpliable syntax. Contrasts Ivanov’s intellectual encyclopedic sources with Sologub’s musicality. The second part deals with the theme of the city in contemporary poetry and contrasts Ivanov’s descriptions of Paris and Petersburg (“Parizh s vysoty” [Paris from a height] and “Sfinksy nad Nevoi” [Sphinxes over the Neva]) with poems by Briusov, concluding that the city is absent in Ivanov’s verse. Classifies Ivanov’s verse as one of four types of contemporary lyricism, along with the poetry of Sologub, Briusov, and Bal’mont. The third part deals with the work of women poets and contains only a passing reference to Ivanov, represented as a victim of dualism, inherited from centuries of culture: the scholar poet who wishes to believe in the imminence of myth. First two parts reprinted: 1979.1. For an English translation of a considerably abridged version of the essay, see Peterson, 1986.38.

4 AUSLENDER, SERGEI. “Goluboi tsvetok: Lektsiia Viacheslava Ivanova 23 noiabria” [The blue flower: On Viacheslav Ivanov’s lecture of 23 November]. Apollon (St. Petersburg), no. 3 (December): 41—42 (second pagination).

In Russian. An account of Ivanov’s lecture on Novalis and reading of his versions of Novalis in St. Petersburg on 23 November 1909 (Ivanov’s renderings of Novalis were published in 1910 in Apollon, no. 7 [April]: 46—50). Links Novalis to the cult of the world soul and the eternal feminine, to Sophia and Vladimir Solov’ev. Praises Ivanov’s versions of Novalis as an act of mystic penetration into another poet’s world.


5 BERDIAEV, NIKOLAI. “O knige Viach. Ivanova ‘Po zvezdam’” [On Viach. Ivanov’s book “By the stars”] . Moskovskii Ezhenedel’nik (Moscow), no. 42 (24 October): 54—55.

In Russian. Review of Ivanov’s first collection of essays. Po zvezdam [By the stars]. Finds it a work of rare creative inspiration, which unfortunately will remain inaccessible to many readers as a result of its difficulty, deriving from its author’s mystic style as well as ideas. Considers the influence of Wagner, Nietzsche, Schopenhauer, Dostoevskii, and Solov’ev on Ivanov’s worldview, balanced between Dionysus and Christ. Ivanov’s essays expound his verse, which has its source in “tragic excess.” The main objection to Ivanov is that “Dionysianism cannot be preached.” His main achievement lies in his emphasis on the creative and ecstatic side of religious experience. Regards mystical anarchism as a temporary lapse; dwells on Ivanov’s views on a national religious renaissance and return to a new mythic epoch in art and theatre. Ivanov, although often accused of artificiality, is a true mystic and genuine poet, whose value will be recognized in the future.

6 CHULKOV, GEORGII. “O liricheskoi tragedii” [On lyrical tragedy]. Zolotoe runo (Moscow), no. 11—12: 51—54.

In Russian. Presents a view of drama closely related to Ivanov’s ideas, although with little direct reference to him. Argues that lyric tragedy is the new “canonical form” that will serve as a bridge between lyric drama and true tragedy. Annenskii’s “Laodamiia” [Laodamia], Sologub’s “Pobeda Smerti” [Triumph of death], and Ivanov’s “Tantal” [Tantalus] aspire to tragedy but are not yet free of lyric subjectivism. Symbolist theatre achieves catharsis through its reflection of the universal tragedy of the suffering God. Reprinted: 1912.5.

7 ELLIS. Review of Po zvezdam [By the stars]. Vesy (Moscow), no. 8 (August): 53—62. Reprint. Nendeln, Liechtenstein: Kraus Reprint LDT, 1968.

In Russian. Praises the collection as a landmark, that points out a “path by the stars.” It reflects the transition between two periods of Ivanov’s development: the early Dionysiac phase, and the second phase, characterized by “mystical realism,” the creation of myths and “sobornost’” [communality]. The essays use two methods simultaneously, one academic and scholarly, the other “inner-ecstatic.” Together with Zelinskii, Ivanov is the only person in Russia capable of interpreting classical antiquity and the present world in the light of Nietzsche’s teachings. Criticizes “Dve stikhii v sovremennom simvolizme” [Two elemental forces in contemporary symbolism] for its inconsistent terminology, and the book for mixing the genres of intimate confession and the philosophical. Tends toward a theosophical reading of the book, looking for elements of esoteric magic. See Maksimov, 1975.8.


8 FILOSOFOV, D. V. “Vesennii veter” [Spring wind]; “Misticheskii anarkhizm: Dekadentstvo, obshchestvennost’ i misticheskii anarkhizm” [Mystical anarchism: Decadence, social opinion and mystical anarchism]. In Slova i Zhizn’: Literaturnye spory noveishego vremeni (1901—1908 gg.) [Words and life: Literary debates of recent times (1901—1908)]. St. Petersburg: n.p., 1—37, 110—27.

In Russian. The first essay, dated 1907, includes a section (pp. 13—18) on Ivanov as the ideologist of mystical anarchism and proponent of a renaissance of Slavonic barbarian culture through a return to mythic art. Paraphrases Ivanov’s essay “O veselom remesle i umnom veselii” [On gay craftsmanship and wise gaiety] (1907). Criticizes his wish to resurrect Dionysus as retrograde and anticultural. Compares him to a German chemist, mixing up an artificial mineral water, offering it to the Russian people, who in fact prefer vodka, and imagining that he is awakening the national soul. The second essay is a reprint of 1906.5.

9 GABRILOVICH, L. E. [Leonid G(ali)ch], “Prekrasnaia model’” [A beautiful model]. Rech’ (St. Petersburg), no. 224 (1108), 17 August, 3.

In Russian. A review of Po zvezdam [By the stars], described as a remarkable book by a writer known to every schoolboy in Russia through parodies of his verse. Dwells on Nietzschean elements in Ivanov’s thought, on his erudition and archaic style. Compares the collection to a beautiful museum exhibit behind glass, inaccessible to the public and destined to have little real influence.

10 GOFMAN, MODEST. “Poeticheskaia akademiia: Ocherk” [The poetic academy: A description]. Vestnik literatury (St. Petersburg), no. 8 (August): columns 185—87.

In Russian. Describes the poetic academy, or “school,” founded by Ivanov (“one of the most educated people and without a doubt an outstanding original poet”). Comments on his lectures on various aspects of versification, singling out his ideas on the “organic link of form with content.” See also Gofman, 1907.13, 1909.11, 1934.2, 1955.2.

11 GOFMAN, M. “P.S.” In Kniga o russkikh poetakh poslednego desiatiletiia [A book about Russian poets of the last decade]. Edited by Modest Gofman. St. Petersburg and Moscow: Izdanie t-va M. O. Vol’f, n.d., 275—77.

In Russian. In a note, appended to the essay by Piast (1909.19), cites Kormchie zvezdy [Pilot stars] as the source of Ivanov’s art. Emphasizes his acceptance of the world; quotes from “Krasota” [Beauty] and “Al’piiskii rog” [Alpine horn] to define his idea of the relationship between beauty, art, and the divine. The same volume contains an autobiographical note and poems by Ivanov. For a review of the book see Kranikhfel’d, 1909.16. See also Gofman, 1907.13, 1909.11, 1934.2, 1955.2.


12 GORODETSKII, SERGEI. “Blizhaishaia zadacha russkoi literatury” [The immediate task of Russian literature]. Zolotoe runo (Moscow), no. 4: 66—81.

In Russian. Discusses the import of new ideas into the realm of poetry, singling out the major contributions of Belyi and Ivanov (with reference to Kormchie zvezdy [Pilot stars]). In Judaea Ivanov would be a prophet; in Russia he is not understood. Compares Remizov’s story Limonar’: Lug dukhovnyi [Limonarium: A spiritual meadow] and Ivanov’s Eros [Eros] in relation to their development of the national idea in literature. Demonstrates with examples how Ivanov combines classical images with Slavonic ones; quotes from the poem “Tseliashchaia” [The healer] as an example of the ideal progression in three stages from a return to classical antiquity through the attainment of universal principles (symbolized by the sun) to the revelation of the universal in the national. Ivanov’s and Remizov’s experimental work on the Russian language has led to some disasters as well as successes. Gorodetskii links his own work to that of Remizov and Ivanov, and refers to Ivanov as a great poet of his day. Abridged: 1984.12. See also Kranikhfel’d, 1909.16.

13 GORODETSKII, SERGEI. “Idolotvorchestvo” [The creation of idols]. Zolotoe runo (Moscow), no. 1: 93—101.

In Russian. Considers the poetry of Belyi and Blok in the light of the distinction between realist and idealist symbolism elaborated by Ivanov and applied to these two poets in his essay “Dve stikhii v sovremennom simvolizme” [Two elemental forces in contemporary symbolism] (1908). Comments on the ensuing debate over this essay between Belyi (1908.3) and Ivanov in “Estetika i ispovedanie” [Aesthetics and creed] (1908). Contrasts the concepts of “mifotvorchestvo” [myth-creation] and “idolotvorchestvo” [the creation of idols]. Abridged: 1984.12.

14 IZMAILOV, A. A. [Aiaks]. Review of Po zvezdam [By the stars]. Birzhevye vedomosti (St. Petersburg), no. 11270, 20 August, vechernii vypusk, 3.

In Russian. Finds that the essays of the collection address contemporary themes of great significance to the intelligentsia of Europe and Russia, but that the book is only for a limited readership, “for gourmets” and “lovers of beauty.” Ivanov lacks inspiration but has a keen intellect. Criticizes his “academic language.”

15 KRANIKHFEL’D, VL. “Literaturnye otkliki: Novye nasledniki ‘Perepiski’ Gogolia” [Literary responses: The new heirs of Gogol’s “Correspondence”] . Sovremennyi mir (St. Petersburg), no. 8 (August): 104—18 (second pagination).

In Russian. Section 5 contrasts Ivanov with Merezhkovskii (whose work on Lermontov is discussed earlier in the essay). Outlines and criticizes Ivanov’s essay “O russkoi idee” [On the Russian idea] (1909), finding it incomprehensible and over erudite. Section 6 describes as pretentious


Gorodetskii’s essay “Blizhaishaia zadacha russkoi literatury” [The immediate task of Russian literature] (1909.12) and mocks his eulogy of Ivanov as an unrecognized prophet. Reprinted: 1917.4.

16 KRANIKHFEL’D, VL. “Literaturnye otkliki: Trinadtsat’ bessmertnykh” [Literary responses: Thirteen immortals]. Sovremennyi mir (St. Petersburg), no. 3: 84—92 (second pagination).

In Russian. A highly critical review of Gofman’s book on Russian poets of the last decade, including negative comments on the two “panegyric” essays on Ivanov by Gofman (1909.11) and Piast (1909.19). Comments that another ten such essays would add nothing to the reader’s understanding of Ivanov. Disputes Piast’s approach that an appreciation of Ivanov the poet depends on understanding how greatly he is “needed.”

17 MEREZHKOVSKII, D. “Zemlia vo rtu” [Earth in the mouth]. Rech’ (St. Petersburg), no. 314, 15 November, 2.

In Russian. Comments on Po zvezdam [By the stars] with particular reference to the essay “O russkoi idee” [On the Russian idea] and to Ivanov’s ideas on the spiritual rebirth of contemporary Russia and neo-Slavophile ideology. Compares the effect of Ivanov’s literary critical muse on the Russian reading public to the impression that would be made by a Delphic sibyl completely shrouded in veils and walking along Nevskii prospekt (amazement followed by horror). Compares the Russian people to a body buried alive with earth in the mouth, far from any prospect of resurrection. Reprinted in D. Merezhkovskii. Bol’naia Rossiia [Sick Russia]. St. Petersburg: Obshchestvennaia Pol’za, 1910, 251—65. See Frank, 1910.8; Gorodetskii, 1910.10; Maksimov, 1975.8.

18 “Pchely i osy Apollona” [The bees and wasps of Apollo]. Apollon (St. Petersburg), no. 1 (October): 79—84 (first pagination).

In Russian. A debate over the spirit of classicism in the form of a “boring conversation” between several representatives of culture, including a professor (Annenskii) and a philosopher (Ivanov). The philosopher speaks of the identity of Apollon and Dionysus, of Dante, of the need for darkness before light, of love and death, and of the illusionism of decadent aesthetics in terms closely reminiscent of Ivanov. For evidence of the roles of Makovskii and Kuzmin in writing, assembling, and editing this piece, see Lavrov, 1978.7. See also Kelly, 1988.32; Taranovskii, 1989.57.

19 PIAST, VL. [ Viacheslav Ivanov]. In Kniga o russkikh poetakh poslednego desiatiletiia [A book about Russian poets of the last decade]. Edited by Modest Gofman. St. Petersburg and Moscow: Izdanie t-va M. O. Vol’f, 265—75.

In Russian. Dated 16 October 1907 and followed by a note by Gofman (1909.11). The same volume also contains an autobiographical note and


poems by Ivanov. Demolishes the common image of Ivanov as an anachronistic figure, obscure and divorced from real life. His archaic language and culture are vital innovative forces for the renewal of contemporary poetry, and his influence on young poets is only just beginning. Like Pushkin, he is a poet of the Apollonian type, a “poet of fullness and excess.” Comments on Kormchie zvezdy [Pilot stars], Prozrachnost’ [Transparency], “Tantal” [Tantalus], Eros [Eros], and the forthcoming Cor Ardens. Sees Eros as a chef d’oeuvre, a “szhataia poema” [condensed long poem], and relates it to Plato’s Symposium and Boccaccio’s Decameron. Concludes with a comment on the extraordinary formal richness of Ivanov’s verse. An extract from this essay is quoted in French translation in Hofmann, 1934.2. For a review of the book see Kranikhfel’d, 1909.16. See also Piast, 1929.3.

20 SIUNNERBERG, K. A. [Konst. Erberg], “O vozdushnykh mostakh kritiki” [On the ethereal bridges of criticism]. Apollon (St. Petersburg), no. 2 (November): 54—62 (first pagination).

In Russian. Contrasts two collections of critical essays: Ivanov’s Po zvezdam [By the stars] and Annenskii’s Vtoraia kniga otrazhenii [A second book of reflections]. The first is characterized by the “confidence and synthesis of one who has found,” the second by the “lack of hope and analysis of one who seeks.” Combines a certain degree of scepticism with an attitude of deep respect toward Ivanov; views his aesthetics and criticism as castles and bridges in the air. Devotes most space to a detailed appraisal of Ivanov’s essay “O ‘Tsyganakh’ Pushkina” [On Pushkin’s “Gypsies”] ; certain religious aspects of Ivanov’s interpretation of this poem were not intended by Pushkin. Reprinted: 1913.11. For an account of Siunnerberg’s relations with Ivanov, see Grechishkin and Lavrov, 1979.7. See Maksimov, 1975.8.

21 SOLOV’eV, SERGEI. Review of Ostrov. Ezhemesiachnyi zhurnal stikhov. No. 1 [“The island”: A monthly journal of verse. No. 1], Vesy (Moscow), no. 7 (July): 100—02. Reprint. Nendeln, Liechtenstein: Kraus Reprint LDT, 1968.

In Russian. Singles out contributions by Kuzmin and Ivanov; comments on the classical qualities of Ivanov’s contribution, the long poem “Sud ognia” [Judgment of fire]. Also discusses poems by Gumilev.

22 T[ASTEVEN], G. “Po zvezdam: Po povodu sbornika statei Viach. Ivanova” [By the stars: On Viach. Ivanov’s collection of essays]. Zolotoe runo (Moscow), no. 6 June): 74—76.

In Russian. An extremely positive review. Describes Ivanov’s view of the stages on the way to Christian amor fati via mystical anarchism. Comments on his concern with the problem of nihilism and relation to Nietzsche. Denies that he is a bookish writer only for the initiate; defends the harmony and clarity of his system, and expresses the wish that he would develop his ideas more fully on an even sounder basis.


23 VENGEROV, S. A. Osnovnye cherty istorii noveishei russkoi literatury [The principal features of the history of recent Russian literature]. Second edition. S pribavleniem etiuda “Pobediteli ili pobezhdennye?” (O modernizme). [With a supplementary article “Victorious or vanquished?” (On modernism)]. Biblioteka “Svetocha,” 91. St. Petersburg: Tipografiia t-va “Obshchestvennaia Pol’za,” 78—80.

In Russian. For this edition of an earlier lecture, delivered in 1897 and first published in 1898, Vengerov has supplied a new afterword that includes a few pages on Ivanov in the context of a description of recent modernist writers. Comments on Ivanov’s “deliberate” obscurity and on the contradictions between his claims to “vsenarodnost’” [universality] and his inaccessibility. Ivanov combines Christian and pagan ideas; evokes the shade of Trediakovskii. If one were to ignore his obscurity, credit should be given for his focus on fundamental questions of existence, his tremendous erudition, and his sincere interest in spiritual and aesthetic matters. On Ivanov and Vengerov, see Kuznetsova, 1993.33.