1 BRIUSOV, V. “Ivanov, Viacheslav Ivanovich.” Novyi entsiklopedicheskii slovar’ [New encyclopaedic dictionary]. Vol. 18. St. Petersburg: Tipografiia Aktsionernogo Obshchestva “Brokgauz-Efron,” n.d., columns 942—43.

In Russian. Stresses the importance of Ivanov’s role as a teacher and lecturer on poetics. Praises his erudition, depth, and poetic gift while recognizing that he is a “poet for the few,” requiring a well-prepared readership. The difficulty of his language derives from his use of archaisms, neologisms, convoluted syntax, and deliberate imitation of old poets and classical poetry. Over the years he has moved toward greater clarity and accessibility, attaining a new “vysokaia prostata rechi” [elevated simplicity of diction] in some later poems. His worldview falls into two periods; an initial interest in antiquity and desire to bring it closer to Christianity and contemporary life was followed by a “glubokii perevorot” [deep change of orientation] based on a true feeling for Christian mysticism, brought into harmony with classical antiquity. In his brilliant critical articles, aesthetics are “almost” subjected to religion.

2 CHUZEWILLE, JEAN, ed. and trans. “Wenceslas Iwanov.” In Anthologie des poètes russes. Paris: Georges Crès, 219—30.

In French. A note of admiring appraisal by the editor of the volume, a French poet and translator who was personally acquainted with Ivanov.


Comments on Ivanov’s exoticism, wisdom, experience, versification, and poetic development from Kormchie zvezdy [Pilot stars] to Cor Ardens. Notes his revival of myths and varied poetic forms, compares his power of language and imagination to that of Paul Claudel, put to the service of the ideas of the German romantics, Nietzsche, and René Ghil. Chuzewille’s note on Ivanov (pp. 219—22) is followed by his translations of six poems, five from Kormchie zvezdy [Pilot stars] and one from Prozrachnost’ [Transparency]: “Vchera vo mgle neslis’ Titany…” [Yesterday in the gloom the Titans rushed…], “Dukh” [The spirit], “Vinogradik Dionisa” [The vine of Dionysus], “Perst’” [Earth], “Veste detracta,” and “S puti” [On the way].

3 DIL’, E. “Eoliiskie liriki v perevodakh Viacheslava Ivanova” [Aeolian lyric poets in the translations of Viacheslav Ivanov]. Germes (Petrograd) 15, no. 19 (1 December): 460—63.

In Russian. Reviews Ivanov’s translations of Alcaeus and Sappho (1914), described as an “important event for Russian poetry” as well as for classical philology. Emphasizes the unified spirit of the translations, the “artistic and astonishingly supple language” of the book, and the remarkable skill of the translator. Points out a few discrepancies between the translations and the originals. See also Kuzmin, 1914.7; Veresaev, 1915.9; Dil’, 1916.10; Zakharov, 1916.21; Levinton, 1977.4.

4 “Disput o literature” [A debate on literature]. Rech’ (St. Petersburg), no. 21 (2690), 22 January, 4.

In Russian. Describes the contributions of Sologub, Anichkov, Chulkov, Ivanov, and others to the debate on symbolism held in St. Petersburg in January 1914. Praises Ivanov’s “splendid, clear speech” on symbolism as the canon of true art (published in Zavety, 1914); notes his comments on the possibility of a Futurist brand of symbolism and his attack on Merezhkovskii’s substitution of “social utilitarianism” for service to Beauty.

5 FLORENSKII, PAVEL. Stolp i utverzhdenie istiny: Opyt pravoslavnoi feoditsei v dvenadtsati pis’makh [The pillar and foundation of truth: An attempt at an Orthodox theodicy in twelve letters]. Moscow: Put’, 570, 801. Reprint. Godstone, Surrey: Gregg International Publishers Ltd, 1970. Paris: YMCA-PRESS, 1989. Moscow: Izdatel’stvo “Pravda,” 1990.

In Russian. Section 24 explores the symbolism of the color blue in relation to Sophia. After some discussion of Giotto, gives examples from V. Solov’ev’s “Tri svidaniia” [Three meetings], Zhukovskii’s translation of Homer’s Odyssey, and quotes Ivanov’s poem “Pokrov” [The veil] from the “Povecherie” [Vespers] cycle of Cor Ardens, describing it as a penetrating poem reflecting without a doubt the real experience of the poet. See also Shishkin, 1990.56.


6 KHODASEVICH, VLADISLAV. “Russkaia poeziia: Obzor” [Russian poetry: A review]. In Al’tsiona: Kniga pervaia [Al’tsiona: Book one]. Moscow: Al’tsiona, 193—217.

In Russian. The essay opens with a section on Ivanov’s Cor Ardens (pp. 196—98), followed by a review of verse by Briusov, Bal’mont, and Baltrushaitis, and by poets of the next generation, including Acmeists, Futurists and several others. Regards Cor Ardens as one of the most significant collections of verse published in recent years. Compares it to the cathedral of San Marco in Venice: a repository of past treasures, rich in history but difficult to imitate. Praises its technical perfection, considers Nezhnaia taina [Tender mystery] in the same light.

7 KUZMIN, M. Review of Alkei i Safo [Alcaeus and Sappho], translated by Viacheslav Ivanov (Moscow, 1914). In Petrogradskie vechera: Kniga tret’ia [Petrograd evenings: Book three]. Petrograd: Izdanie M. I. Semenova, n.d., 234—35.

In Russian. Notes a few elements bordering on the comical in the elegance of Ivanov’s introduction. His translations include characteristic good points as well as a few drawbacks. Alcaeus and Sappho are barely distinguishable in the translations that reflect Ivanov more closely, combining the “former fortress” of Kormchie zvezdy [Pilot stars] with the “mysterious tenderness verging on simplicity” of Nezhnaia taina [Tender mystery]. See Dil’, 1914.3, 1916.10; Veresaev, 1915.9; Zakharov, 1916.21; Levinton, 1977.4. For details of the manuscript of this review, see Lavrov, 1989.39.

8 M., I. “Voina i pisateli: U Viacheslava Ivanova” [The war and writers: At the home of Viacheslav Ivanov]. Golos Moskvy (Moscow), no. 277, 2 December, 4.

In Russian. Paraphrases Ivanov’s response to the question posed by a journalist interviewing him at home: How has the war affected his work? Ivanov prefers not to speak of himself directly; refers to the enormity of historical events, beyond human comprehension. Sees the war as holy and liberating in its essence, marking the beginning of a new era, both spiritually and materially. Follows Dostoevskii in believing that Russian literature should fulfill a religious, first national and then universal, mission as the carrier of the Slavonic idea.

9 “Na dispute o teatre” [At a debate on the theatre]. Russkie vedomosti (Moscow), no. 25, 31 January, 4.

In Russian. Reports on a public debate held on the previous day (30 January) with contributions from Sologub, Anichkov, and Ivanov. Paraphrases the contents of Ivanov’s lecture on the three constituent elements of drama, and the need for theatre to return to the people and “sobornost’”


[communality] in order to bring about a revolution and overcome bourgeois individualism. Ivanov’s lecture was later reworked into the essay “Esteticheskaia norma teatra” [The aesthetic norm of the theatre] (1916).

10 R[OBAKIDZE]-K[AVKAS’eLLI], G. “Voina i kul’tura: O russkom genii” [War and culture: On the Russian genius]. Kavkaz (Tiflis), no. 276, 5 December, 3.

In Russian. Attempts to define the nature of the Russian genius as revealed in literature. Outlines the concept of the poet’s theurgic role with reference to Ivanov’s essays “Dve stikhii v sovremennom simvolizme” [Two elemental forces in contemporary symbolism] (1908) and “Zavety simvolizma” [The precepts of symbolism] (1910). Cites Ivanov’s “Menada” [The maenad] and poems by Blok and Bal’mont as examples of mythic poetry, displaying the magic properties of language. Anticipates a return to theurgic art, precipitated by the purifying effect of war. See also Robakidze—Kavkas’elli, 1915.7; Nikol’skaia, 1991.30.

11 TS[ENZOR], D[MITRII]. “Viacheslav Ivanov.” Zlatotsvet (St. Petersburg), no. 5: 14—15.

In Russian. Describes the impact of Ivanov’s visit to St. Petersburg after a long period of absence abroad and notes a change in the public attitude to him, more receptive and less sceptical than before. Reports on various lectures and readings given by Ivanov, including a well-received reading of his translation of Aeschylus’ s Agamemnon at a meeting of the Society of lovers of the artistic word chaired by Zelinskii, and his lecture “O granitsakh iskusstva” [On the boundaries of art] (1914), delivered at the Tenishev school.

12 “Viacheslav Ivanov.” In Al’manakh Grif: 1903—1913 [The ‘Grif’ anthology: 1903—1913]. Moscow: Grif, vi—vii.

In Russian. Contains a brief bibliography (sixteen items) of Ivanov’s works, both published and forthcoming.

13 “V Literaturno-khudozhestvennom Kruzhke” [At the literary artistic circle]. Russkie vedomosti (Moscow), no. 53, 5 March, 5.

In Russian. Summarizes Ivanov’s talk, given on the previous day, “O proiskhozhdenii i smysle teatra” [On the origins and meaning of the theatre]. As a result of its excessively abstract and mannered form of expression a substantial part of the audience was unable to follow the theoretical part of the talk. Bulgakov and Rachinskii took part in the ensuing dispute.

14 [V.]. “Viacheslav Ivanov o granitsakh iskusstva” [Viacheslav Ivanov on the boundaries of art]. Rech’ (St. Petersburg), no. 23, 24 January, 4.

In Russian. Summarizes the lecture given by Ivanov on 22 January 1914


in St. Petersburg at the Tenishev school, “O granitsakh iskusstva” [On the boundaries of art], and comments that, although intricate and restrained, it was too specialized for the young audience present, and perhaps excessively schematic.