Andrei Bely: The Major Symbolist Fiction by Vladimir E. Alexandrov

By Vladimir E. Alexandrov

A number one Russian Symbolist poet, essayist, and mentor to a complete iteration of writers, Andrei Bely (1880–1934) accomplished maximum renown for 3 extraordinary novels: Petersburg — which has been ranked with the masterpieces of Joyce, Kafka, and Proust — The Silver Dove, and Kotik Letaev. Vladimir Alexandrov argues cogently that the main-spring of Bely's advanced artwork is his perception of Symbolism as a brand new type of cognition that hyperlinks the person, the cloth global, and the transcendent realm. Supplementing shut textual research with fabric drawn from Bely's theoretical and autobiographical writings, Alexandrov lines intimately how this belief developed from 4 early experimental prose narratives to the key novels, and the way it really is manifested of their subject matters, shape, and elegance. Alexandrov additionally presents lucid discussions of the numerous impression that numerous philosophical and occult structures had on Bely's paintings, and of the theoretical challenge of what constitutes a Symbolist novel.

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295). In this, he repeats the critique of Vladimir Soloviev himself, present supernaturally, and his companion Bars Ivanovich (pp. 282-284). "Bars" means "snow leopard" in Russian, and thus has associations with the Dionysian tiger, and, in turn, with Bely s own special conception of Nietzsche as a precursor of Soloviev. It is also worth noting the Bely himself claimed to have encountered the "white shade" of Soloviev, and to have conversed with him in dreams after the philosopher's death. 54 The final canonization of the "passive and knowing" stance with regard to the apocalypse specifically occurs near the end of part four.

In his conception of tragedy, Nietzsche reconciled the antinomy between the Will and representation, and propounded the unified personality of the overman as the goal of historical evolution. In Hartmann's "unconscious" Bely finds a confluence of the metaphysical Will with the world of phenomena. Furthermore, the goal of the historical process for Hartmann is also the revelation of the 32 Andrei Bely "unified spirit" (vseedinogo dukha). And faith in the appearance of a new unified personality, capable of reconciling science, philosophy, and religion, Bely sees as congruent with Soloviev's teaching about Godmanhood.

24 In practice, the key element in Bely's fictional prose that serves as the actual bridge between art and life is the first-person narrator. This is an inevitable outgrowth of Bely's theory of symbolism, as I suggested above. And although the most dramatic claims by the narrator about the nature of his role will appear in Petersburg, several of these are already foreshadowed in a primitive form in the First Symphony. It is noteworthy that the Symphony begins with a first-person Introduction. The speaker in these four pages makes a series of rather cryptic statements outlining an emotional curve going from dejection to apocalyptic ecstasy: he begins by speaking of his desire for oblivion and his feeling of worthlessness, and ends with a description of a centaur who rushes by crying about the "rosy sky" of a sunrise that can be seen from a hill (p.

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