I believe that we are not only entitled but indeed obliged to consider a poet linked to his time, Alexander Blok wrote these words in 1918, at the height of political and social upheaval across the Russian empire. It is important to study the works of the premier minds of a generation and his contemporaries in order to understand the artistic and intellectual climate, both of which highly influence the actions and reactions of people living within this time. The October Revolution, The Soviet Revolution or the Bolshevik Revolution as it is commonly known, is traditionally given the date of 25 October 1917.
[...] Bryusov was even acknowledged by the government as they placed him in the cultural ministry within the new Soviet state. The rise of the Bolsheviks and their Revolution appeared to elicit a two-pronged response from the Russian Symbolists. First, there was an acceptance of the events, as a natural course of progression in a time of revolutionary upheaval. Next, however, there was a feeling of remorse or mourning for the traditionalism of ancient Russia, now assumed to be fully dead, replaced by the common Bolshevism. It would be difficult for any intellectual to exist in the years both preceding and following 1917 without some sort of artistic response. [...]
[...] As he, and others, claim to have perceived that an event such as a revolution was destined to occur, October Revolution was accepted throughout the artistic community. Blok and others were able to accept this act as an appropriate next step in the years of violence and political uncertainty. Blok's response in the immediate years following the Bolshevik Revolution was one of acceptance as he looked to the next step of Russian modernity. By 1921, however, he had started to become disheartened by the actions taken by leaders of the revolution. [...]
[...] Russian Symbolist Movement.” PMLA, Vol No (Dec., 1938), pp. 1193-1209. Muchnic, Helen. “Alexander Blok.” Russian Review, Vol No (Jan., 1953,) pp. 16- 24. Judith E. Kalb. ‘Roman Bolshevik': Aleksandr Blok's “Catiline” and the Russian Revolution. In The Slavic and East European Journal, Vol No (Autumn, 2000) D.S. von Mohrenschildt. Russian Symbolist Movement.” In PMLA, Vol No (Dec., 1938), 1193-1196. von Mohrenschildt Helen Muchnic. “Alexander Blok.” In Russian Review, Vol No (Jan., 1953), 17-18. Muchnic Kalb Helen Iswolsky. [...]
[...] In a general sense, the Bolshevik Revolution swept away many of the traditional modes of thought, taking with it the traditionalism of literary and poetic art. Blok Bely and Bryusov all faded out of prominence following the events of October 1917. While their older works and their understanding of the Revolution existed well past their deaths, it was clear that a new era of revolutionary social activity, and not artistic awakening was upon the Russian provinces. In this regard, it is irrelevant how the three thinkers analyzed here responded to the Revolution, what is more important is their lasting contributions to art. [...]
[...] “Russian Symbolism and the Year 1905: The Case of Valery Bryusov.” The Slavonic and East European Review, Vol No (Jul., 1983), pp. 341-362. Iswolsky, Helen. Twilight Years of Russian Culture.” In The Review of Politics, Vol No (Jul., 1943), 356-376. Kalb, Judith, E. ‘Roman Bolshevik': Aleksandr Blok's “Catiline” and the Russian Revolution.” The Slavic and East European Journal, Vol No (Autumn, 2000), pp. 413-428. Kaun, Alexander. “Russian Poetic Trends on the Eve of and the Morning after 1917.” Slavonic Year-Book. American Series, Vol (1941), pp. 55-84. von Mohrenschildt, D.S. [...]
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