By Vladimir E. Alexandrov
A number one Russian Symbolist poet, essayist, and mentor to a whole iteration of writers, Andrei Bely (1880–1934) completed 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 complicated artwork is his belief of Symbolism as a brand new kind of cognition that hyperlinks the person, the fabric international, and the transcendent realm. Supplementing shut textual research with fabric drawn from Bely's theoretical and autobiographical writings, Alexandrov lines intimately how this notion advanced from 4 early experimental prose narratives to the foremost novels, and the way it really is manifested of their topics, shape, and magnificence. Alexandrov additionally offers lucid discussions of the numerous impression that numerous philosophical and occult platforms had on Bely's artwork, and of the theoretical challenge of what constitutes a Symbolist novel.
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Additional info for Andrei Bely: The Major Symbolist Fiction
The one sitting by the samovar saw, yes he saw the star, and took it into account. Following this, the narrator shifts to a six-"verse"-long sequence treating meteorological phenomena that are actually part of "the question of the sacred meaning of Russia" (pp. 195-196). As a result, through métonymie contiguity, the arrival of the "interplanetary sphere" in the earth's atmosphere is twice associated with the apocalyptic fate of the world—the first time by means of Soloviev's harbinger trumpet call, the second by the question about Russian national destiny.
They slept also in a ward for the mentally ill. They slept on equal rights with those who were well. " (pp. 176-177). His sense of despair, which foreshadows the Solovievian apocalyptic theme that comes later, is clearly not shared by the city's sleeping populace. Thus the narrator's description of the city's diverse inhabitants temporarily united in sleep is an ironic comment on their spiritual blindness—an effect achieved through juxtaposition with the elder's despairing comment. A somewhat more positive variant of the structural paradigm established in the first part involves church services in the city: 1.
Hinting at the deeper significance of this observation—that occult causes underlie everyday human actions such as plowing—the narrator comments, following the first appearance of the motif, that while an ordinary observer would not have noticed anything special in this fact, a more perspicacious one would have. At the same time that numerous small-scale variants of this structural relationship pepper the Second Symphony, the bulk of parts two through four consists of one large-scale version. I have in mind the story of Sergei Musatov and the various other mystics who are the butts of Bely's parody, and their foil—the figure of the deceased Vladimir Soloviev and those who are allied with him.
Andrei Bely: The Major Symbolist Fiction by Vladimir E. Alexandrov