Selected Essays: Viacheslav Ivanov
by Viacheslav Ivanov
translated by Robert Bird
edited by Michael Wachtel
Northwestern University Press, 2003
Paper: 978-0-8101-2083-9
Library of Congress Classification PG3467.I8A23 2001
Dewey Decimal Classification 891.70915

Winner of 2002 AATSEEL Award for Best Translation into English

A poet, critic, and theoretician during the Silver Age of Russian poetry, at the turn of the twentieth century, Viacheslav Ivanov was dubbed "Viacheslav the Magnificent" by his contemporaries for his erudition, sumptuous and allusive poetry, and brilliant essays. He provided Russian Symbolism with theoretical underpinnings based on classical and biblical mythology, the aesthetics of music, philosophy ranging from Plato and Kant to Schopenhauer and Nietzsche, and a profound knowledge of classical and modern European poetry.

In choosing material for this volume of essays, Robert Bird and Michael Wachtel have covered a broad range of Ivanov's interests: the aesthetics of Symbolism, theater, culturological concerns, and on such influential figures of the period as Nietzsche, Solovyov, Tolstoy, and Scriabin. Also included are extensive notes on the essays in which classical, biblical, and poetic citations and allusions are identified, the aesthetic and theoretical contexts are clarified, and certain translation problems are briefly discussed. This volume provides valuable insight into the theory of Symbolism as it developed in Russia.
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