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By Robert Bird

Viacheslav Ivanov (1866–1949), the valuable highbrow strength in Russian modernism, completed via his paintings an unique synthesis of Christianity, Platonism, and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. His robust mind exerted an immeasurable impression in modernist Russia and the early Soviet Union, and after emigrating to Italy in 1924 he performed an incredible position in highbrow debates in Western Europe among the wars. in recent times, Ivanov's manifold contributions were well-known in all significant facets of Russian tradition, together with poetry, literary conception, philosophy, and theology. within the Russian Prospero, Robert chicken uncovers the principles of Ivanov's poetic and theoretical universe, lines its evolution, and explores its connections to cultural and highbrow currents in overseas modernism. mixing an in depth interpreting of Ivanov's paintings with a considerate research of his position inside of twentieth-century suggestion, poultry unearths that Ivanov's ecstatic artistic psychology leads on to a attention of historical past as a continuum of human interpretive task, and to a perception of artwork as a old strength. He emphasizes and dramatizes Ivanov's quest to harness the ability of artwork and use it on concrete life-situations. it's the obstacle of Prospero, who needs to unlock his attendant spirit Ariel to be able to restoration complete sovereignty over his personal artistic self and to regain moral organization. The effective stress that resulted from Ivanov's fight used to be a notable strength in Russian modernism and is still a strong spur for our personal reflections on modernity.   notable educational identify, selection journal   “[Bird’s] transparent causes of Ivanov’s rules and his educated, insightful, astute readings of the poetic works make this booklet required examining for an individual drawn to smooth poetry, highbrow heritage, cultural experiences, and philosophy of early twentieth century Russian and ecu concept. . . . Essential.”—Choice “[Bird] makes a welcome contribution to our realizing of Russian modernism in its broader ecu context . . . . during this project he has not just succeeded admirably, yet will surely motivate others to keep on with him.”—Pamela Davidson, The Russian overview “The such a lot accomplished total therapy of Ivanov’s paintings to date.”—David N. Wells, The Slavic and East eu magazine

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44 From today’s vantage point it is difficult to rid oneself of the image of Ivanov as a manipulative stepfather taking advantage of a naïve young woman. Ivanov’s view of the situation is expressed most succinctly in several poems addressed “To Her Daughter” (“Ee docheri”). It is notable that Vera would always remain for him precisely “her daughter,” inseparable from her mother. In one poem Ivanov identifies Vera as Persephone, who links the world of the living to that of the dead. In addition to affirming the identity of mother and daughter, the lyric poem “Doubt” (“Somnenie”) displays Ivanov’s profound ambivalence with respect to this situation: Поймет мой смутный страх, С надеждою делимый,— Когда в твоих чертах Мелькнет, неуловимый, Тот свет, что я зову, Тот образ, что ловлю я,— Мой страх, что наяву,  Introduction Как та, кого люблю я, Истаешь ты,—что сплю я, Пока тобой живу.

In  the same journal was the venue for the third part of the “melopeia” Man (Chelovek, –; published in full in ). 55 Two major exceptions to this poetic drought are indicative of Ivanov’s overall poetics. Soon after his move to Moscow, Ivanov befriended the composer Aleksandr Scriabin and had a particular influence on Scriabin’s plan for the Mysterium, which would begin as a drama and end as the apocalypse. Following Scriabin’s death on  April , Ivanov played a central role in commemorating the composer.

The critic Pavel Muratov, who visited Ivanov in , declared: “Of all people he should be the least isolated. Viacheslav Ivanov is a man of a circle, of an audience, of concord and commonwealth. 82 Although outwardly Ivanov seemed to have secured a prestigious position, the reality was less magnificent, as can be gleaned from Soviet sculptor Boris Ternovets’s letter home from Pavia in April : “In Pavia we sought out Viacheslav Ivanov. [. 85 Introduction  Hardly a “red professor,” Ivanov was slowly gaining recognition as a religious humanist with something unique to contribute to the restoration of cultural values in Europe.

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