Andrey Bely : A Critical Study of the Novels by J. D. Elsworth

By J. D. Elsworth

Audrey Bely used to be some of the most leading edge prose writers in Russian within the 20th century. This ebook lines the improvement of his method as a novelist from the early experimental Symphonies (1902-8) to the final novel, mask, released in 1932. within the first chapters of the ebook, Dr Elsworth explores Bely's theoretical writings at the aesthetic conception of Symbolism, and his organization, after 1912, with the doctrines of Rudolf Steiner. Bely looked artwork as an energetic strength for the transformation of the human character and the solution of the obstacle that he clinically determined within the tradition of his time. either the subject material and the stylistic peculiarities of his novels have their foundation during this specific philosophy of tradition, and it really is during this context that the novels are tested within the moment half the booklet. This publication can be crucial studying for all these attracted to Bely and the broader topic of Russian Symbolist doctrine and perform.

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Bely's 'creative activity' is religious because it is the way of overcoming the duality between the ego and the world. In neoKantian terms the duality was between the form and the content of knowledge. Translated into the terminology of Solov'yov this same duality is the central metaphysical problem: the split between God and creation. The agent that performs the process of reunification is the Logos. Bely's use of this term has in common with Solov'yov's the view of the Logos as present in the human consciousness, and while he could clearly have derived it from many another source besides Solov'yov, there seems little purpose in his using it at all, unless it is with implicit reference to a complex of meaning such as it acquires in Solov'yov's philosophy.

It is an accident of the human organism that perception and thought are separate processes. But it is a mere prejudice to regard the world as immediately perceived as being complete in itself, and thought processes as therefore exterior to it. On the contrary, nature brings forth thought in the human mind with just the same necessity as it produces the flower of a plant. The complete plant is not the plant as seen in one particular moment, as men necessarily perceive it, but the plant living through its entire growth-cycle.

E. 106 Underlying this somewhat Utopian demand is the assumption, more commonplace now than when Bely was writing, that the analysis of the structure of cultural products may ultimately reveal the laws by which man creates his symbolic world. Yet Bely would have been aghast at the idea that all his analyses reveal might be the structure of the human brain. Such an inference, in keeping with the Kantianism that he constantly sought to overcome, would seem to him to solve the problem of the immanent and the transcendent by denying the latter altogether.

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