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Keywords: Andrey Bely, symbolism, anthroposophy, autobiography, diaries, literary diary, intimate diary, notebook, Soviet power
For citation:

Spivak M.L. Andrey Bely’s Diary Heritage (1896–1933). Studia Litterarum, 2019, vol. 4, no 4, pp. 138–165. (In Russ.)

DOI: 10.22455/2500-4247-2019-4-4-138-165

Author: Monika L. Spivak
Information about the author:

Monika L. Spivak, DSc in Philology, Leading Researcher, A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Povarskaya 25 a, 121069 Moscow, Russia.

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Received: March 03, 2019
Published: December 25, 2019
Issue: 2019 Vol. 4, №4
Department: Russian Literature
Pages: 138-165
DOI: 10.22455/2500-4247-2019-4-4-138-165
UDK: 821.161.1
BBK: 83.3(2Рос=Рус)6

Abstract

The article examines the work of Andrey Bely as the author of diaries. His original diaries are few in number; most of them are considered lost. At the same time, Bely has many references to why he used the diaries at different times. The purpose of the article is to trace the history and fate of Bely’s diaries, both the missing ones and those that survived. Collected together, the data demonstrates how much of the author’s literary heritage is lost. The article proves that Bely kept diaries most of his life. The first diary (“literary-critical” diary of the early writer), which served him as a notebook, dates back to the 19th–20th centuries. The next diary (from 1912) is associated with the beginning of Bely’s esoteric discipleship; it is a report of the experienced spiritual revelations. After the outbreak of the World War I, Bely began to keep a “journal of philosophical thoughts,” which formed the basis of a series of essays about the crisis of life, thought, culture, and consciousness. It is probable that he continued keeping it in the revolutionary era until 1919. A new outbreak of the diary activity was caused by the death of A. Blok in 1921. It has become recently known that Bely kept diaries during the period of emigration (1921–1923). The diary of the period 1925–1931 (the so-called “Kuchin diary”) — the most significant one in terms of both its volume and content — contains 150 copyright sheets. It was seized in 1931 by the OGPU officers and is considered missing. The diary of 1932 has been preserved, as well as the diary of 1933, which the author ceased keeping a year before his death. The material presented in the article allows to conclude that there were diaries of different types: diaries of “external life” and inner life, intimate and creative diaries. All of them form the basis of Bely’s works including, those that were either stylized as diaries and those that have nothing to do with diaries at first glance.

References

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