Author(s)  M. Ljunggren
Information about the author(s) Magnus Ljunggren, Professor Emeritus of Russian literature at the University of Gothenburg. Gr ö ndalsv ä gen 177, 117 69 Stockholm, Sweden. E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
Received  December 23, 2016
Published  March 25, 2017
Issue  2017 Vol. 2, №1
Department  Russian Literature
Pages  212-219
UDK  82.09
BBK  83.3(2Рос=Рус)
Abstract The theme of doom and resurrection is a constant in Andrej Belyj’s works. Catastrophism on the personal, national, overarching cultural and cosmic planes are always present. To a significant degree, of course, he draws upon Revelation, but he has a recurrent need of Isaiah’s Apocalypse and its mighty prophecy about the “city of confusion” that is condemned for its sinfulness and destroyed by the vengeful God to eventually arise in a new form. It is no coincidence that in his great novels, Belyj condemns Petersburg and Moscow as breeding grounds of disease. He regards urban civilization as hostile to humans and contrary to nature. His collected works are an echo chamber abounding in quotations and allusions. Especially often he quotes himself, returning to borrowed key phrases. An especially important passage about the sinful city from the Isaiah Apocalypse — “Fear, and the pit, and the snare, are upon thee, O inhabitant of the earth” — runs throughout Belyj’s oeuvre (since his letters should also be regarded as one of his artistic genres). 
Keywords Belyj’s prose, Isaiah Apocalypse, catastrophism, modern city, sinfulness, echochamber, quotations 
Works cited

 1 Belyj A. Petr Chaikovskii [Petr Chaikovsky] in: Sfinx [Sphynx]. Vesy [The weighs], 1905, no 9–10. (In Russ.)

2 Belyj A. Egipet [Egypt]. Sovremennik [The contemporary], 1912 a, no V. (In Russ.)

3 Belyj A. Egipet [Egypt]. Sovremennik [The contemporary], 1912 b, no VI. (In Russ.)

4 Belyj A. Odna iz obitelei tsarstva tenej [In the Kingdom of Shadow]. Letchworth, Hertfordshire, Prideaux Press, 1971 (reprint). 75 p. (In Russ.)

5 Belyj A. Peterburg [Petersburg], ed. L.K. Dolgopolov. Leningrad, Nauka Publ., 1981. 696 p. (In Russ.)

6 Belyj A. Mezhdu dvukh revoliutsii [Between two revolutions], ed. A.V. Lavrov. Moscow, Khudozh. lit. Publ., 1990. Part 2. 608 p. (In Russ.)

7 Belyj A. Serebrjanyi golub’. Rasskazy [The silver dove. Tales], ed. V.M. Piskunov. Moscow, Respublika Publ., 1995. 333 p. (In Russ.)

8 Belyj A. Blok A.A. Perepiska 1903–1919 [Belyi A., Blok A.A. Correspondence 1903–1919], ed. A.V. Lavrov. Moscow, Progress-Pleiada Publ., 2001. 608 p. (In Russ.)

9 Bogomolov N. A. Perechityvaja “Serebrianogo golubia”. 2. Nikolai Gumilev [Rereading The Silver Dove. 2. Nikolay Gumilev.]. Ot Pushkina do Kibirova. Stat’i o russkoj literature, preimushchestvenno o russkoj poezii [From Pushkin to Kibirov: Essays on Russian literature, predominantly on Russian poetry]. Moscow, Novoe Literaturnoe Obozrenie Publ., 2004. 623 p. (In Russ.)

10 Lavrov A.V. Andrei Belyi v 1900-e gody. Zhizn’ i deiatel’nost’ [Andrey Belyj in the 1900s. Life and work]. Moscow, Novoe Literaturnoe Obozrenie Publ., 1995. 336 p. (In Russ.)

11 Orlov V.N. Pereput’ia. Iz istorii russkoj poezii nachala veka [Crossroads. From the history of Russian poetry of the beginning of the century]. Moscow, Khudozh. lit. Publ., 1976. 365 p. (In Russ.)

Full version of the article Download