By J. D. Elsworth

Audrey Bely was once the most cutting edge prose writers in Russian within the 20th century. This e-book strains the improvement of his process as a novelist from the early experimental Symphonies (1902-8) to the final novel, mask, released in 1932. within the first chapters of the e-book, Dr Elsworth explores Bely's theoretical writings at the aesthetic idea of Symbolism, and his organization, after 1912, with the doctrines of Rudolf Steiner. Bely seemed paintings as an lively strength for the transformation of the human character and the answer 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 beginning during this specific philosophy of tradition, and it's during this context that the novels are tested within the moment half the ebook. This booklet should be crucial interpreting for all these drawn to Bely and the broader topic of Russian Symbolist doctrine and perform.

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Man's original act in relation to the external world is the act of naming; by naming a thing, man asserts its existence; without this act neither the world nor the ego would exist. '87 The word itself is a symbol; man fuses in it the two incomprehensible elements of space, the objective world, and time, the subjective experience. The Greek 'logos' is no less important to Bely in its original meaning than in its theological sense. The act of naming, being the creation of individual words, is prior to grammar and the logical relations it expresses.

Artistic creation is the way of fusing form and content with which Bely was most closely concerned, and the interest of his epistemological theory lies mainly in its function as an introduction to his aesthetic theory. This fusion of form and content, of experience and objective reality, is present, according to Bely, in all art. For all art is symbolic, not only that which calls itself Symbolist. Classical and Romantic art differ only in the precedence they give to objective reality and inner experience.

16 There is no reason to doubt the psychological reality of the mystical insights he experienced. Difficulties arise, however, from the translation of such experiences into literature. The objection is often raised against the works of Steiner himself that they are rationalistic and boring; to which the retort is that it is only the verbal surface that creates that impression, while the actual experience to which it leads is dynamic and vivid, and involves the entire personality. Esoteric literature requires to be read in a' frame of mind that precludes a normal critical response.

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