Alexander Blok

Blok, Aleksandr Aleksandrovich

Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Blok (əlyĬksän´dər əlyĬksän´drəvĬch blôk), 1880–1921, Russian poet, considered the greatest of the Russian symbolists. As the leading disciple of Vladimir Soloviev, he voiced both mysticism and idealistic passion in an early cycle of love poems, Verses about the Lady Beautiful (1904). In 1905 he lost his ethereal vision and turned to themes of despair, degradation, and the attraction of evil. The Unknown Woman (1906) is his best-known poem of this period. Later he found hope in the idealization of Russia, welcoming the Revolution of 1917 in his epic poem The Twelve (1918, tr. 1920). This work celebrates the passion, violence, and exhilaration of the revolution, with which Blok later became disenchanted. The Scythians (1920) is directed against the Western forces fighting the Bolsheviks.

See his selected poems, ed. by A. Pyman (1972); his account of his journey to Italy, ed. by L. E. Vogel (1973); studies by F. D. Reeve (1962) and R. Kemball (1965).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Aleksandr Blok's Trilogy of Lyric Dramas: A Puppet Show; The King on the Square; The Unknown Woman
Timothy C. Westphalen; Timothy C. Westphalen; Aleksandr Blok.
Routledge, 2003
Russian Writers: Their Lives and Literature
Janko Lavrin.
D. Van Nostrand, 1954
Librarian’s tip: Chap. Seventeen "Alexander Blok"
Abolishing Death: A Salvation Myth of Russian Twentieth-Century Literature
Irene Masing-Delic.
Stanford University, 1992
Librarian’s tip: Chap. Eight "Aleksandr Blok: The Twelve"
Thoughts on the Translation into English of 'Twelve,' by Aleksandr Blok
Miller, George S.
Journal of European Studies, Vol. 24, No. 4, December 1994
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Russian Opera and the Symbolist Movement
Simon Morrison.
University of California Press, 2002
Librarian’s tip: "The Rose and the Cross" begins on p. 18
Russia, Poland, and the West: Essays in Literary and Cultural History
Waclaw Lednicki.
Hutchinson, 1954
Librarian’s tip: Chap. VII "Blok's 'Polish Poem'"
From Chekhov to the Revolution: Russian Literature, 1900-1917
Marc Slonim.
Oxford University Press, 1962
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 9 "Blok and the Symbolists"
The Frenzied Poets: Andrey Biely and the Russian Symbolists
Oleg A. Maslenikov.
University of California Press, 1952
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 8 "Andrey Biely and Alexander Blok"
Literature and Revolution
Leon Trotsky.
University of Michigan Press, 1971
Librarian’s tip: Chap. III "Alexander Blok"
A Reader's Guide to Fifty Modern European Poets
John Pilling.
Heinemann, 1982
Librarian’s tip: "Aleksandr Blok (1880-1921)" begins on p. 127
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