Antonovich, Maksim Alekseevich

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Antonovich, Maksim Alekseevich


Born Apr. 27 (May 9), 1835, in Belopol’e, Kharkov Province; died Nov. 14, 1918. Russian literary critic, philosopher, and publicist.

Born to the family of a sexton, Antonovich graduated from the St. Petersburg Clerical Academy in 1859. In 1862 he headed the Russian literature section in the journal Sovremennik. A materialist and proponent of Darwinism guided by Sechenov’s reflexology, he opposed the idealism of Kant and Schopenhauer in his articles on philosophy and natural science. He also fought against the Russian idealists—among them P. Iurkevich and N. Strakhov—and against the ideas of Pochvennichestvo (back-to-the-soil movement) of F. M. Dostoevsky’s journals Vremia and Epokha. He endorsed the democratic literature of the Raznochintsy (men of various ranks below the gentry). However, Antonovich oversimplified and distorted the materialistic aesthetic principles of N. G. Chernyshevskii and N. A. Dobroliubov, which is evident in his negative evaluation of the works of I. S. Turgenev and N. A. Nek-rasov. In his polemics with D. I. Pisarev’s journal Russkoe slovo, he oversimplified the principles of revolutionary democracy. With the closing of Sovremennik in 1866, Antonovich retired from active literary and social activity. Later in life, he opposed decadent art.


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The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.