Remizov, Aleksei Mikhailovich
Born June 24 (July 6), 1877, in Moscow; died Nov. 26, 1957, in Paris. Russian writer.
Remizov was born into an old, wealthy merchant family. In his youth he participated in student demonstrations and was persecuted by the authorities. Later, he wandered through remote areas of Russia.
Remizov first published in 1902. Using an original style that was influenced by prose before the time of Peter I, he wrote a number of books, including Limonar’, or the Spiritual Meadow and Following the Sun (both 1907), Vexation and Buffoonery (1914), and Parables of St. Nicholas (1917). Remizov’s dramatic works, including The Tragedy of Judas (1908) and A Devilish Deed and Tsar Maximilian (both 1919), were written in the spirit of the medieval mystery plays. Remizov’s prose, especially the novels The Clock and The Pond (both 1908) and the novellas The Fifth Pestilence and The Incessant Drum, contains impressions of childhood, of the stifling atmosphere of merchant life in the olden days, and of Moscow and provincial factory and street life. In these works reality is mixed with fantasy and delirious visions.
Remizov saw the revolutionaries—the “remakers” of life—as fanatics and naïve visionaries (The Pond and The Cock). Remizov’s social pessimism found expression in The Lay of the Destruction of the Russian Land (1918). Remizov emigrated in 1921. He wrote Russia in a Whirlwind (1927), Along the Eaves (1929), and With Clipped Eyes (1951) while abroad. At the end of his life he evinced an interest in the USSR and became a Soviet citizen.
The original style of “decorative” or “ornamental” prose created by Remizov in the 1910’s and 1920’s influenced certain writers, for example, M. M. Prishvin, E. I. Zamiatin, B. A. Pil’-niak, and the members of the Serapion Brotherhood.
WORKSSoch., vols. 1–8. St. Petersburg, 1910–12.
REFERENCESChukovskii, K. “Psikhologicheskie motivy v tvorchestve Alekseia Remizova.” In Kniga o sovremennykh pisateliakh. St. Petersburg, 1914.
Kodrianskaia, N. Aleksei Remizov. Paris, 1959.
Erenburg, I. Liudi, gody, zhizn’, books 1–3. Sobr. soch., vol. 8. Moscow, 1966.
Kuprin, A. I. “Aleksei Remizov: Chasy.” (Review.) In A. I. Kuprin o literature. Minsk, 1969.
Istoriia russkoi literatury kontsa XIX—nach. XX v: Bibliograficheskii ukazatel’. Moscow-Leningrad, 1963.