Viacheslav Ivanovich Ivanov

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Ivanov, Viacheslav Ivanovich


Born Feb. 16 (28), 1866, in Moscow; died July 16, 1949, in Rome. Russian poet and playwright.

Ivanov published his Hellenistic Religion of a Suffering God in 1904; it dealt with the Hellenistic cult of Dionysus, which was the source of tragic theater. He became known as a poet in 1898. His first volume of lyric poetry, Pilot Stars (1903), was followed by the collection of stories Transparency (1904) and Tantalus (1905), a tragedy with “antique choruses.” After 1905 Ivanov became one of the theorists of the second generation of Russian symbolists. His views were shaped by a passion for Slavophilism, V. Solov’ev’s mystical-religious cult of beauty, and Nietzsche’s voluntaristic philosophy. His dignified, elegant poetry, saturated with archaisms, addressed itself to the ideals of the past (antiquity and the Middle Ages). Ivanov’s philosophical, aesthetic, and critical works expounded the idea that the poet’s highest mission is to uncover the “symbols” at the heart of religious myth.

The years from 1917 to 1924 were devoted to scholarly and cultural-educational activities. Ivanov defended his dissertation in philology (Dionysus and His Forerunners, 1921; published 1923). He emigrated to Italy in 1924. Ivanov translated Dante and Petrarch into Russian; he published his own works infrequently (Roman Sonnets, 1925; Man, 1939).


Po zvezdam. St. Petersburg, 1909.
Borozdy i mezhi. Moscow, 1916.
Rodnoe i Vselenskoe. Moscow, 1918.
Prometei: Tragediia v stikhakh. Petrograd, 1919.
Perepiska iz dvukh uglov. Petrograd, 1921. (With M.O. Gershenzon.)
Svet vechernii. Oxford, 1962.
“Avtobiografiia.” In Russkaia literatura XX veka, vol. 3. Edited by S.A. Vengerov. Moscow, 1916.


Lunacharskii, A. “Zametki filosofa (Nepriemliushchie Mira).” Obrazovanie, 1906, no. 8.
Blok, A. “Tvorchestvo Viacheslava Ivanova.” In Aleksandr Blok o literature. Moscow, 1931.
Charnyi, M. “Neozhidannaia vstrecha (Viacheslav Ivanov v Rime).” Voprosy literatury, 1966, no. 3
Istoria russkoi literatury kontsa XlX-nachala XX veka: Bibliografich. ukazatel’. Moscow-Leningrad, 1963.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
One of these young intellectuals was Viacheslav Ivanovich Ivanov (1866-1949), who was to become a major poet and leading theoretician of the Russian symbolist movement.
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