Khodasevich: His Life and Art by David M. Bethea

By David M. Bethea

This severe biography of Vladislav Khodasevich (1886-1939), David M. Bethea introduces to the Western reader the existence and paintings of a literary determine defined via Vladimir Nabokov because the maximum Russian poet of the 20th century. initially released in 1983.

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But soon he passed to Pushkin's fairy tales, which he thought unimpressive next to Yershov. "37 He avoided Lermontov, however, almost as if in anticipation of later skirmishes with Georgy Adamovich over the priority of the classical versus the ro­ mantic in Russian poetry. The book of Lermontov's work that was given to him as a boy, The Boyaz Orsha, had a reclining skeleton depicted on its cover, and this ghoulish illustration caused Vladislav nightmares, being joined in his fantasy with devils, corpses, and a foycean fear of hell.

Belyi, "V zashchitu ot odnogo narekaniia: otkrytoe pis'mo Valeriiu Briusovu" (Defending Oneself from One Case of Censure: An Open Letter to Valery Bryusov|, Vesy, no. 6 (June 1905), pp. 40-42. The relations between Bely and Bryusov during these years are best seen in their correspondence: see S. S. Grechishkin and Α. V. , "Perepiska Valeriia Briusova s Andreem Belym, 1902-1912" (The VaIery Bryusov-Andrey Bely Correspondence, 1902-1912), in Literary Heri­ tage: Valery Bryusov, pp. 325-427. 11 O.

F. ob okonchanii 3-ei Moskovskoi gimnaziii" (Graduation certificate issued to V. F. Khodasevich on completion of the Third Moscow Gymnasium), archive (fond) no. 537, item no. 112, The Central State Literary Archive (TsGALI) (Moscow). 3 "Attestat YOUTH AND Y O U T H : 1896-1908 Yet "classical/' at least at this early date, may cloud more than clarify the issue. The classical topoi present in the early work of Merezhkovsky, Vyacheslav Ivanov, and (most im­ portant for Khodasevich) Bryusov seem more revealing of Decadence, of the influence of Baudelaire and Nietzsche, than of a return to the classical manner of Pushkin.

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