Mukesh Vatsyayana
Alexander Blok Selected Poems/Hamayun: The Life of Alexander Blok by Vladimir Orlov Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1982, 327 pp., 12.00/11.00
Hamayun: The Life of Alexander Blokby Vladimir Orlov Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1982, 477 pp., 11.00
Sept-Oct 1982, volume 7, No 2

Alexander Blok was born in 1880 in St. Petersburg and died there in 1921. The dates are as important as the country in which was born. His life spanned the four most tur¬bulent and cataclysmic decades in Russian history—the years of terror and sedition let loose by the angry young rebels, the suffocating years when ‘Pobedonostsev over Russia had spread the owl-like wings of doom’, the years of stag¬nation and sepulchral quietude leading to the storm of the First Revolution, the black years of reaction and repres¬sion, the bloody years of the First World War, the glorious year of 1917 followed by the grim, gloomy and hungry years of the immediate post-Revolu¬tion period. Blok’s development as a poet took place against this histori¬cal background. He began as one of the founders of Russian symbolism seeking escape from the vulgarity of the real world into an exotic world of mysti¬cism. In this phase of youth¬ful immaturity he talked of ‘Earth’s all-too-abhorrent ways’, though he was destined to speak a different language.

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