Valery Bryusov (Valery Bryusov)

Valery Bryusov

Author. A leader of the Russian Symbolist movement. Although active mainly as a poet, Valery Bryusov is probably best known today for his historical novel “The Fiery Angel” (1908). Set during the Spanish Inquisition, this gloomy,  sexually-charged book had its origins in a real-life love triangle between Bryusov,  poet Nina Petrovskaya,  and Andrei Bely,  the author of “Petersburg”.  It was adapted into a 1927 opera by Sergei Prokofiev.  Valery Yakovlevich Bryusov was born in Moscow.  He took to creative writing as a child and early on declared that his life’s ambition was “to win two lines in the history of world literature”.  Attracted to the more decadent European literary trends,  he made his controversial debut with “Russian Symbolists” (1894),  a bogus anthology in which he wrote all the poems under pseudonyms.  His poetry collections “Chefs d’Oeuvre” (1895),  “Third Vigil” (1900),  and “The Wreath” (1906),  with their mystical tones and broad variety of forms,  were very influential,  as was his editorship of the journal “Libra” (1904 to 1910),  a mouthpiece of the avant-garde.  After 1910 he dedicated himself to critical writing and translations of his favorite poets,  Virgil and Poe.  Unlike most of the Russian Symbolists, Valery Bryusov stayed in his homeland after the 1917 Revolution and made peace with the new Bolshevik regime.  He joined the Communist Party in 1920 and at his death,  of pneumonia at age 50,  he was an editor at the State Publishing House in Moscow.   (bio by: Bobb Edwards)

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Born

  • December, 13, 1873
  • Moscow, Russia

Died

  • October, 10, 1924
  • Moscow, Russia

Cemetery

  • Novodevichy Cemetery
  • Moscow, Russia

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