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Dmitrii Sergeevich Merezhkovskii

Dmitrii Merezhkovskii, USSR Author.

Background

  • Merezhkovskii, Dmitrii was born on August 2, 1866 in Petersburg. Son of a Palace official.

  • Education

    • Graduated from Petersburg University.

    Career

    • In the 1890s, one of the first to embrace Symbolism in Russian literature. With his wife, Z. Gippius, soon became, and remained until the Revolution 1917, one of the main literary figures in Russia during the spiritual revival of the early 20th century. Instrumental in removing the narrow-minded provincial and utilitarian populist influence from Russian literature.

      By organizing meetings of the Religious-Philosophical Society in Petersburg, he enabled serious dialogue to take place between the Church and the intelligentsia. Had great reformist plans for Russian religious life, preaching a vague Third Testament which would replace the Old and the New, and reconcile the Spirit with the Flesh. Warned against the ‘coming kingdom of vulgarity’ (Griadushchii Kham).

      Wrote valuable literary criticisms and historical novels (the trilogy Christ and Antichrist). In 1917, close to the SRs, condemned the Bolshevik take-over, fled with Gippius to Poland, 1920, and then settled in Paris, where he was responsible for creating a high-level emigre literary salon, the Green Lamp. In the 1930s, considered a rival to Bunin, but since then his literary reputation has drastically diminished.

      Remained a convinced anti-communist to his death. As a writer, almost forgotten, but his main achievement, the liberation of Russian spiritual life from populist and revolutionary dogmatism at the beginning of the 20th century, is indisputable. Complete collection of works (up to World War I), 24 vols, Moscow, 1914.
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    Born August 2, 1866
    Died December 9, 1941
    (aged 75)
    Nationality