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Andrei Belyi

literary scholar , author , poet

Andrei Belyi, USSR Poet, author, literary scholar.


Belyi, Andrei was born on October 26, 1880 in Moscow. Son of a famous mathematician.


Graduated in mathematics from Moscow University, 1903.


First appeared in print with Symbolist poetry in 1901. Soon became famous with his collection of poetry Zoloto v Lazuri, 1904. He and his close friend A. Blok were much influenced by the philosophy of V. Solov’ev.

Original poet, literary scholar, philosopher, familiar with exact sciences and mathematics, style innovator in poetry and prose, and mystic. Became one of the foremost theoreticians of Symbolism in Russia. Came under the influence of Rudolph Steiner and his anthroposophy, 1912.

Went abroad and took part in the building of Steiner’s Goetheanum in Switzerland. Later his friendship with Steiner turned to quarrels and bitter recriminations. Always unconventional, during World War I and the revolution, was near to mental collapse.

Returned to Russia in 1916. Left for a short time after the October Revolution, 1917, but soon returned from Berlin to the Soviet Union. Subsequently wrote mostly prose, including brilliant memoirs (which, however, tried rather clumsily and in retrospect to superimpose a Marxist interpretation on his essentially mystical and satirical view of the world).

Very influential during his life-time, especially through his prose works Petersburg and Serebrianyi Golub'. After the Stalin era, again acknowledged as one of the most influential figures of 20th century Russian literature.