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Valerii Iakovlevich Briusov

editor , literary scholar , poet

Valerii Briusov, USSR Poet, literary scholar, editor.

Background

Briusov, Valerii was born on December 1, 1873 in Moscow. Son of a wealthy merchant of Old Believer peasant background.

Education

Educated at Moscow high schools.

Career

Became one of the first and most active voices of fin de siecle decadence and symbolism in Russia, at first scandalizing the public who were used to simple-hearted and idealistic populist motifs, later lionized in Moscow and Petersburg. Moved more by immense ambition and diligence than talent, he nevertheless achieved remarkable results. Always trying to create his own cliques and to play the leading role, he was a successful editor of several symbolist publications (the magazine Vesy, Skorpion publishing house).

The same restless ambition led him after October 1917, almost alone among the intelligentsia of his stature, to become a member of the Communist Party. However, his poetry of later years became pathetic propaganda, while his last job was party censor of his fellow poets and writers. From his youth, experimented with drugs, and according to several literary sources his death in Moscow was connected with his worsening drug addiction.