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Entries / Blok A.A. (1880-1921), poet

Blok A.A. (1880-1921), poet

Categories / Literature. Book Publishing/Personalia
Categories / Tsarskoe Selo and town of Pushkin. The digital chronological reference book/Pushkin personality

BLOK Alexander Alexanderovich (1880, St. Petersburg - 1921, Petrograd), poet. He was born in the house of his grandfather A.N. Beketov (9 Universitetskaya Embankment, the Rector's Building; memorial plaque). In 1891-98 he studied at Vvedensky Gymnasium, then at the Law Gymnasium, and from 1901, at the Faculty of History and Philology of Petersburg University (graduated from it in 1906). He was published for the first time in Novy Put Petersburg journal in 1903. In the 1900s he became a permanent visitor of Merezhkovsky's Salon, Ivanov's Wednesdays, Sologub's Salon, etc. His works include Snow Mask (1907), Verses on Russia (1915), Gray Morning (1920) and many other collections of verses were published in St. Petersburg (Petrograd). Russian symbolism took the most distinct shape in Blok's poetry as a literature trend. The poet saw in objects and phenomena allusions to another, more perfect world. However, in spite of his poetry being based on symbols and parables, many concrete landscapes of St. Petersburg and its environs - Strelna, Lakhta, Shuvalovo, Ozerky and other sites with exact topographic label, were reflected in Blok's verses (Stranger, In a Restaurant, On the Islands, etc.). Many details of the city were fixed in Blok's dairies and notebooks. F.M. Dostoevsky's prose (cf. poem The Double), as well as that of N.V. Gogol and A.A. Grigoryev had a great influence on Blok's image of St. Petersburg. The city attracts Blok's lyric hero and rejects, scares him at the same time. Blok aspired for his creativity to be treated as a unified novel in verses, and the city is one of the main heroes of this novel (verse cycles: The City, 1904-08; Retribution, 1908-13; Iambs 1907-14). Blok depicted the death of old St. Petersburg and the birth of new Petrograd in poems The Twelve (1918), Retribution (1910-21, was not completed) and a number of Blok's verses. The last verse of Blok, Pushkin's House (1921), reflected realities and landscapes of Petrograd. In 1918 Blok became the Head of the repertory Committee of the Theatre Department of People's Commissariat of Education, participated in work of Universal Literature publishing house, in 1919 he headed the Stage Director Department of the Bolshoy Drama Theatre; he was a member of the Free Philosophic Association (from 1919), the Literary Writers Union (from 1919), Head of Petrograd Department of All-Russian Poets Union (from 1920). He died after serious illness connected to a nervous breakdown; for contemporaries his death was regarded as marking an epoch in the history of Russian culture. He was buried at Smolenskoe Cemetery (in 1944 he was reburied at Literatorskie Mostki). In 1939 the former Zavodskaya Street was named after Blok, as well as a library at 20 Nevsky Prospect (a musical-artistical office of Mayakovsky Central City Public Library). There is Blok's monument in the courtyard of the Philological Faculty of St. Petersburg State University (11 Universitetskaya Embankment; 2002, sculptor E.I. Ratanov). Blok changed addresses ten times in St. Petersburg. The main address was 44 Petrogradskaya Embankment (1889-1906; memorial plaque); 3 Lakhtinskaya Street (1906-07), 41 Galernaya Street (1907-10); 9 Malaya Monetnaya Street (1910-12); 57 Ofitserskaya Street (today Dekabristov Street), (1912-21; from 1980 - A.A. Blok's museum appartment).

References: Орлов В. Н. Поэт и город: А. Блок и Петербург. Л., 1980; Александров А. А. Блок в Петербурге - Петрограде. Л., 1987; Минц З. Г. Поэтика Александра Блока. СПб., 1999.

D. N. Akhapkin.

Beketov Andrey Nikolaevich
Beketov Nikolay Nikolaevich
Blok G.P.
Dostoevsky Fedor Mikhailovich
Gogol Nikolay Vasilievich
Grigoryev Apollon Alexandrovich
Mayakovsky Vladimir Vladimirovich
Merezhkovsky Dmitry Sergeevich
Pushkin Alexander Sergeevich
Ratanov E.I.
Sologub Fedor (real name Teternikov Fedor Kuzmich)
Tovstonogov Georgy Alexandrovich

Alexandra Bloka St./Saint Petersburg, city
Dekabristov St./Saint Petersburg, city, house 57
Galernaya St./Saint Petersburg, city, house 41
Lakhtinskaya St./Saint Petersburg, city, house 3
Malaya Monetnaya St./Saint Petersburg, city, house 9
Petrogradskaya Embankment/Saint Petersburg, city, house 44
Universitetskaya Embankment/Saint Petersburg, city, house 9
Universitetskaya Embankment/Saint Petersburg, city, house 11

Орлов В. Н. Поэт и город: А. Блок и Петербург. Л., 1980
Александров А. А. Блок в Петербурге - Петрограде. Л., 1987
Минц З. Г. Поэтика Александра Блока. СПб., 1999

The subject Index
State University, St. Petersburg
Novy Put (New Way), newspaper
Merezhkovsky Salon
Ivanov's Wednesdays, Literary and Artistic Meetings
Salon of Sologub
World of Literature, publishing house, 1918-1924
Tovstonogov Bolshoy Drama Theatre
Literatorskie (Literary) Mostki, the museum-necropolis
Blok's Memorial Flat