“Предупреждаю, что буду пристрастен”: о некоторых литературных стратегиях и культурных аспектах в критико­биографических очерках Ивана Аксенова (1930­е гг.)


Biographical writings
Fixed patterns
Fictionalized events
Artistic perception


This paper aims to outline the common aspects of three late biographical writings by the minor avant-garde poet Ivan Aksenov (1884-1935). The texts are about artists, with whom the author was in close contact, i.e. the theatre actress Maria Babanova, the painter Petr Konchalovskii and the director Sergei Eisenstein. Life is reported through fixed patterns, fictionalized events and devices that can be found in Aksenov’s prose, which depicted artists as literary heroes. In his meta-biographical assertions Aksenov stresses the active role of his artistic perception and experience other than looking for ‘objective’ facts, an approach that is polemically opposed to the so-called dokumental’naia proza of the official Soviet criticism.

Aksenov’s writings also reflect the existential condition of a Silver Age writer facing the hardships of the 1930s in the Soviet Union. Finally, they contain some echoes of contemporary Western thought (Freud, Bergson), a topic which was prohibited at that time.

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