August 30, 2014

Georgy Chulkov

Georgy Chulkov [Russia / USSR]
1879-1939 Ivanovich Chulkov was born on February 1, 1879 in Moscow to a family of an impoverished nobleman from the city of Tambov.

     Chulkov studied at Moscow University from 1898-1901, joining a revolutionary student organization. In December 1901 he was arrested and exiled to Amga in the Yakutsky region of Siberia. Upon his amnesty in 1903, he was allowed to settle in Nizhny Novgorod, where he lived for a year before moving to St. Petersburg.

     During that year, 1904, he published his first collection of poetry, Kremnistyj put', followed by numerous others from 1908 to 1924, including Vesnoyu na sewer, Lyudi v tumane, Posramlenye besy, Nashi sputniki, and Stihotvoreniya.

     In St. Petersburg he became the unstated editor of Dmitry Merezhkovsky’s and his wife Zinaida Grippius’ magazine Novy Put’ (New Path). When the magazine suspended publication in 1905 because of the Russian Revolution of that year, Chulkov moved to the journal Voprosy Zhizni (Problems of Life), working with its editors Nikolai Berdyaev, Sergei Bulgakov, and Nikolai Lossky until it closed its doors later that same year.

     In 1906, Chulkov edited Fakely (Torches), an journal of Symbolist writing. There he called for a shift in Symbolist concerns, arguing for it to “abandon Symbolism and Decadence and move forward to “a new mystical experience.” A manifesto, “Mystical Experience” followed, with Symbolist authors breaking into two groups, his supporters such as Alexander Blok and Vyacheslav and his detractors, Valery Bryusov, editor of the leading Symbolist magazine Vesy, and Andrei Bely.

     The poet joined the Russian army at the outbreak of World War I in 1914, and after the Russian Civil War, returned writing.

     Chulkov also published novels, Satana (1914), Serezha Nestroev (1916), and Metel’ (1917), but after the wars found it increasingly difficult to publish poetry and fiction.

     From 1922 on wrote essays and critical books about the Decembrist revolt, Alexander Pushkin, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Don Quixote, and the Romanov dynasty in the nineteenth century.

     Chulkov died in 1939.


Kremnistyj put' (Moscow: V. M. Sablina,1904); Vesnoyu na sewer (1908); Lyudi v tumane (1916); Vchera i segodnya (1916); Posramlenye besy (1921); Mariia Gamil’ton (St. Petersburg: Akvilon, 1922); Nashi sputniki (1922); Stihotvoreniya (Moscow: Zadruga, 1922); Vechernie zori: rasskazy (Moscow: Zemlya i fabrika, 1924); Valtasarovo tsarstvo (Balthazar's kingdom, reprint collection) (Moscow: Respublika, 1998)

For a poem by Chulkov, go here:

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