August 30, 2014


Mystical Anarchism [Russia] Mystical Anarchism was a tendency among certain members of the Russian Symbolist Movement to abandon the symbolist associations in their poetry and the decadence of the poetry and their lives in order to move toward a “new mystical experience.”

     Advocated particularly by Georgy Chulkov, editor of Fakely (Torches), it was supported by

Vyacheslav Ivanov, as well as Alexander Blok. Writers Valery Bruyusov and Andrei Bely were adamantly opposed to the development, which Chulkov first advocated in 1906 and followed with a manifesto, “Mystical Anarchism” later that year, O misticheskom anarkhizme, 1906, . English translation as On Mystical Anarchism in Russian Titles for the Specialist no. 16, Letchworth, Prideaux P., 1971.

     In her book, New Myth, New World: From Nietzsche to Stalinism, critical Bernice Glatzer Rosenthal has summarized its concepts as “a mish-mash of Nietzsche, Herzen, Bakunin, Merezhkovsky (whose novels were highly influenced by Nietzsche), Ibsen, Byron, utopian socialism, Tolstoy’s Christian anarchism, and Fyodor Dostoevsky’s rejection of necessity.”

     The controversy and the arguments between various members of the Symbolist Group continued until 1908.

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