MIL OSI Translation. Region: Russian Federation –
November 28 marks 140 years since the birth of Alexander Blok. We are talking about the houses of the capital, reminiscent of the poet.
The life of one of the main Russian Symbolists is inextricably linked with St. Petersburg: there Blok was born and lived until his death, he loved him very much, dedicated poetry to him. But the poet also had tender feelings for Moscow: many of his friends lived here, with whom he often visited, and created many of his works here. For example, one of his most optimistic poems, Morning in Moscow (1909), contains the following lines:
I love you, my panna, My carefree youth, And the transparent tenderness of the Kremlin This morning – as your charm.
House on Spiridonovka: newlyweds’ apartment
Spiridonovka Street, 6
In January 1904, immediately after Christmas, Alexander Blok came to Moscow for two weeks. With him was his wife Lyubov Dmitrievna, the daughter of the famous chemist Mendeleev. The young couple was invited to stay at the house of the Marconet family, with whom Blok’s second cousin, the poet Sergei Soloviev, was related.
That was a pleasant time: friends with whom they sat until late at night often came to Blok, and Lyubov Dmitrievna gladly tried on the role of a hostess, a married woman. She had a talent for instantly captivating everyone she met; compliments poured in her address.
They knew each other from childhood, but to connect their lives, they were pushed by a meeting in St. Petersburg in 1901. “This meeting excited me,” Mendeleeva recalled. Blok also looked differently at the girl he had known for many years, and no longer wanted to be separated from her. In 1903 they got married, and in 1904 Blok created his most famous poetry cycle – “Poems about the Beautiful Lady”. Lyubov Dmitrievna became the prototype of the heroine.
Moscow art theater: the holy of holies of Stanislavsky
Kamergersky lane, 3
Passing the building of the Moscow Art Theater, Blok dreamed: someday his play would be staged on this stage. The poet admired the talent of the creator of the Moscow Art Theater, Konstantin Stanislavsky, called him a real artist.
But it was not Stanislavsky who drew attention to his play “The Rose and the Cross?” Blok was very happy, because not long before that Khudozhestvenny had abandoned his other play, Songs of Fate. Encouraged, he immediately broke off negotiations with Alexander Tairov, who wanted to stage The Rose and Cross at the Chamber Theater, and completely focused on the Art Theater.
The performance is a triumph. The story of “Adrienne Lecouvreur” by Alexander Tairov“My game”: 155 years since the birth of Konstantin Stanislavsky
Konstantin Stanislavsky doubted to the last, he considered the play to be of little stage, but in the end he lost to Nemirovich-Danchenko. Stanislavsky appreciated Blok’s talent and was interested in his plays, but he never staged a single one – he quickly cooled down to them. “The Rose and the Cross” eventually suffered the same fate, despite the fact that rehearsals had already begun. Problems poured in one after another – the cast changed, for various reasons the pace of rehearsals slowed down. The play stalled, and it was decided to remove it from the theater plans.
Blok took it very hard. The audience, which had already been notified of which premiere was being prepared, was also upset. Many saw in the plot of “Roses and Cross” intersections with the events of the author’s personal life. The main character of the play, which takes place in medieval France, is the young wife of a strict count. Tormented by melancholy, she hears the song of a wandering troubadour about suffering that can become joy, and soon fatal love comes to her.
In St. Petersburg and Moscow at that time there were rumors that Lyubov Dmitrievna heeded the pleas of Andrei Bely, who was in love with her, her husband’s “sworn friend”. True, Blok himself claimed that he borrowed the plot from the medieval novel “Flamenca”.
Andrei Bely’s apartment: a circle of “Argonauts”
Arbat Street, 55
Andrei Bely was born and lived in this apartment for 26 years (his real name is Boris Bugaev), poet, prose writer, philosopher, theoretician of symbolism. Since the beginning of the 1900s, he gathered here his like-minded people – students of philosophy, history, physics and mathematics and other faculties of Moscow University. All of them belonged to the current of symbolism, in their work they were attracted by experiments, new forms, unusual images. This circle got the name “Argonauts” – after the name of the ship from the ancient Greek myth about Jason. The participants, among whom were Konstantin Balmont, Valery Bryusov and other famous poets, believed: just as Jason and his comrades were looking for the golden fleece, they should try to find something valuable in their lives.
Alexander Blok also attended the meetings of the “Argonauts”. They had a strange relationship with Bely: they were friends, but sometimes their friendship was more like a war, which had nothing to do with Lyubov Dmitrievna, with whom Bely was deeply in love. Blok, who found out about this, briefly said: “Well, I’m glad …”
Blok and Bely quarreled and made peace, started duels, spoke caustically about each other – you can’t count how many times they broke off relations, and then reconciled again. Once, having read Blok’s collection Unexpected Joy, Bely became terribly angry: this book, unlike Poems about the Beautiful Lady, did not like him at all. The poet hastened to tell his friend everything he thinks about his new work. A quarrel broke out. Bely took back the offensive words – but only at the very end of his life.
Profitable house V.P. Panyusheva: friendly visits
Arbat Street, 51
Not far from the house where Andrey Bely lived, there is another house that Alexander Blok visited. The last time he came here in the spring of 1921, shortly before his death.
Literary critic Pyotr Kogan lived here with his wife Nadezhda, the poet was friends with them. They often arranged receptions to which prose writers, poets, and playwrights were invited. Marina Tsvetaeva, a big fan of Blok, who dedicated poetry to him, was also their frequent guest. Once her daughter Ariadne, who saw her mother’s idol, made an entry in her children’s diary: “Marina explains to me that Alexander Blok is as great a poet as Pushkin. And an exciting foreboding of something beautiful seizes me at every word of her … “
Central House of Journalists: last performance
Nikitsky Boulevard, 8a
In 1921, Alexander Blok performed here with poetry. The audience, however, did not like them, and someone even shouted from the audience that Blok died as a poet. No one suspected that the poet came out to the audience for the last time in his life. He was only 40 years old, but despite his young age, he had serious health problems. On August 7, 1921, Blok died in his Petrograd apartment from inflammation of the heart valves.
The building that became the venue for his last performance has a rich history. At the end of the 18th century, the house was part of the Gagarin princes’ estate, but after the fire of 1812, nothing remained of the estate except the outbuilding, which was rebuilt into the main house. Princess Anastasia Shcherbinina became the new owner. It was she who gave the ball, at which for the first time Alexander Pushkin and Natalia Goncharova were present as spouses.
Shcherbinina sold the estate to Countess Golovina, from whom the entrepreneur Alexander Pribylov, who traded in chintz, bought it a little later. After the revolution, the house was nationalized, and in 1920, at the request of Vladimir Mayakovsky, it was given to journalists, calling it the House of Press. It became the central house of the journalist in 1938.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.