2023 Author: Leah Sherlock | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-27 12:28
The name of Alexander Blok is directly connected with one of the most interesting periods of Russian literature - the Silver Age, romantic, sublimely beautiful and just as tragic. His "The Stranger" entered the treasury of our classics as a visiting card of the poet, as a symbol of the dramatic incompatibility of high dreams, ideals and mundane vulgar reality. This conflict, the inability to reconcile "a white rose with a black toad", as Blok's contemporary great Yesenin wrote, became the cause of internal contradictions of many creative personalities, tragic and insoluble contradictions. The author of The Stranger himself did not escape them.
A little about the history of creation
The beginning of the new century was treated with caution and incredulity by Blok. "The Stranger", entering the poetic cycle "The pipe sang on the bridge", which is part of the cycle "The Terrible World", reflects the poet's tragic worldview as clearly as possible. The first Russian revolution and its brutal suppression, the ideas of mysticism hovering in the air, the intense spiritual search of the Russian intelligentsia, seeking to get out of the crisis - these are the socio-political prerequisites for the creation of the work. However, not only the cruel chains of the soulless world bind the throat. Blok experiences a spiritual drama of a personal nature. "The Stranger" was written under the impression of his break with his wife, Lyubov Dmitrievna. Their difficult relationship, in which Alexander Alexandrovich himself was largely to blame, who once tried to replace living reality, real feelings and family life with a literary and philosophical idea, eventually reached a dead end. Lyubov Dmitrievna was carried away by her husband's friend and colleague in writing - Boris Bugaev, whose writer's pseudonym (Andrey Bely) then thundered through literary Moscow and St. Petersburg. Her departure was extremely painful, which Blok himself recalled more than once. "The Stranger" tells about the state of hopelessness and despair, restlessness, homelessness that gripped the poet. He wanders around the cheap taverns of St. Petersburg, visits the railway station restaurant Ozerkov, a small dacha village near the northern capital.
As if having lost someone, Blok sits at the tables for hours, reluctantly sipping glass after glass of wine and peering into the surrounding life. And she is repulsively ugly and went: drunkards "with rabbit eyes", vulgar "ladies" with squealing instead of laughter, "tested", that is, hackneyed wits with their stupid, senseless jokes. And over this whole world of cynicism, venality, stupidity, depravity, the moon floats indifferently, a symbol of poetry, romanticism, and creativity. In such an environment, the poet lives, himself becoming like the inhabitants of this terrible world. And yet there is something that makes Blok different from all of them: the Stranger, the Mysterious Maiden, whoappears to him and which no one else from the regulars of taverns and pubs can see. His muse, mystery, dream, his savior, a mirage, which, for all its illusory nature, still does not allow it to sink to the bottom, the abyss completely.
Who is the mysterious maiden?
But really, who is she - "The Stranger"? Block verse, the text of which is known to every literate person, unwittingly encrypted in the spirit of symbolism. His main character is perceived both as a phantom and as a very real lady, albeit somewhat embellished with a romantic entourage. The prototype of the Woman in Silks is undoubtedly the heroine of Kramskoy's painting "Unknown" - the same mysterious, sophisticated and beautiful.
And the Swan Princess of Vrubel - the poet especially loved this painting. A photograph of the painting adorned Blok's office in Shakhmatovo. The legendary, beautifully tragic female images of Dostoevsky's novels, and above all Nastasya Filippovna from The Idiot, are also recognizable in the poem. And, of course, the new muse, to whom Alexander Blok devoted his strict chivalrous love, a stranger in a snow mask from a blizzard - Natalia Volokhova. All of them, each in their own way, transformed in the poetic consciousness of Alexander Alexandrovich, thanks to which we can enjoy the sublimely beautiful lines of his amazing poem.
The poem "The Stranger" is almost 107 years old. A lot, isn't it? And it, like good wine, does not age with time and is still loved by connoisseurs of true Poetry.
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