Audrey Bely: A Critical Study of the Novels by J. D. Elsworth
Audrey Bely was one of the most innovative prose writers in Russian in the twentieth century. This book traces the development of his technique as a novelist from the early experimental Symphonies (1902-8) to the last novel, Masks, published in 1932. In the first two chapters of the book, Dr Elsworth explores Bely's theoretical writings on the aesthetic theory of Symbolism, and his association, after 1912, with the doctrines of Rudolf Steiner. Bely regarded art as an active force for the transformation of the human personality and the resolution of the crisis that he diagnosed in the culture of his time. Both the subject matter and the stylistic peculiarities of his novels have their origin in this particular philosophy of culture, and it is in this context that the novels are examined in the second half of the book. This book will be essential reading for all those interested in Bely and the wider subject of Russian Symbolist doctrine and practice.