Russian Literature

The Scythians and The Rite of Spring: Stravinsky and Roerich

Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring (in French, Le Sacre du printemps) – the third ballet which Stravinsky composed for Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, after The Firebird (1910) and Petrushka (1911) – was written for the 1913 Paris season, and premiered just over a hundred years ago, on 29 May, in the newly-opened Théâtre des Champs-Élysées. The centenary of this most notorious…

Alexander Blok – ‘Night, street, street-light, drugstore’ (1912)

Alexander Blok (Александр Блок) (1880-1921) was the foremost of the Russian Symbolists, who changed the face of Russian letters from the late 1890s through until the Russian Revolution, leading Russian literature into a ‘Silver Age’ after the great works of the previous century. Chekhov died in 1904, and Tolstoy, over thirty years his senior, not until 1910. Tolstoy published his…

‘Silentium!’ by Fyodor Tyutchev

‘Silentium!’ by Fyodor Tyutchev

Silentium! Speak not, lie hidden, and conceal the way you dream, the things you feel. Deep in your spirits let them rise akin to stars in crystal skies that set before the night is blurred: delight in them and speak no word. – How can a heart expression find? How should another know your mind? Will he discern what quickens…