Biography Balmont Konstantin Dmitrievich

(15.06.1867 – 23.12.1942)

He was born in an estate near the village of Gumnischi in the Vladimir province. I considered myself a descendant (along the line of the mother) of the Tatar prince, whose name was translated as “The White Swan of the Golden Horde”, and at the same time. He grew up in a wealthy noble family. The father of a zemstvo figure, most of all interested in nature and hunting, had no influence on his son. Mother acted in the local press, arranged literary evenings, amateur theatrical performances. It was she who introduced her son into the world of music, poetry, history, taught him to understand the beauty, which, according to Balmont, all his work would be saturated. A lot was written about the revolutionary moods of Balmont. Apparently, it was a tribute to fashion. So, in the years 1876-1884. the poet studied in the classical gymnasium of Shuya and was expelled for belonging to the “revolutionary” circle. Parents’ connections helped finish the gymnasium course in Vladimir (1886), and then enroll in the Faculty of Law of Moscow University, from where Balmont was again expelled and sent under secret police surveillance for participating in student unrest. In 1888, Mr.. again entered the university, but this time he throws lessons himself. The next year he tries to continue his education at the Demidov Yaroslavl Law School, but again refuses this idea, as he is increasingly determined in his literary vocation. In addition, the first marriage of the poet is sadly over. In 1890, he tried to commit suicide by throwing himself out of the window, after which a long treatment followed. But this leads to insight, which radically changed Balmont’s worldview. According to him, he “learned a magnificent fairy tale of life, understood its sacred immunity.” And when, finally, he got up, his soul became free as the wind in the field, no one was already over her, except for a creative dream, and creativity bloomed in violent color. “In the same year, Balmont’s first book, The Collection of Poems, was published in Yaroslavl. His first works, included in the book, were published back in 1885. in the magazine “Picturesque Review” (No. 48) and met, thanks to the populist moods, the sympathetic attitude of VG Korolenko. But the book of interest did not arouse criticism, but close people did not accept it. But despite this, Balmont began to engage in literary activity A true success Chal bring it transfers (Ibsen, Bjørnson, Brandes, Byron, Shelley, Calderon, Lope de Vega). On this basis, there is an acquaintance and rapprochement Balmont with a patron, an expert on Western literature, Prince A. I. Urusovym, which in many ways contributes to the expansion of the literary outlook of the young poet, and most importantly helps him “find himself,” to think about the nature of his talent. Using the means of Urusov, Balmont published two books of translations by E. Po (“Ballads and Fantasies”, “Mysterious Stories”).
Since the mid-1890’s. Balmont’s ever-growing, broad and noisy popularity begins. This is due to the highest flowering of his artistic talent and with the peculiar position that Balmont occupies in Russian symbolism. On the one hand, he becomes one of the leaders who have gained a rather scandalous fame, the “senior” Russian Symbolists (collections Under the Northern Sky, 1884, In Vain, 1895, Silence, 1898, program speech Elementary words about the symbolic poetry “, 1900), and on the other – it is clearer and closer to the reading public. As a result, both critics and readers perceived him as an innovator, who opened up new possibilities for Russian verse, which greatly expanded his portrayal, albeit at times even shocking (AI Urusov called “Burning Buildings” psychiatric document), but still “his”, not broken with the “habitual”, has a tradition. In addition, it was precisely for these years that the highest “surge” of Balmont’s revolutionary activity took place, which, in turn, contributed to the growth of his popularity in a radically inclined environment.
“Star” decade represents two stages of development of Balmont-symbolist, as if he embodied in himself one two different lines of the older generation. At first, an obscure yearning, a yearning for “something unearthly”, up to interest in the otherworldly “beyond the world”, rejection of reality and opposition to her dreams, fantasies, dreams, increased interest in the musicality of the verse, sound recording. Then, beginning with “Burning Buildings (Lyrics of the Modern Soul)” (1900) and further in the collection “Let us be like the Sun”, “Only Love, the Seven-Flower” (both 1903), turning the “elegiac” hero Balmont into its opposite. He becomes an active person, almost with an orgiastic passion, asserting in this world the aspiration to the Sun, fire, light (consonant with public moods favorite symbols of Balmont). But already in 1905 Balmont began to feel a “fracture” in the works of A. Blok, as evidenced by the collection “Liturgy of Beauty: Elemental Hymns” (1905) and in the collection “Birds in the Air: Songs of the Chant” (1908) ) and “The Round of the Ages.” The Vigilance (1909). The collections Zarevo Zor (1912), Ash (The Vision of the Tree) (1916) and Sonnets of the Sun, Sky and Moon (1917) are also slightly different. In 1915, Balmont publishes a theoretical sketch “Poetry as magic”, an original continuation of the declaration of 1900 “Elementary words about symbolic poetry.” It is becoming increasingly evident that Balmont repeats itself,
Balmont’s former power over the minds and hearts of contemporaries ended, but active creative work continued. A special role in his literary life is the numerous journeys. Contemporaries said that he traveled more than all Russian writers combined. In 18961897 years. he visited France, England, Belgium, Switzerland, Spain; in 1905 in Mexico and California. Living in 19061913 years. in Paris (as a political emigrant), he visited the Balearic Islands (1907), Egypt (1910), the Canary Islands, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Polynesia, Ceylon, India and...

New Guinea (1912). In 1916, Mr.. already from Russia goes to Japan. Essays on Mexico and the “transposing” of Indian myths compiled the book “Serpentine Flowers” (1910), essays on Egypt the book “The Edge of Osiris” (1914), impressions from Oceania, a poetic collection ” The white architect. The mystery of the four lamps “(1914), a trip to India was crowned with” retolds “of ancient Indian monuments. Many translations, which were the result of Balmont’s travels, in most cases were made from scripts (the poet believed he had studied almost a dozen languages.) True, some of them were exposed criticism for inaccuracy, but Balmont did not aspire to accuracy, it was important for him to convey the “spirit” of the original, as he feels it.
The poet also traveled a lot in his native Russia, the Volga, the Urals, Siberia… In April 1914 he first visited Georgia. Fascinated by it, he studies the Georgian language and creates one of the remarkable translations of the poem by Sh. Rustaveli “The Knight in the Panther’s Skin”, which he considers to be the best poem about love ever created in Europe (“the fire bridge that connects heaven and earth”).
Interest in the homeland of “ancestors” and friendship with the Russian-Lithuanian poet-symbolist Yu. Baltrušaitis as early as 1908 were crowned with translations of Lithuanian dainas. Balmont shares the fate of almost all representatives of Russian modernism, with the exception of its non-military line. Russian, or rather the Slavic idea, is certainly present in his work, throughout his life he defends the idea of ​​the spiritual unity of the Slavic peoples. In a number of his works there are folklore subjects, an exotic epic old man (the collection “Evil Charms”, 1906, “Firebird, Slav’s Piglet”, 1907, “Green Helicopter.” Kisses, 1909). But it is hardly possible to call him a people’s poet. The situation with Balmont’s revolutionary nature is also difficult. Humanistic views, democracy, manifested itself in his youth, lead in May 1901 to the fact that for public reading is not stipulated in the program of the poem “Little Sultan” (response to the dispersal of the student demonstration, which threatens the authorities), Balmont is deprived of the right to reside in the capital’s university cities for a period of 2 years. In 19051907 years. he collaborates with M. Gorky, writes a series of poems (though artfully very weak), glorifying “conscious brave workers” and exposing their oppressors (the collection of poems “Poems” (1906), banned by the police, and later “The Song of the Avenger” (Paris) , 1907) is prohibited to import into Russia). The February and October Revolution of 1917 Balmont also glorifies in his poems in the beginning (“Predvovedenie” and others), but “chaos” and “a hurricane of insanity” civil war categorically does not accept. He keeps to the authorities rather loyally speaks in the press, works in the People’s Commissariat for Education, prepares for publication poems and translations, lectures. But in the brochure published in 1918 “I’m a revolutionary or not?” states that the Bolsheviks are carriers of a destructive and overwhelming personality. He is convinced that the poet should be outside the parties, that the poet has his own ways, his destiny is more like a comet than a planet (that is, he is not moving in a particular orbit). Yu Baltrušaitis, who was a Lithuanian ambassador in Russia at that time, managed to organize a trip abroad for Balmont through A. Lunacharsky. June 25, 1920 Balmont left Russia forever. But in the brochure published in 1918 “I’m a revolutionary or not?” states that the Bolsheviks are carriers of a destructive and overwhelming personality. He is convinced that the poet should be outside the parties, that the poet has his own ways, his destiny is more like a comet than a planet (that is, he is not moving in a particular orbit). Yu Baltrušaitis, who was a Lithuanian ambassador in Russia at that time, managed to organize a trip abroad for Balmont through A. Lunacharsky. June 25, 1920 Balmont left Russia forever. But in the brochure published in 1918 “I’m a revolutionary or not?” states that the Bolsheviks are carriers of a destructive and overwhelming personality. He is convinced that the poet should be outside the parties, that the poet has his own ways, his destiny is more like a comet than a planet (that is, he is not moving in a particular orbit). Yu Baltrušaitis, who was a Lithuanian ambassador in Russia at that time, managed to organize a trip abroad for Balmont through A. Lunacharsky. June 25, 1920 Balmont left Russia forever. who was then a Lithuanian ambassador to Russia, managed to organize a trip abroad for Balmont through A. Lunacharsky. June 25, 1920 Balmont left Russia forever. who was then a Lithuanian ambassador to Russia, managed to organize a trip abroad for Balmont through A. Lunacharsky. June 25, 1920 Balmont left Russia forever.
In France, where the poet lived most of the rest of his life, he initially actively collaborates in the newspaper Paris News, the journal Contemporary Notes and other periodicals, regularly publishes (in different countries) books of poetry: “The Gift of the Earth,” “The Bright Hour (1921), “In the distant distance” (1929), “The Northern Lights” (1933), “The Song of the Worker’s Hammer” (1922), ” Blue Horseshoe “,” Light Service “(both 1937). In 1923 two books of his autobiographical prose “Under the new sickle” and “Air way” are published. Balmont works actively as an interpreter of Lithuanian, Polish, Czech and Bulgarian poets. In 1930 he published the translation of the “Lay of Igor’s Host”. Despite the fact that Balmont’s works of the 1920s-1930s contain negative assessments of revolutionary events, he is very sad for his motherland and daughter who remained in Russia (she is devoted to the 1905 collection Feynye Skazki). The last years of his life he practically did not write. He died in Noisy-le-Grand, near Paris.


Biography Balmont Konstantin Dmitrievich