White Andrey is a pseudonym. The real name is Bugaev Boris Nikolaevich, the poet.
Born October 14 (26 N. s.) In Moscow in the family of a professor at Moscow University. He received a wonderful home education. He studied at the gymnasium of a major teacher L. Polivanov, where his outstanding humanitarian talents were manifested, manifested in the study of literature and philosophy. Among the Russian classics particularly appreciated N. Gogol and F. Dostoyevsky. In 1903 he graduated from the natural department of the mathematical faculty of Moscow University. Along with the study of the works of Charles Darwin and positivist philosophers, he was fond of Theosophy and Occultism, religious philosophy and poetry of Vl. Solovyov and the philosophical and poetic works of F. Nietzsche. At the same time, “I was serious about religious issues.”
He belonged to the symbolists of the “younger generation” (together with A. Blok, Vyach Ivanov, S. Soloviev, Ellis). In 1904 the first collection of poems “Gold in Azure,” supplemented by a special section “Lyrical excerpts in prose”. A. Bely was one of the theorists of Russian symbolism of the “second wave”, the developer of a new aesthetic worldview. Developing the thesis about music as the predominant form of art and the need to subordinate others to it, he tried to create a literary work according to musical laws: these are his four “symphonies”
The revolution of 1905-07 caused A. Bely to turn to reality, aroused interest in public issues. In 1909, the collections “Ashes” and “Urn” followed.
In 1912, together with his wife, the artist A. Turgeneva, he left for Europe, where he is fond of the mystical teachings of R. Steiner, the founder of anthroposophy. In 1914 he settled in the Anthroposophical Center in Switzerland, along with other followers Steiner takes part in the construction of the John’s Church. Here he finds war, and only in 1916 he returns to Russia.
In these years, prose works occupy the main place in his work. Among them, the most famous novel is “Petersburg” (1913 – 14, second edition – 1922). A. Bely was not hostile to the October Revolution, although he did not become its singer. In the post-revolutionary years, he taught classes in the theory of poetry with young writers in the Proletariat, published a journal, “Notes of Dreamers.”
In the 1920s, the stories “Kotik Letaev” (1922), “The Baptized Chinese” (1927), the historical epic “Moscow” were written.
The last years of his life A. Bely devoted to writing extensive memoirs, which are extremely interesting for history and literary criticism (“At the Turn of Two Centuries”, 1930, “The Beginning of the Century, Memoirs”, 1933, “Between the Two Revolutions,” 1934).