Voloshin (real name – Kirienko-Voloshin) Maximilian Alexandrovich (1877 – 1932), poet, critic, essayist, artist.
He was born on May 16 (28 BC) in Kiev. The mother, Elena Otobaldovna (nee Glaser) was engaged in upbringing. Voloshin’s father died when Maximilian was four years old.
Begins to study in the Moscow gymnasium, and finishes the gymnasium course in Feodosia. Since 1890 he began to write poetry, Heine translated.
In 1897 he entered the law faculty of Moscow University, but after three years he was expelled for participating in student unrest. Decides to devote himself entirely to literature and art.
In 1901 he went to Paris, listened to lectures at the Sorbonne, the Louvre, studied in libraries, traveled – Spain, Italy, the Balearic Islands. Writes poems.
In 1903 he returned to Russia, met with V. Bryusov, A. Blok, A. Bely and other figures of Russian culture. Publishes his poems in different publications. In the summer of the same year, near Feodosia, in the village of Koktebel, he buys land and builds a house that very soon becomes a kind of “summer club”, whose “summer family” was populous and diverse: poets, artists, scientists, people of all kinds of professions, inclinations and ages.
His first wife, the artist M. Sabashnikova, who was fond of occultism and theosophy (this influence was reflected in his poems “Blood”, “Saturn”, the
In the winter in France, as a correspondent for the magazine “Becy”, he writes articles on contemporary art, reports on Paris exhibitions, reviews new books, published in various newspapers and magazines. One of the first he supports the work of young M. Tsvetaeva, S. Gorodetsky, M. Kuzmin, etc.
In 1910, criticism noted Voloshin’s new book “Poems, 1900-1910” as an event in literary life.
Before the First World War Voloshin published several books: translations, a collection of articles; continues to be enthusiastically engaged in painting. Before the beginning of the war he went to Switzerland, then to Paris. His new poems show “the horror of the disjointed times,” he protests against the world massacre in the series of articles “Paris and War”.
In 1916 he returned to Koktebel, giving lectures on literature and art in Feodosia and Kerch.
During the February Revolution, which did not cause him “much enthusiasm,” Voloshin was in Moscow and performed at parties and literary concerts. The October Revolution was accepted as a severe inevitability, as a test sent to Russia. During the Civil War, he strove to take a position “over the battle,” calling for “to be a man, not a citizen.” Living in the Crimea, in Koktebel, where “power” often changed, Voloshin saved both “reds” and “whites” from death, realizing that he was saving a man.
After the revolution, he created a cycle of philosophical poems “The Paths of Cain” (1921-23), the poem “Russia” (1924), poetry “The House of the Poet” (1927), “The Vladimir Mother of God” (1929). He works a lot as an artist, participating in exhibitions in Feodosia, Odessa, Kharkov, Moscow, Leningrad. His house in Koktebel Voloshin turned into a free shelter for writers and artists, in which his second wife, M. Zabolotskaya, helped him. In 1931 he bequeathed his house to the Writers’ Union.
Voloshin died of pneumonia on August 11, 1932 in Koktebel. He was buried, as he bequeathed, on the top of the seaside hill Kuchuk-Yanyshar.
A short biography from the book: Russian writers and poets. A short biographical dictionary. Moscow, 2000.