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Great Russian Writers: Alexander Blok
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Alexander Blok, poet and dramatist, was the greatest of the Russian Symbolists.
Blok was born on Nov. 28th, 1880 in St. Petersburg into a sheltered intellectual environment. Raised by his maternal grandparents, he began writing poetry at the age of five. For Blok, sound was paramount, and musicality is the primary characteristic of his verse.
His first collection of poems, Verses About the Lady Beautiful (1904) personifies divine wisdom as the feminine world soul. Shortly thereafter, Blok's romantic expectation of other worldly fulfillment had been transformed into a concern for the human suffering around him.
Blok soon rejected what he termed the sterile intellectualism of the bourgeois symbolists and embraced the Bolshevik movement. He felt doubly betrayed by his literary colleagues, and then by the Bolsheviks, who scornedhis work. The consequent alienation plunged him into a melancholy withdrawal that contributed to his premature death.
Blok's preeminent work of impressionistic verse was his final composition - The Twelve (1918) written amidst the chaos of the revolution.
Blok died on August 7, 1921, and is considered to have initiated the Post-Revolutionary era of Russian Literature.