Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2004

Published In

Slavic Review


In this introduction to the articles written by Jenifer Presto and Stuart Goldberg that focus on the psychosocial tensions between Russian modernist poets of slightly different generations, Sibelan Forrester explores the distinct options of filiation and affiliation as ways to imagine or describe poetic choices, modeling textual relationships on the familial or genetic, with the interest in personal psychology characteristic of the period. These modes of thinking are reflected in creative writing, diary entries or poetry, as well as in scholarship. The anticarnal bent of Russian symbolists, particularly of Aleksandr Blok, springs from the religious philosophy of the time. Imagining poetic creation as maternity turns out to be less threatening-at least, for a male poet-than treating it as paternity, which raises other concerns too close to home. Both Presto and Goldberg suggest that Blok rightly considered the Acmeists, especially Osip Mandel'shtam, a threat to his own poetic intentions.


This work is freely available courtesy of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasaian Studies.