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Russian Opera and the Symbolist Movement$
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Simon Morrison

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780520229433

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520229433.001.0001

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Scriabin and Theurgy

Scriabin and Theurgy

(p.184) Chapter 3 Scriabin and Theurgy
Russian Opera and the Symbolist Movement

Simon Morrison

University of California Press

The 1905 seminal work by Valeriy Bryusov, the virtual founder of the Russian Symbolist Movement, “The Holy Sacrifice,” captures the spirit of the Symbolist quest to free art from utilitarian aims and to fuse art and life. The flow hence inferred that the Symbolists should ideally become subject of their own works and should in effect live them out. Conservative enough to fall short of such a manifest practice, Bryusov left this task to the hands of the “mystic” school, which sought to form a bridge between art and real life. Alexander Scriabin represented the mystical strain, which took this practice to an extreme, experimenting with narcotics, attending séances, etc. Scraibin's Mysterium, originally intended to be a Wagnerian opera, eventually embraced all elements reflective of this mystic school— the scripture, philosophies of Nietzsche and Schopenhauer, the ecumenical religious thought of Vladimir Solovyov, etc.

Keywords:   The Holy Sacrifice, utilitarian aims, narcotic, Mysterium, Nietzsche, ecumenical religion

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