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Absract: The article is devoted to the analysis of M. Voloshin’s oral stories in a biographical and literary context.In March 1918, the French humorous newspaper Le Cri de Paris published a retelling of Voloshin’s oral memoires, that amused the frequenters of the Parisian cafe “La Rotonde” where writers and artists gathered; his jokes also were published there. The poet’s story reminds a mystification: the audience mistook the performance of three concert participants, two men and a woman, for the performance of one transformer actor. At the same time, the article determines that the real source of the event was the concert tour of M. Voloshin, A.N. Tolstoy and I.V. Bystrenina in Crimea in July 1912. The article also provides other sources and evidence - Russian newspapers, memoirs. Anecdotal history is presented in the context of symbolist’s creation of life, developing the theme of duality and mystical transformation. The theme goes back to Hoffmann and then, in the 1920s, was reproduced in the story of M. Zoshchenko. Another part of the newspaper publication cited Voloshin's provocative joke, which actually refers to one of the central themes of his work in those years: a riot of machinery, the WW1 and the Revolution. These topics are discussed against the background of the Western European and Russian literature of 19th – early 20th century, dedicated to the rebellion of a Creature against its Creator (cf. Goethe, Hoffmann, M. Shelley, A. de Villiers de L’Isle-Adam, H. Ner, R. Rolland, A. Seuhl, K. Čhapek, A.N. Tolstoj); in addition, a broad Theosophical context is also involved, which served as an important source of Voloshin's historiosophical views.
Keywords: T.V. Balashova, M. Voloshin, A.N. Tolstoj, K. Čhapek, France, dance, circus, Russian symbolism, myth, duality, a riot of machinery, Theosophy
DOI: 10.31857/S241377150007803-6
Pages: 54-66
Author: Alexander Stroev
Information about the author: Affiliation: University Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris Address: France, Paris

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