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Extra info for Maximilian Voloshin’s Poetic Legacy and the Post-Soviet Russian Identity
Many of these people were poets, writers, professors, and general public who were taught to appreciate great poetry. Crimea became the last hub of the Silver Age before it was split between emigration and Soviet avant-garde. Despite the traumas, privations, and dangers of the war, Crimea experienced an explosion of artistic, scientific, and cultural activities during 1918–1920. Scores of new literary societies, artistic exhibitions, journals, newspapers, and theaters opened. The new Tauria University drew some of the best scholars and scientists of all disciplines from Moscow, Saint Petersburg, and Kiev universities.
What made Biblical Naturalism so unusual was its iconoclastic and expressionistic naturalism. Voloshin combined the violent, accusatory, and sexually explicit discourse of the Jewish prophets Isaiah and Ezekiel (Russia as Wanton Jerusalem and Holy Whore) with the vitriolic rhetoric of Archpriest Avvakum (Russia’s suffering as a female Fool in Christ) and the telegraphic visual descriptions of mass executions (Russia as the mother of the victims). Voloshin’s Biblical Naturalism broke the literary and cultural canons of his time that forbade explicit sexuality in a religious context (Biblical texts excluded) and applied this tabooed discourse to Russia.
Both before and after 2014, Voloshin’s poems have appealed to all political parties, as both the government supporters and the opposition, now much diminished and derogatively referred to as the “fifth column,” claim him as their own. In some ways, the period of my study (1991–2013) stopped being contemporary and became a recent past. Yet the social, political, and national problems of this recent past are still present, even though they are temporarily overshadowed by the collective fear of a full-blown war with Ukraine.