First published in Russian in 1921 and never translated, Andrey Bely's long narrative poem—considered to be one of the great achievements of Russian Modernism—is translated to English here. A poet, critic, philosopher, and novelist, Bely was a leading figure among the Russian Symbolists, and The First Encounter is thought to be his greatest work in verse. The poem is autobiographical and reflects turn of-the-century Moscow with its mixture of entrenched positivism and new spiritualistic trends, cultural variety and the upheaval of the time.
Originally published in 1979.
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