Apartment of Fyodor Sologub

             Sedmaya Liniya (Seventh Line) 20

 

             Another location for evening merriment was the apartment of the writer Fyodor Sologub, who lived with his wife on Vasilievsky Island. Sologub was part of the symbolist circle and was a friend of Blok; he was present at the premiere of The Puppet Show. He also wrote a letter of consolation to Meyerhold after the first few performances, urging him not to lose heart because of the negative reviews of the play.

 

Sologub with his wifer Blok and Sologub
Fyodor Sologub with his wife   Blok and Sologub
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             Blok was frequently present at Sologub's gatherings, along with the actresses and several other writers and artists. As from the Tower, Blok and the actresses often walked home together from Sologub's in the snow. On one such walk, Blok explained the source of one of the images from The Snow Mask: “Blok was in good form, pronouncing his charming, funny words without end. He walked with Volokhova and exchanged phrases with me as I walked a little bit ahead. I answered at a half turn, and, not seeing his face, heard short and sporting jokes. We crossed the Neva…[and] began to talk about The Snow Mask, about the knight with dark chains on his steel hands [from the poem “Shadows on the Wall”]. 'I will show him to you; he is on the Winter Palace. I used to gaze at him when I went to the university,' said Alexander Alexandrovich.”

 

             Much of the poetry in The Snow Mask was indeed inspired by these delightful masquerading strolls through the city.

 

             Verigina explains how the social atmosphere surrounding The Puppet Show became parallel to and even more important than the art of the theatre itself: “How often we wandered through the streets of the snowy city… All of the theatrical events that seemed so important in their time have grown dim in my memory. Acting at the theatre, which I loved so much, now seems to me far less exciting and bright than that game of masks in Blok's circle. It is true that even at that time I did not look upon our meetings, gatherings, and strolls as mere entertainment. There is no doubt that others too felt the significance and creative value of it all, yet nonetheless we did not realize that the charms of Blok's poetry almost deprived us all of our real existence, turning us into Venetian masqueraders of the north.”

Valentina VeriginaValentina Verigina
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