The Orthodox Nationalist: Valery Bryusov and the Mystic Anarchists


This week’s podcast from Dr Matthew Raphael Johnson is one of several he has made on the Russian Symbolists. The Symbolists, sometimes called Decedents, were a group of writers and metaphysicians in a state of rebellion against the modern world, industry and nominalism. They were a combination of Plato and Nietzsche in the most uncommon of ways.

In a world dominated by nominalism and positivism, the Nietzschean ubermensch was one who, living a quiet life in solitude, sought to have real communion with the life of the spirit. They were anarchists in the "mystical" sense. The "Mystic Anarchists," a group given its term by Gregory Chulkov, said that any idea that is organized and institutionalized no longer represents that idea. The moment something is given administrative form, it dies.

It’s great luminaries were Feodor Sologub, Andrei Belyj and an early expositor, the subject of this podcast, Valery Bryusov (1873-1924). Bryusov (pictured above) is the author of the eccentric "Republic of the Southern Cross" (Республика Южного Креста, 1918), "Urbi et Orbi" (Граду и Миру, 1903) and "The Altar of Victory" (Алтарь победы, 1913), all of which altered Russian literature at this very significant time. The desire was to destroy the mundane, reject the mass and show that Plato was an "ubermensch" after all.

Presented by Matt Johnson

The Orthodox Nationalist: Valery Bryusov and the Mystic Anarchists – TON 091316

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