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 Vladimir  Solovyov


Born:   January 16, 1853
Deceased:   July 31, 1900

Russian philosopher, religious thinker, mystic, poet, publicist, literary critic and translator

      

Vladimir Solovyov was at the origins of the Russian “spiritual Renaissance” of the early 20th century. Solovyov ‘s philosophy of universal unity is the synthesis of ideas of the West European and the Eastern teachings. His vision had great influence on the religious philosophy of Nikolay Berdyaev, as well as works by Symbolist poets, namely Andrey Bely, Alexander Blok and others.

Vladimir Solovyov, the son of the famous historian S. M. Solovyov, graduated from the Moscow University, defended the doctoral dissertation, and afterwards gave lectures there. However, in 1881 he quit his professor post and dedicated himself to scientific and literary activity. As a publicist and critic Vladimir Solovyov mostly contributed for the moderately liberal magazine Bulletin of Europe, and yet due to his anti-government protests and satirical verses, he got the reputation of a freethinker. In the later years of his short life the philosopher became deeply pessimistic; denying autocracy and capitalism, as well as revolutionary fight against them, he prophesied about the end of the word and the coming of Antichrist.

Vladimir Solovyov was an opponent of the Decadents, who became a target of his venomous articles and witty parodies in the 1890s.

In his youth Vladimir Solovyov was akin to Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Just like Dostoyevsky, he believed in the saving mission of Beauty; along with Truth and Goodness it’s the pledge of the future of “positive universal unity” - that perfect Christian-ethical condition of the mankind, when the separateness is over at all the levels of consciousness and being. Art is “the intermediary” in achieving this universal unity; thanks to the artist’s prophetic feat it must become “a true force that enlightens and transforms the entire human world”.

Vladimir Solovyov envisioned universal unity as a spiritual living being, an embodiment of the eternally feminine origin; its other images are the Soul of the World, Sofia, and the Maiden of Iridescent Gate. Solovyov's poetry, inseparable from his philosophical thought is imbued with symbols of this sort.

Vladimir Solovyov died on July 31, 1900 and was laid to rest next to his father's grave in the Novodevichy Cemetery, Moscow.


Tags: Vladimir Solovyov Russian Philosophers Russian Poets Symbolism  




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