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Michael Wachtel
Princeton University (Princeton, NJ 08540-5228)
A Biography of Viacheslav Ivanov (1866-1949), Russian Poet and Intellectual

A biography on the influential Russian poet and intellectual, Viacheslav Ivanov (1866-1949).

My project is to write the first biography ever of the poet and thinker Viacheslav Ivanov (1866-1949). Having studied Roman history in Berlin with Theodor Mommsen, classical archeology in Athens with Wilhelm Dörpfeld, and Sanskrit in Geneva with Ferdinand de Saussure, Ivanov returned to Russia in 1905 to become the guiding force behind the Russian Symbolist movement. Every poet of the time knew his work and valued his judgment. But beyond the poets, Ivanov profoundly influenced people as diverse as Vsevelod Meyerhold (the theater director), Aleksandr Skriabin (the composer), Nikolai Berdiaev (the philosopher) and Mikhail Bakhtin (the scholar). After emigration in 1924 he found a new circle of interlocutors including Martin Buber, Benedetto Croce, E.R. Curtius, Gabriel Marcel, and Jacques Maritain. My approach to Ivanov's life is not simply to tell the fascinating story of his intellectual development, but to do so against the background of the tumultuous era in which he lived.

Project fields:
Arts, General

Fellowships for University Teachers

Research Programs

$42,000 (approved)
$42,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2016 – 6/30/2017