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Akim Volynsky and His Jewish Cycle

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Chapter Summary

Akim Volynsky began to publish in the Russian Jewish press in the 1880s. Three years before his death, Volynsky wrote a number of remarkable essays on Jewish themes, two of which, devoted to the Habima Theater, appeared in Zhizn' iskusstva (The Life of Art), a gazette where he headed the ballet section. The articles discuss Jewish identity and the Jewish People, and put forth unprecedented ideas, at least for the Russian-language press. Volynsky's entire life took place in the interim, between his modest debut in the Jewish press and his late infatuation with the Jewish theme. The central event of his life was his takeoff in Russian journalistic criticism, to which Volynsky transposed the same issues he had earlier announced in his Russian Jewish critical essays. Volynsky together with the Symbolist critic Merezhkovsky started the so-called re-evaluation of values.

Keywords: Akim Volynsky; Habima Theater; Merezhkovsky; Russian Jewish press; Russian-language press; Zhizn' iskusstva



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