The Russian Literature is a great example of the intelligence, brightness and insight of its people. As any other cultural activity in this Eurasian country, the Russian literature has been evolving throughout the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries respectively. In fact, during the 18th century the Russian literature was in its golden age thanks to the magnificent literary representation of many writers such as Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Leon Tolstoy and Alexander Pushkin; to mention a few. However, the start of the Russian literature comes from the early 17th century with several Anonymous masterpieces such as the Praying of Daniel the Immured (Молитва Даниила томятся в изоляторе) , Lives of The Saints (жития святых), a journey beyond the three seas (Путешествие за три моря) and the tale of Igor´s Campaign (Слово о полку Игореве.)
In the mid 17th century, the Old Russian literature changed to medieval Russian literature. This type of literature was characterized for combining different elements such as the pagan and Christian traditions and for using the Church Slavonic language as a new tendency. The Russian literature was strongly dominated by the grandiloquent and genre innovation of several brilliant writers such as Mikhail Lomonosov, Antiokh Kantemir, Aleksandr Sumarokov and Vasiliy Trediakovskiy. In 1830, there was a reform that consisted of using the Russian language for literary purposes. That is why Catherine the Great and Peter the Great are historic characters sturdily associated with the modernization and acculturation of Russian people. The 19th century was characterized for its ideas about suicide. This new tendency was quite popular in the Russian culture and society of this time due to many novels such as Anna Karenina, Crime and Punishment and Bednaia Liza. On the other hand, the 20th century was considered the silver age in the Russian literature because in this period the poetry reached its maximum splendor. It was a remarkably creative era in the history of Russian literature. In addition, plenty of artistic movements and poetic schools appeared into scene such as the Russian Futurism, Acmeism and the Mystical Anarchism. Unfortunately, the silver age ended after the Russian civil war. Here is a list of the most important writers in the silver age:
- Anna Akhatova
- Osip Mandelstam
- Alexander Blok
- Marina Tsvetaeva
- Boris Pasternak
During the Soviet Union in the 20th century, people in Russia began to create of new literature groups. As a big example we can mention the Oberiu movement.
The poetry was the most developed literary genre in Russia due to its original and fascinating style. In fact, the Russian poetry is quite original thanks to the big variety of ages and schools. During the early 18th century, the Russian poetry reached its maximum splendor because the literary art was only focused in poetry. That is why this period was known as the Silver Age in Russia. A large number of brilliant poets appeared into the scene in order to offer splendid master pieces of poetry to the public. As an example of these notable Russian minds we can mention Alexander Blok, Yevgeny Yevtushenko, Aleksandr Pushkin, Vladimir Mayakovskiy and Anna Akhmatova. The Silver Age was divided into three principal artistic movements that include the following:
This artistic movement was characterized for using the mysticism to create new artistic and innovative creations. The Russian symbolist poets were influenced by the French Symbolist poets.
The Acmeists had a vision completely different from the Symbolists. In fact, this artistic movement was created in opposition to the group of Symbolists. They did not believe that the mysticism can be used as a creative tool.
The futurism was an innovating artistic movement against past traditions and mysticism. Futurists were more interested about the urban life and the modern machines.
Anna Akhmatova was a skilled love poet who, through no choice of her own, became a witness to mass violence in Russia.
Regina Derieva is one of the outstanding writers of the contemporary Russian diaspora. Her poetry is fantastic.
Marina Tsvetaeva was inspired by the odic mode of Russian poetry and reflected its true power and strength.
Alexander Pushkin was a Romantic author considered to be the greatest Russian poet modern Russian literature.
Boris Leonidovich Pasternak
Boris Leonidovich Pasternak was awarded the 1958 Nobel Prize for Literature; he was a great Russian writer.
Aleksandr Blok was the best poet in the second wave of Russian Symbolists at the beginning of the 20th century.
Vladimir Mayakovsky was the poet, an unusual figure in art, not only in his own country but abroad.
Osip Mandelstam was a poet and essayist, and was regarded as one of the greatest voices of Russian poetry.
Andrei Voznesensky was a Soviet intellectual seen as a dissident in the West. His poetry was anti-regimen.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky was the most Russian of all Russian writers; he wrote psychological and spiritual novels.