Realization of Solov’ev’s Philosophical Treatise The Meaning of Love in Pasternak’s Zhivago Poem “Winter Night”, The

Realization of Solov’ev’s Philosophical Treatise The Meaning of Love in Pasternak’s Zhivago Poem “Winter Night”, The

Sendelbach, Adonica

A connection with philosopher Vladimir Solov’ev’s Smysl liubvi (The Meaning of Love) emerges early in Boris Pasternak’s Doktor Zhivago (Doctor Zhivago) in a passage describing the intellectual pursuits of young Yurii, Tonia, and Misha: “The three of them had soaked themselves in The Meaning of Love and The Kreutzer Sonata and had a mania for preaching chastity” (40).1 The connection between Solov’ev’s and Pasternak’s works, however, does not rest on merely a single reference to one of them within the other. On the contrary, research such as Jerome Spencer’s “‘Soaked in The Meaning of Love and The Kreutzer Sonata ‘” has already shown thatYurii and Lara’s relationship resembles Solov’ev’s ideal love. While scholarship provides substantial evidence of Solov’ev’s philosophical influence on Pasternak’s self-proclaimed masterpiece, the topic has not yet been exhausted as Doctor Zhivago is rich with further examples of Solov’evian thought. Although the prose of the novel as well as its poetic collection, “written” by the protagonist, are briefly discussed, the poem “Zimniaia noch'” (“Winter Night”) studied in detail here provides a most compelling example of Pasternak’s ability to manifest Solov’ev’s philosophy in an artistic creation.

The Meaning of Love reveals Solov’ev’s philosophical views on ideal love, artistic creation, and the artist’s place within the universe. Solov’ev, both a philosopher and a poet, asserts that in general the vice of egoism can be conquered by love. Through egoism an individual is separated from other individuals as well as from the universe (Meaning 40; Sobranie 15). The individual fails to perceive the significance of others, for he or she differentiates himself or herself from others disproportionately so that the individual is everything and others are merely nothing (Meaning4S; Sobranie 17). In contrast, love results in the recognition in another person of the “absolute central significance” the individual earlier felt only in himself or herself. In other words, the one in love perceives the beloved to be just as important and valuable as oneself. Egoism is sacrificed in love as one transfers one’s “interest in life” to another (Meaning51).2

In sacrificing egoism, the individual, according to Solov’ev, is saved. That is, the individual does not lose his or her individuality along with losing egoism but preserves it. Solov’ev asserts that “The meaning of human love, speaking generally, is the justification and salvation of individuality through the sacrifice of egoism” (Meaning42) .3 Two people in love preserve each other’s individuality when they value, as Solov’ev terms it, the interests of the other as they do their own.

Furthermore, Solov’ev notes that the beloved, the “other” who abolishes the individual’s egoism, correlates with that individual. According to the philosopher, we should find that

possessing all that essential content which we also possess, it [the other] must possess it in another means or mode, in another form. In this way every manifestation of our being, every vital act would encounter in this other a corresponding, but not identical, manifestation [. . .].

A balance or parallel appears between two individuals in love, so that they may not be exacdy alike but nonetheless are equal to each other. Solov’ev uses other terms to describe this balance-“a complete and continual exchange, a complete and continual affirmation of oneself in the other, with perfect reciprocity and communion”-that emphasize the reciprocal nature of love (Meaning 46) .4

Solov’ev asserts that although various types of love result in an individual’s sacrifice of egoism, sexual love, which he defines as that between a man and a woman, brings about the most complete sacrifice of egoism because of its greater reciprocity. As a result, sexual love can also be considered the ideal form of love-or ideal love-that is both physical and spiritual.5 In contrast to other types of love, sexual love, resulting in a more comprehensive form of reciprocity, possesses the ability, in Solov’ev’s words, to lead “to the real and indissoluble union of two lives into one; only of it do the words of Holy Writ say: ‘They shall be one flesh,’ i.e., shall become one real being” (Meaning5l) .6 While not in favor of sexual love for the purpose of reproduction, Solov’ev rather envisioned the two individuals uniting in a balance of reciprocal halves: the division between the sexes is overcome as this union creates a “hermaphrodite” or “androgyne.” Thus, sexual or ideal love, unlike other types of love, results in an equal balance of two individuals transferring significance from one to the other with neither individual taking a more altruistic role in the relationship. Although significance is transferred in other types of love-for example, in nationalism-the transfer does not result in the equal balance of reciprocity that occurs in ideal love (Meaning 47-50; Sobranie 3: 19-21).

These reciprocal halves, the male and the female, as described by Solov’ev are both required to reinstate God’s image, and each half performs its own important function. Solov’ev asserts that:

Man can restore formatively the image of God in the living object of his love, only when at the same time he also restores that image in himself. However, he does not possess the power for this in himself, for if he possessed it he would not stand in need of restoration; and as he does not possess it in himself, he is obliged to receive it from God. Consequently, the man (husband) is the creative, formative principle, its author and source as regards his female complement, not in and for himself, but as the intermediary or channel of the Divine power. (Meaning 85-86)7

In other words, the male, according to Solov’ev, is the creative principle in the relationship, and his role is to interpret the “divine power” he finds in the female. In general, Solov’ev designates this creative principle found in the male “Logos” while the female’s contribution is called “divine wisdom” or “Sophia.” Just as the male possesses the ability to create, he must rely on the female in order to understand divine wisdom.8 As such, Solov’ev creates gender roles with specific responsibilities defined. Feminists can take little comfort in the fact that for Solov’ev the female, although equal to the male in importance for attaining ideal love, plays a passive role whereas the male’s is active.9

For Solov’ev, Sophia bears particular importance because she can lead people to vseedinstvo or total unity. Total unity, or universal harmony, a basic component of Solov’ev’s philosophy, serves as the ultimate goal for humanity. A human being should strive for greater unity with another human being, a unity that eventually contributes to universal unity, including both the material and the spiritual worlds. As a result, unity on a small scale contributes to unity on a larger scale, so that together different levels merge harmoniously.

Closely linked to the concept of total unity is sobomost’.10The term sobornost’is defined as “a whole comprising interparticipatory, independent, but organically interrelated parts […] ‘multiplicity-in-unity’ […] similar to general romantic notions of the relationship of unity in multeity […]” (Kornblatt and Gustafson 20). Solov’ev inherited the term from the Slavophiles, yet he distanced its usage from its initial relationship with the Orthodox Church. For the Slavophiles, sobornost’ was viewed as “an organic conception of ecclesiastical consciousness which […] internally, defined the Church not as a center of teaching or authority but as a ‘congregation of lovers in Christ.’ […] The Church is not an authority which can force obedience but a free union of believers who love one another” (Edie, Scanlan, and Zeldin 1: 161-62).11 Solov’ev’s application of the term, however, was not limited only to members of the Orthodox Church.

With sobarnost’, a unified whole consists of parts that retain their individuality, and, thus, a single part if altered can, in turn, change the whole. As a result, an individual part attains equal footing with the whole because the part has the power to influence the whole. Both total unity and sobarnost ‘demonstrate that, according to Solov’ev’s philosophy, individual components contribute to unity on a larger or universal scale. As such, the male and female work together in their respective roles to contribute to the principle of total unity, the ideal goal for the universe, as the male strives to recreate Sophia found in the female through his own artistic creation. Consequently, ideal love between two individuals puts sobomosl’into practice by manifesting the goal of total unity on a smaller scale.

Solov’ev argues that in order to contribute to the goal of total unity, the male and female must perceive the ideal within each other in a two-fold manner. That is, one not only must see the ideal as already existing within the earthly beloved, but also must idealize this beloved, so that with these dual actions love both ascends and descends, respectively (Meaning 92; Sobranie 46). In other words, ideal love results in both raising the beloved, a being of the material world, to the level of the spiritual and actualizing the ideal within the beloved or the material world. The ideal descends to become part of the physical world just as the physical is elevated to the ideal: a reciprocal “movement” occurs between the physical and the spiritual realms as they move closer to each other. Through this reciprocal assimilation of the physical and the spiritual, they appear to reflect each other. The physical and spiritual mirror each other on a vertical plane, just as the two lovers as equals mirror each other on a horizontal one while they grow to resemble each other.

Striving towards total unity, an individual can attain eternity, that is, immortality, since the spiritual union does not contradict the physical but rather transforms it. In contrast, spiritual love alone in Solov’ev’s opinion prevents an individual from attaining immortality, while he views purely physical passion without love as empty as solely spiritual love:

This exclusively spiritual love is quite obviously as much an anomaly as an exclusively physical love and as an exclusively earthly union. [. . .] True spiritual love is not a feeble imitation and anticipation of death, but a triumph over death, not a separation of the immortal from the mortal, of the eternal from the temporal, but a transfiguration of the mortal into the immortal, the acceptance of the temporal into the eternal. False spirituality is a denial of the flesh; true spirituality is the regeneration of the flesh, its salvation, its resurrection from the dead. [. . .] “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him: male and female created He them.” (Meaning 83-84)12

Just as the male and female, both physical reproductions of the image of God, blend the spiritual and the physical, the love between the sexes is an interpenetration of the spiritual and the physical realms. Thus, the individual can attain the immortality of the flesh or transcend the limitations of earthly time through union with another in ideal love (Meaning 101; Sobranie 50).13

Solov’ev asserts that when one joins another, one begins to understand not the “significance” found in egoism, but rather one’s significance as an integral part of the universe (Meaning 44; Sobranie 17). Thus, the unity of lovers corresponds to unity on a larger scale. Moreover, the philosopher asserts that the individual’s merging or union with another transfers to other levels within the universe as various levels work toward the goal of total unity. The philosopher notes, “But a proper realization of it [love] is, as we have seen, impossible, without a corresponding transformation of all outward conditions; i.e., the integration of individual life necessarily demands the same integration in the spheres of communal and universal life,” which he later refers to as “syzygetic” (Meaning 112-13).14 With this Solov’ev means that one must contribute to total unity not only through ideal love but also with other individuals on a social level which will further contribute to unity on the universal or cosmic level-total unity. In addition, the individual must transform his or her relationship with nature. If the individual enters into a harmonious relationship with nature as he or she has done with the beloved and other human beings, nature’s beauty can be made eternal through this individual (Meaning 115; Sobranie 59).

Elements of Solov’ev’s philosophical views on ideal love and artistic creation emerge in works by Pasternak, a former student of philosophy. Not surprisingly, the writer includes many of these elements in Doctor Zhivago.15 In this novel two intertwined motifs that call to mind Solov’evian philosophy in particular are sacrifice in connection with ideal love and that with artistic creation. Regarding the former, sacrificing egoism occurs not only in ideal love itself but also through it since Yurii foregoes remaining with Lara despite his love for her. Concerning artistic creation, the poet renounces himself and his personal happiness in order to fulfill his role or duty as an artist. He realizes he and Lara cannot continue together but will live on through his artistic creation.16 Thus, Pasternak builds upon the sacrifice of egoism found in Solov’ev’s essay to include a Christ-like sacrifice for a higher power and for art’s sake as seen throughout the prose and poetry of Zhivago. Another linkage between Yurii and Christ involves the protagonist’s surname, a Siberian surname in actuality, resulting from a Church Slavonic form. Pasternak took Zhivago, meaning “living,” from a line in a prayer, “You are truly Christ, son of the living God,” as noted in writer Varlam Shalamov’s personal papers.17

Yurii and Lara fulfill Solov’ev’s male and female roles of Logos and Sophia. Both contribute to artistic creation, for Yurii as a poet is a creator who mediates the divine message given to him through Lara. As Jerome Spencer notes, a merging of Yurii and Lara appears in Yurii’s thoughts regarding Lara as “‘his inward face'” in the “‘likeness of a girl […] Lara[.. .]'” (84-85). Hence, she exists as his other half. On a practical level, Lara is the one who, when they first move to Varykino together, urges Yurii at last to write down his poems for fear they will otherwise be lost. Lara is more active, as Spencer notes, than Solov’ev’s Sophia (80). Specifically, I perceive her as more actively participating in artistic creation and its preservation than Sophia, for had she not pressed Yurii to write down his poems, he may not have done so on his own. I disagree with Spencer, however, in his argument that she becomes passive in her relationship with Yurii when before she had been an active persona (84). Lara’s character is more complex than merely being active in certain relationships and passive in others. Before her relationship with Yurii, she does, in fact, attempt to be passive with her husband, Pasha. In particular, her endeavor to grant him power in the marriage by lowering her wedding candle is thwarted by Pasha’s lowering of his own candle. Perhaps the author is foreshadowing her willingness to allow Yurii to handle important decisions about their future later in the novel, for in Yurii she finds her Logos. That is, Pasternak may have perceived Lara’s passiveness with Yurii as fitting her female role in ideal love. Although Lara defers to Yurii, the reader should not forget her significance in inspiring and preserving art albeit not of her own creation: she is both active and passive in ideal love and artistic creation.

Regarding Lara’s role in artistic creation on the abstract level, Yurii realizes her special gift. In one passage, he marvels at her role as communicator: “You could not communicate with life and existence, but she [Lara] was their representative, their expression, in her the inarticulate principle of existence became sensitive and capable of speech” (391).18 Thus, Lara becomes the voice for life in Yurii’s world. In a later passage, he addresses Lara directly on her special talent when he recalls the night he first saw her and declares, “Often since then I have tried to define and give a name to the enchantment that you communicated to me that night, that faint glow, that distant echo, which later permeated my whole being and gave me a key to the understanding of everything in the world” (427).19Thus, Lara as Yurii’s “Sophia” becomes a link between the poet and the universal-a link through which they interconnect. Lara, who provides Yurii with divine wisdom, is a “fallen” woman whom the unscrupulous Komarovsky seduced when she was a teenager. While Yurii elevates his beloved, Lara, through art, her ascension appears more poignant because of her “fall.”20 Her “fall” accentuates her connection to earth though she is divine in her wisdom. Moreover, a parallel traverses the novel between Lara and Mary Magdalene as the “fallen” women raised by a “savior,” Yurii and Christ, respectively.21

Doctor Zhivago also indicates more clearly the divine role of woman as woman is paired with God. In talking with Lara, a female character, Sima, quotes Mary Magdalene as found in the Hymn of St. Kassiane sung in the Eastern Orthodox Church for Holy Week Wednesday matins. Mary inquires, “‘Who can fathom the multitude of my sins or the depths of Thy mercy?'” In reaction to these words, Sima exclaims, “What familiarity, what equality between God and life, God and the individual, God and a woman!” (415) .22 This quote recalls Solov’ev’s belief in woman or “Sophia” as divine wisdom in earthly form, for woman and God are placed on the same level. Similarly, equality between Yurii and a higher realm, that is, the universe, occurs earlier in the novel in a comparison between his reaction to his adopted mother’s (Anna Ivanovna’s) death and that to his own mother’s death long ago: “Now he was afraid of nothing, neither of life nor of death; everything in the world, all the things in it were words in his vocabulary. He felt he was on an equal footing with the universe” (87) .23 This comparison placing Yurii as an equal with the whole universe echoes the facet of sobornost’m which part equals whole since a part, the individual artist, contributes to the whole-total unity.

These instances of Lara’s and Yurii’s interconnection with a higher level, furthermore, recall Solov’ev’s descent of the ideal and ascent of the earthly. Pasternak often refers to the ideal not as “total unity” but rather “God.”24 A discussion of divine descent and earthly ascent occurs in the previously mentioned scene involving Sima. Her words concerning the Fall and the Resurrection (descent and ascent themselves), taken from the Feast of the Annunciation liturgy based on Luke 1:28-38, reveal a human being’s attempt to resemble God: “Adam tried to be like God and failed, but now God was made man so that Adam should be made God” (413) .25 In the words “Bog stanovitsia chelovekom” (“God was made man”), the divine’s descent appearsjust as the earthly’s ascent does in the words “chtoby sdelat’ Adama Bogom” (“so that Adam should be made God”) as Sima concentrates on the reciprocal nature of Christ’s birth and death. The chiasmus of man (Adam) and God, God and man, and its extension with the repetition of man (Adam) and God, underscores the pairing of opposites.26 The original Russian passage, in which the liturgy is directly quoted in addition to being merely paraphrased as it is in the English version, contains another chiasmus: the pairings of man and God, God and man (Adam) of “chelovek byvaet Bog, da Boga Adama sodelaet.” Along with these instances of heavenly descent and earthly ascent, Christian symbolism throughout the novel recalls Solov’ev’s merging of the divine and the earthly.27 Indeed, Christ exists as the unification of earthly human and divine God. The merging of the earthly and the divine in Yurii further strengthens the parallel made throughout the novel between the poet and Christ. One could argue that whereas Christ is the Word made flesh, Yurii is flesh made into words in the form of poetry.

Ascent and descent involving Yurii and Lara’s love appears in his poems at the end of the novel. The physical and the spiritual, both components of ideal love, merge in the poem “Winter Night,” which depicts intimacy between two lovers. Even though the two lovers remain anonymous, they likely represent Yurii and Lara. The act of lovemaking in the poem recalls the reciprocal relationship of Solov’ev’s ideal love. On the physical level an exchange takes place between the two lovers as a result of passion. An exchange between the earthly and divine occurs along a vertical line, while the earthly exchange between the two equal participants occurs along a horizontal one, as depicted in poetic lines involving crossings: “Skreshchen’ia ruk, skreshchen’ia nog, / Sud’by skreshchen’ia”) (“The crossing of arms, the crossing of legs, / The crossing of destiny”; 15-16). The crossing of arms and legs underscores the physical exchange, whereas the crossing of destiny emphasizes a spiritual exchange. One could argue that the lovers mirror each other on a spiritual level in their sacrifice of egoism. As such, the sexual act becomes not a spiritual fall but an elevation, for the physical act parallels the spiritual exchange of the lovers. The choice of the Old Church Slavonic form “skreshchen’ia”-“crossing”-rather than the Old Russian “skreshcheniia,” maintains metrical continuity and also stresses the union’s sanctity along with Christ as the “living God.” The horizontal and vertical exchanges intersect each other, thus forming a cross themselves and furthering the crossing motif. While Tolstoy chose Beethoven’s emotionally-charged Kreutzer Sonata, named for a violinist, for his attack on physical passion, the word “Kreutzer,” interestingly, resembles “Kreuz,” the German root for “cross,” which is so significant for Pasternak’s own philosophy regarding the intertwining of the physical and spiritual realms.28

These poetic lines further accentuate the crossing motif on a linguistic level through a chiasmus (“skreshchen’ia nog, / Sud’by skreshchen’ia [“the crossing of legs, / The crossing of destiny”]) in which the repetition of the word “skreshchen’ia” alternates with the nouns “nog” and “sud’by.” “Skreshchen’ia ruk” (“The crossing of arms”) serves as an extension of the chiasmus, so that two physical pairings balance the spiritual merging (Kustanovich 15).29 Crossing is a basic component of mirroring itself, for a mirror’s reflection and the original image reverse or cross: left becomes right, and right becomes left. As such, the crossing motif stresses the mirroring relationship between the two lovers, who are equal but “other” as asserted by Solov’ev. Thus, Pasternak adeptly weaves the crossing found in the poem’s imagery and symbolism within its linguistic structure.

These poetic lines reveal another level of interconnection between Pasternak’s art and Solov’ev’s philosophy. Depicting parts of the body rather than giving a person’s fuller description is an example of Pasternak’s frequent use of synecdoche. The structure of this trope in which a part represents the whole parallels the facet of sobomost’ in which part influences the whole. While literary scholars have categorized this device in Pasternak’s art as impressionistic, it may also be linked to sobornost’and, consequently, total unity. The couple, representing Lara and Yurii, manifests unity on the level of two individuals which, in turn, resembles unity on any level-even the universal: part bears significance on the whole by contributing to it. Thus, on the level of tropes, the poem’s philosophical symbolism is reflected within the writer’s use of particular words.

The poetic lines containing crossings emphasize a different type of harmony centering on the word “destiny.” While the lovers’ embrace, as seen in the crossing of arms and legs, hints at a physical union of two made one, the words in singular number, “Sud’by skreshchen’ia” (“The crossing of destiny”), in which the lovers share a single destiny, emphasize their merging into one on a spiritual level (Kustanovich 14-15).30 This phrase, which reveals a belief that a higher power deems they be together, calls to mind Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet. When inquiring about Pasha, Yurii himself makes a reference to this tragic duo:

“Tell me more about your husband-One writ with me in sour misfortune’s book,’ as Shakespeare says.”

“Where did he say that?”

“In Romeo and Juliet.” (401)31

The destinies of Yurii and Pasha as well as those of Tonia and Lara all intersect earlier in the novel when Yurii, while riding with Tonia, notices a candle burning in the window of Pasha’s room, where Lara stopped en route to the Sventitsky’s party. The candle was lit at the request of Lara, who prefers candles to other sources of light.32 After observing this candle, Yurii begins composing lines that later serve as the refrain for “Winter Night:” “A candle was burning on the table, / A candle was burning” (81).33 Accentuating this particular poem’s importance within the novel itself, this event reveals Lara’s ability to inspire Yurii’s art, albeit through a mundane request, early in the novel. The poem’s importance emerges again when it becomes one of the first poems Yurii preserves while at Varykino.

Light plays a role in an additional reference to crossing in the word “cruciformly.” More specifically, the movement of a shadow, the result of candlelight that was windblown, creates the shape of an ascending cross:

Na svechku dulo iz ugla,

I zhar soblazna

Vzdymal, kak angel, dva kryla

Krestoobrazno. (25-28)

On the candle a draft was blowing from the corner,

And the heat of temptation

Was raising, like an angel, two wings


The earthly “zharsoblazna” (“heat of temptation”) raises a shadow of heavenly wings, appearing angel-like and cruciform. Both the cruciform shape of the shadow and the heat of temptation recall the crossing motif found earlier in the description of the lovers’ embrace: perhaps those arms and legs form the wing-like shadow here.34 Although Konstantin Kustanovich attributes the wings to one of the lovers rather than the “heat of temptation” (17), I believe their rising parallels a sexual climax; the word “temptation” insinuates an immoral act, but here this act is redeemed through metaphysical references. The image in these poetic lines echoes the merging of the physical and spiritual in Solov’ev’s theory. The divine shadow is in fact a physical form. Its physical form, a cross, symbolizing Christ’s sacrifice of life, bears particular significance in the Zhivago poems. Moreover, the divine shadow here actually physically ascends as did Christ through resurrection. The dual nature of the cruciform shadow emphasizes Zhivago’s raising the fallen Lara along with the relationship to a higher level through his art as well as enhancing the connection between the artist’s sacrifice and that of Christ. Both attain immortality. The crucifix symbolizes Christ’s “crossing” or blending the physical and spiritual realms as God in human form just as the lovers have merged in both a physical and spiritual union. The cross motif further emphasizes the interconnection between the two lovers-Yurii and Lara-and Christ as their own wishes are sacrificed to a higher power’s will. That is, the cross symbolizes, as E. Endrius notes, an inescapable fate (96). The concept of a predestined fate appears earlier in the collection in the poem “Hamlet” when the actor asks to let “this cup” pass. Thus, passion in “Winter Night” is two-fold, physical and spiritual, i.e., Solov’ev’s ideal love and Christ’s passion.

The cross and its connection with blending the spiritual and the physical, God and humanity, also emerge at the novel’s end in Lara’s performing the sign of the cross repeatedly during Yurii’s wake, held in what was formerly Pasha’s room, where the candle inspiring the refrain of “Winter Night” blazed. Lara, moreover, attempts to remember her conversation with Pasha but remembers only the candle burning. The narrator wonders if Lara surmised that Yurii saw her candle and began writing the poem, which again reminds the reader of her importance in the creation of Yurii’s art. His wake and the sign of the cross further emphasize the poet as a human being fulfilling a divine mission. The cross itself frequently appears in many of the novel’s poems depicting Christ’s last days and, thus, underscore the theme of sacrifice in connection with the artist who “writes” these poems.

In “Winter Night” the reader finds additional examples of Solov’ev’s philosophy, especially the concept of equal yet “other.” Examination reveals that the poem itself comprises two mirroring halves with a demarcation between stanzas four and five. Not incidentally, at this particular juncture the lines containing “crossing” appear. These halves within the poem symbolize the merging of two lovers as one-equal but other as advocated by Solov’ev. Although numerous examples of these halves’ mirroring each other have already been researched, most noteworthy for the present study is the refrain’s pattern in stanzas: refrain, none, refrain, none, none, refrain, none, refrain.35 Moreover, the stanzas with the refrain include at least one reference to location, “on the table,” whereas the stanzas without the refrain involve motion. Stanza one is an exception in that it comprises both motion and location. Stanzas three and six containing an additional locative case prepositional phrase, “na stekle” (“on the glass”) and “v snezhnoi mgle” (“in the snowy haze”), respectively, further support the poem’s mirroring structure as these stanzas are equidistant from the poem’s demarcation line. The repetition of “a candle was burning” in the refrain parallels the repetition found in mirroring. Mirroring can also be seen in the repetition of the word “MeIo” (“It was snowing”) in the first and last stanzas. This ring construction, furthermore, calls to mind the circles on the frosted window within the poem along with drawing a parallel to the circular nature of birth, death, and rebirth, or resurrection, found in nature and in the poem’s symbolism.

The various types of motion within the poem form antipodes, yet they do not strictly conform to the equal balance between the halves. While motion towards a named destination is present in stanzas one and two in “Vo vse predely” (“To all limits”-note that “predel” has a dual meaning of “fate”) and “Letit na plamia” (“Flies to the flame”), motion away from a place (as well as toward a named destination) occurs in stanza seven, “Na svechku dulo uz ugla” (“On the candle a draft was blowing from the corner”). Stanza seven marks another noteworthy phenomenon regarding motion, for the upward motion found in “I zhar soblazna / Vzdymal” (“And the heat of temptation / Was raising”) opposes several previous instances of downward motion, which encircle the lines concerning crossing: “Na ozarennyi potolok / Lozhilis’ teni,” (“On the illuminated ceiling / Shadows were falling,”) in stanza four, “I padali dva bashmachka / So stukom na pol” (“And two little shoes were falling / On the floor with a thud”)-which together contain antipodes, ceiling and floor-and “I vosk slezami s nochnika / Na plat’e kapal” (“And wax like tears from the night lamp / Was dripping on the dress”) in stanza five. The lines “Na ozarennyi potolok / Lozhilis’ teni” create a complex merging of opposites in the fact that “lozhilis’,” here meaning “were falling,” denotes a downward motion, which opposes the upward location of a “ceiling.”36 The juxtaposition of semantics appears as not only another example of Pasternak’s innovative art but also a precursor to later shadow imagery. Specifically, the cruciform image that rises in stanza seven both echoes the lofty shadows on the ceiling and contrasts the downward motion of their “falling.” These examples echo Solov’ev’s theories on ascent and descent.

As motion contributes to the pairing of antipodes, similar pairings emerge elsewhere within the poem. Although alternating masculine and feminine rhymes frequently occur in Pasternak’s poetry, one could argue that such a pattern in this poem serves to reinforce the motif of paired opposites. Incidentally, in Russian this pattern is called “perekrestnyi” with a root similar to “cross.” The snowflakes swirling around the window resemble midges flying toward a flame, united in a metaphor in which the candle seems to attract them both. Building upon this pairing, the mention of February and summer, time frames for snowflakes and midges, respectively, introduces the notion of opposition to these groups. Moreover, the coldness of the weather juxtaposes the heat of the candle as well as that of temptation. Worth noting is that midges call to mind Komarovsky since the root “komar” means “mosquito,” akin to midges, whereas the reference to “strely” (“arrows”) on the glass links with Strelnikov, or Pasha. Unlike snowflakes and midges, other pairings involve similar components or twins, such as two shoes and two wings-not to mention the intertwining arms and legs. These particular pairings, consisting of an item and its reversal, involve the physical twins of arms, legs, and shoes, which fall or move downward in contrast to the wings, which raise up the couple. Earlier the twin pairings of arms and legs balanced with one other metaphysical reference, the crossing of fate.

Solov’ev’s belief in ideal love’s ability to make humans immortal, or transcend time-and space-is present in various images in “Winter Night.” For instance, the poem opens with the snowstorm’s traversing all of space, and it concludes with its spanning all of February, symbolizing great duration or perhaps even eternity (Endrius 93; Petrova 132) .37 The poem’s imperfective verb forms emphasize the concept of duration over time as does the phrase “I to i delo” (“Continually”) along with the previously mentioned repetition of “It was snowing” in the first and last stanzas. Furthermore, the fire imagery, found in every stanza, appears most frequently as the refrain’s candle, which underscores a feeling of continuance across time. Fire, i.e., the candle, calls to mind eternity, or rather immortality, on another level. While fire can symbolize the heat of physical passion, fire or light has often symbolized Christ-linked in particular with the Transfiguration in this study. Just as both types of passion, the physical and the sacred, contribute to attaining total unity, the fire imagery, by conjoining all the stanzas, represents unity on a smaller scale as do the lovers. The reader should note again that the candle that inspired this poem was lit at the request of Lara, bearer of divine wisdom, and the unity of the fire imagery parallels the total unity in Solov’ev’s philosophy. Perhaps Lara in requesting “light” was searching for ideal love, which she later finds with Yurii, for the request was made while she was en route to shoot Komarovsky and end their sordid affair.

Even though an individual’s ability to create unity within ideal love occurs in Pasternak’s art, additional Solov’evian theories, namely the importance of finding unity with one’s surroundings, contribute further to the study at hand. In the novel, for example, when Yurii returns to Yuriatin after the partisans have pressed him into service, he travels to Lara’s apartment in search of her. Although she is not there, he observes the same atmosphere and mood in her room as on the street, for the outside world parallels the inside-a common motif in Pasternak’s art where the natural world often resembles or mimics the poet’s world indoors and vice versa.38 Furthermore, nature features prominently in Pasternak’s writings, which often personify it, and as such, Pasternak along with Yurii immortalizes nature in his art. Having observed the parallel between the inside and outside worlds, Yurii begins to feel a bond again with the outside world and other people, a bond that he had not experienced during the lengthy period with the partisans. Hence, through nature and on a social level Yurii finds unity with others, which Solov’ev would consider an essential step in reaching total unity. Yurii’s bond with other people, which parallels the bond he feels with Lara, appears subdy but strongly in his relationship with society through the poems he leaves behind.

The novel itself leads humanity closer to total unity, for the relationship preserved in art exemplifies ideal love. Just as Solov’ev argued that through ideal love the individual attains immortality, Lara and Yurii attain a Christ-like eternal life as Yurii’s art, the product of his love with Lara, immortalizes their relationship. Both Lara and Yurii sacrifice ego yet retain their individuality in their love and in the poems. Yurii’s depiction of their love unites them with others since the reader connects with individual characters through whom a writer expresses a universal human experience: although one may feel disconnected from others, one can unite with others through shared experiences in life and in art. Whereas the philosopher believed all levels of unity to be necessary for total unity, the author believed ideal love at times could be attained in social isolation as it is at Varykino (Spencer 87). In my opinion, unity with others through art redeems Yurii, who sometimes retreats from social interaction, for the ideal love he shares with Lara demonstrated in his art provides an example of total unity to society.

Yurii and Lara’s daughter, Tania, is the physical immortalization of them, so that again Pasternak departs from Solov’ev, who did not favor biological reproduction.39Perhaps Pasternak valued a child as Sophia’s creation: whereas women create life, men can only create art, the imitation of life. Jane Gary Harris notes that Yurii “accepts Life’s commands as does Lara, but in his role as creative artist, he imitates Life, for his art is a mimetic form of Life’s Creation; and in so doing, he is inspired by the ‘representative of Life,'” Lara (411). In otherwords, he becomes passive in his submission to a higher will, allowing him to create his art as inspired by Lara. Yurii’s submission to this will can be seen within the novel itself in his description of artistic creation when he feels “that the main part of the work was being done not by him but by a superior power which was above him and directed him, namely the movement of universal thought and poetry […] he felt himself to be only […] the fulcrum needed to make this movement possible” (437) .40 One could argue that Yurii takes on a more passive role than Logos, for he actually recognizes that he is a conduit for a divine power’s will in the creation of art in addition to following Lara’s suggestion to write down his poems.41 In contrast, Lara, as previously noted, plays a more active role in the creation of art than Sophia. As such, Yurii and Lara, by exchanging Solov’ev’s gender roles with regard to activity and passivity, move closer to an androgynous whole than what Solov’ev described with Logos and Sophia. Furthermore, in playing a part in art’s creation as deemed by a higher power, both Yurii and Lara attain immortality.

The novel’s Christian symbolism underscores immortality through artistic creation. Pasternak’s thoughts on art’s ability to preserve life are found in the novel itself which reveals that “art had two constant, two unending concerns: it always meditates on death and thus always creates life” (90) .42 Pasternak’s second autobiography mentions immortality through art in a reference to his 1913 paper “Simvolizm i bessmertie” (“Symbolism and Immortality”) in which “although the artist is of course mortal like everyone else, the joy of living experienced by him is immortal and can be felt by others through his work, centuries after his death, in a form approximating to that of his original, intimately personal experience” (Essay 69) .43 Loosely based on his life, Pasternak’s works, especially Doctor Zhivago, immortalize his own personal experience. Likewise, Yurii and Lara live on after death through Yurii’s poetry just as Solov’ev asserted that ideal love can preserve an individual who then can transcend human life’s limitations. The placement of Yurii’s poems at the novel’s end emphasizes the fact that his art endures after he has died in the prose section.

The artist, as Pasternak and as Yurii, has found immortality through his art which, inspired by ideal love, leads humanity closer to total unity by setting an example. The study of Solov’ev’s philosophy makes a deeper understanding of Pasternak’s art possible. In turn, Pasternak’s exploration of Solov’ev’s ideas not only enables the reader to comprehend those ideas more fully but also expands upon them and adds life to them. Indeed, in Pasternak’s use of Solov’evian philosophy, the fields of literature and philosophy appear as reciprocal halves, much like Logos and Sophia, whose mutual exchange elevates them to a greater understanding for the reader.

1 English quotations from the novel are from Hayward, Harari, and Guerney’s translation. I have substituted, however, my own translation of the poem “Winter Night,” in which I preserve the essence of the original Russian at the expense of form. The original text and my translation are included at the end of this essay.

“Etot troistvennyi soiuz nachitalsia Smysla liubvi i Kratserovoi sonaty i pomeshan na propovedi tselomudriia” (Sabrante 3: 42). All Russian quotations from the novel and its poetry are from this source.

This event appearsautobiographical as Pasternak reveals in Okhrannaiagramola (Safe Conduct) : “There is a circle of mistakes made by the infant imagination, childish perversions, youthful fastings, a circle of Kreuzer Sonatas and of sonatas written against such sonatas. I too have been in that circle and tarried there for shamefully long” (49). “Est’ krug oshibok mladencheskogo voobrazhen’ia, detskikh izvrashchenii, iunosheskikh golodovok, krug Kreitserovykh sonat i sonat, pishushchikhsia protiv Kreitserovykh sonat. Ia pobyval v etom krugu i v nem pozorno dolgo probyl” (Sobranie 4: 178).

2 “Bezuslovnoe tsentral’noe znachenie” and “zhiznennyi interes” (Sobranie 21). All instances of pre-1918 letters “jat” and “i” have been transliterated from Solov’ev’s original Russian, respectively, as “e” and “i,” and hard sign at word end has been dropped from transliterations as it is in modern Russian.

3 “Smysl chelovecheskoi liubvi voobshche est’ opravdanie i spasmie individual ‘nosti chrez zhertvu egoisma” (Sabrante 16).

4 “imeia vse to sushchestvennoe soderzhanie, kotoroe i my imeem, imet’ ego drugim sposobom ili obrazom, v drugoi forme, tak, chtoby vsiakoe proiavlenie nashego sushchestva, vsiakii zhiznennyi akt vstrechali v etom drugom sootvetstvuiushchee, no ne odinakovoe proiavlenie [. . .]” and “polnym i postoiannym obmenom, polnym i postoiannym utverzhdeniem sebia v drugom, sovershennym vzaimodeistviem i obshcheniem” (Sabrante 18-19).

5 Judith Deutsch Kornblatt notes that Solov’ev interprets Plato’s Eros as a bridge connecting humanity with spirituality by transforming the human into the immortal. Thus, love reconciles the earthly and the heavenly realms (42-43). Also noteworthy is that Solov’ev sees the uniting of the divine and the human, attainable by all humans, as occurring with each act of sexual love (44).

6 “k deistvitel’nomu i nerazryvnomu soedineniiu dvukh zhiznei v odnu, tol’ko pro nee i v slove Bozh’em skazano: budut dva v plot’ edinu, t.e. stanut odnim real’nym sushchestvom” (Sobranie 22). Noteworthy is the fact that Solov’ev limits ideal love to a female-male relationship in which the two participants play an equal role but exist “in adifferentform,” i.e., are physically different. Solov’ev did not consider homosexuality under the category of ideal since its participants are of the same “form” or sex.

7 “Chelovek mozhet zizhditel’no vozstanovliat’ obraz Bozhii v zhivom predmete svoei liubvi tol’ko tak, chtoby vmeste s tern vozstanovit’ etot obraz i vsamom dele; a dliaetogo on u samogo sebia sily ne imeet, ibo esli b imel, to ne nuzhdalsia by i v vozstanovlenii; ne imeia zhe u sebia, dolzhen poluchit’ ot Boga. Sledovatel’no, chelovek (muzh) est’ tvorcheskoe, zizhditel’noe nachalo otnositel’no svoego zhenskago dopolneniia ne sam po sebe, a kak posrednik ili provodnik Bozhestvennoi sily” (Sobranie42)

8 For a reaction to this theory by Solov’ev’s sister, a writer herself, see Nancy L. Cooper’s article on Poliksena Solov’eva, “secret Truths and Unheard-of Women: Poliksena Solov’eva’s Fiction as Commentary on Vladimir Solov’ev’s Theory of Love” (Russian Review: An American Quarterly Devoted to Russia Past and Present 56.2 [1997]: 178-191).

9 Edith Clowes notes a weakness in Solov’ev’s reverting to traditional gender roles with regard to his argument. That is, she observes that this un ion of “an ideally androgynous higher self becomes less thinkable, because that higher self is modeled in the image of a clearly male God who creates an implicitly female world [. . .]” and that “Man is the mediator and conduit of divine force to the female complement, again affirming a hierarchical rather than a mutual, egalitarian structure [. . .]” (123-24).

10 Since no appropriate English equivalent exists for the word “sobornost'” I will simply refer to it henceforth by its transliterated form.

11 Solov’ev, not in line with the Church’s dogma, adapted the concept of sobornost’for the pantheistic realm (Edie, Scanlan, and Zeldin 3: 60-61).

12 “Eta iskliuchitel’no-dukhovnaia liubov’ est’, ochevidno, takaia zhe anomaliia, kak i liubov’ iskliuchitel’no-fizicheskaia i iskliuchitel’nozhiteiskii soiuz. [. . .] Istinnaia zhe dukhovnaia liubov’ ne est’ slaboe podrazhanie i predvarenie smerti, a torzhestvo nad smert’iu, ne otdelenie bezsmertnago ot smertnago, vechnago ot vremennago, a prevrashcheniesmertnagovbezsmertnoe.vospriiatievremennagovvechnoe.Lozhnaia dukhovnost’ est’ otritsanie ploti, istinnaia dukhovnost’ est’ eia pererozhdenie, spasenie, voskresenie. […] ‘V den’, kogda Bog sotvoril cheloveka, po obrazu Bozhiiu sotvoril ego, muzha i zhenu sotvoril ikh'” (Sabrante40-41).

13 Peter UIf Møller notes that Pasternak’s inclusion of Kreutzer Sonata and The Meaning of Lave together in the novel comes as no surprise as the latter was Solov’ev’s rebuttal to the former. While Solov’ev did not favor sexual reproduction, he did not support sexual abstinence as Tolstoy did, which appeared to Solov’ev as “‘a negative moralizing'” (284). Møller explains that some of Solov’ev’s readers misinterpreted his message of abstinence from purely physical sex as complete agreement with Tolstoy although the former certainly did not oppose a physical union within the context of a spiritual connection (291).

14 “No eia sobstvennoe osushchestvlenie nevozmozhno, kak my videli, bez sootvetstvuiushchago preobrazovaniia vsei vneshnei sredy, t.e. integratsiia zhizni individual’noi neobkhodimo trebuet takoi zhe integratsii v sferakh zhizni obshchestvennoi i vsemirnoi” (Sabrante 57). For a detailed etymology of the term “syzygy” and Solov’ev’s use of it, see Clowes (122-23).

15 Father Nikolai, Yurii’s uncle, serves as the spokesperson for total unity within the novel (Møller 287).

16 The first poem in the Zhivago collection, “Gamlet” (“Hamlet”), in particular depicts the artist’s sacrifice of ego to fulfill a higher power’s will. For more on this topic, see Nils Åke Nilsson’s “Life as Ecstasy and Sacrifice: Two Poems by Boris Pasternak” (Pasternak: A Collection of Critical Essays. Ed. Victor Erlich. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1978. 51-67).

17 “Ty esi voistinu Khristos, Syn Boga zhivago” (2).

18 “S nimi[zhizneiisushchestvovaniem] neFziarazgovarivat’.aonaikhpredstavitel’nitsa, ikh vyrazhenie, dar slukha i slova, darovannyi bezglasnym nachalani sushchestvovaniia” (SobranieS: 386).

19 “Chasto potom v zhizni ia proboval opredelit’ i nazvat’ tot svet ocharovaniia, kotoryi ty zaronila v menia togda, tot postepenno tuskneiushchii luch i zamiraiushchii zvuk, kotorye s tekh por rasteklis’ po vsemu moemu sushchestvovaniiu i stali kliuchom proniknoveniia vo vse ostal’noe nasvete blagodaria tebe” (Sabrante 3: 420).

When Yurii first saw Lara the night her mother attempted suicide, he noticed something “vulgar” transpiring between her and Komarovsky, which reminded him of his discussions with Tonia and Misha mentioned early in this article. Nevertheless, soon afterwards he thinks of her and the future and here, later in the novel, admits Lara relayed some kind of universal wisdom to him that night.

20 In this regard, Pasternak’s work resembles Solov’ev’s early gnostic writings on Sophia (originally for his dissertation yet too radical for acceptance) not only as Agia Sophia, divine wisdom, but also as Sophia Prouneikos, Wisdom the Whore, as Maria Carlson notes (58). As such, Sophia and Lara mediate between the earthly world and the divine.

21 Lara appears to undergo a spiritual awakening after her fall, which contradicts Tolstoy’s view that the fallen, particularly women, cannot rise again (Spencer 79).

In contrast, a fallen woman as key to salvation often appears in Dostoevsky’s work, which Igor’P. Smirnov links with Pasternak’s novel, especially Brat’iaKaramazavy (The Brothers Karamazov). Even the significance of “life” for Dostoevsky is underscored in a character’s name, for “Zosima” is the Greek equivalent to the Russian “zhivoi,” the nominative case form for “zhivago” (154). Dostoevsky supposedly based the character Alesha on Solov’ev (Edie, Scanlan, and Zeldin 3: 56).

22 “‘Grekhov moikh mnozhestva, sudeb tvoikh bezdny kto issledit?'” and “Kakaia korotkost’, kakoe ravenstvo Boga i zhizni, Boga i lichnosti, Boga i zhenshchiny!” (Sobranie 3: 408). The fact that this first set of words, based on the Biblical passages Luke 7:36-50, is sung during Holy Week underscores Yurii’s connection with Christ and the theme of sacrifice in the novel.

23 “Seichas on nichego ne boialsia, ni zhizni, ni smerti, vse na svete, vse veshchi byli slovami ego slovaria. On chuvstvoval sebia stoiashchim na ravnoi noge so vselennoiu [. ..]” (Sobranie3: 89).

24 Pasternak’s ideal as “God” may reflect Viacheslav Ivanov’s influence on the writer, especially the essay “Simvolika esteticheskikh nachal” (“The Symbolics of Aesthetic Principles”). This essay discusses the ascent from earth of the male Apollo as tempered by the descent to earth of the female Aphrodite (linked with Kant’s concepts of the sublime and the beautiful), which results in the chaos of the androgyne Dionysus, needed for artistic creation (823-30). Interestingly, Ivanov attributes the positive reunion of the heavenly with the earthly to the female who descends or falls as does Lara.

25 “Adam khotel stat’ Bogom i oshibsia, ne stal im, a teper’ Bog stanovitsia chelovekom, chtoby sdelat’ Adama Bogom (‘chelovek byvaet Bog, da Boga Adamasodelaet’)” (Sobranie 3: 407). This passage is found in the second to the last sentence of icos two of the liturgy. The Feast of the Annunciation, celebrated on March 25/April 7, occurs around Eastertime. Hence, the first announcement regarding Christ’s incarnation nearly coincides, in the calendar year, with his earthly death and subsequent resurrection, further reinforcing the concept of descent and ascent, birth and death, as united.

26 The fact that God appears between the first two pairs in the phrase “ne stal im” (“did not become Him,” which is not included in the English translation) creates a pivot that does not appear in the chiasmus’s extension as only the first pair is repeated.

27 Kornblatt notes that the “The Incarnation in Jesus Christ proved to Solov’ev the possibility of the embodiment of spirit” (44).

28 Again, Pasternak’s work links with Solov’ev’s early gnostic writings in which Christ redeems and raises Sophia Prouneikos by becoming, as Carlson asserts, “her consort (syzygos) on the marriage bed of the Cross […].” For Solov’ev, the union of Christ and Sophia, occurring at the History’s end, results in a new heaven and earth of divine humans (60).

29 Kustanovich’s article extensively covers the symbolism of the inner and outer worlds within this poem.

30 Sharing Solov’ev’s view of the spirituality of physical love, Pasternak perceived physical love as sacred: “The motion that leads to conception is the purest thing in the universe. And this purity alone, triumphant so often down the ages, would suffice for everything else by contrast to reek of utter filth” (Safe Conduct 50). “Dvizhen’e, privodiashchee k zachat’iu, est’ samoe chistoe iz vsego, chto znaet vselennaia. I odnoi etoi chistoty, stol’ko raz pobezhdavshei v vekakh, bylo by dostatochno, chtoby po kontrastu vse to, chto ne est’ ono, otdavalo bezdonnoi griaz’iu” (Sobranie4: 179). N.B. This excerpt appears in the same section as the excerpt on Pasternak’s youthful circle of mistakes in footnote 1.

31 “Rasskazhi mne pobol’she o muzhe. ‘My v knige roka na odnoi stroke,’ kak govorit Shekspir.”

“Otkuda eto?”

“Iz Romeo i Dzhul’etty.” (Sobranie 3: 395)

32 Kornblatt asserts that Solov’ev, influenced by Orthodox dogma, especially the Transfiguration on Mount Tabor, interprets Plato’s image of light in love as transformative (38). The Transfiguration, celebrated in the Orthodox Church on August 6, appears in the poem immediately preceding “Winter Night,” “Avgust” (“August”). Kornblatt further argues that the Orthodox interpretation of the Transfiguration “allows for an incarnation of spirit into man through light, to become light. The bridge-builder connects Heaven and earth, not merely redeeming flesh, but deifying it” (47). Thus, light plays a significant role in transforming the human into the divine. Smirnov, moreover, details the link between Pasternak’s work and Raphael’s painting The Tranfiguration (68-69).

The significance of light in Pasternak’s philosophy is also noted by Clowes, who observes that both Pasternak and Solov’ev perceive “images of light as the key to higher meaning. Indeed, for Pasternak, images of light contain the very essence of the concept of ‘force’ [sila]” (274). Clowes’s observation appears in a chapter that covers philosophical discourse and literary purpose in Pasternak’s art.

When Pasha lowered his candle at the wedding, this act, perhaps passive, could also represent his recognition of Lara’s spiritual superiority.

33 “Svecha gorela na stole, / Svecha gorela” (Sabrante 3: 82).

34 The image of wings arises in the previously discussed passage in which Yurii imagines he has an inward face resembling a girl. In that scene, Yurii notes the times he observed the setting sun only to feel as if light (note again the important symbol of light) was piercing him: “It was as though the gift of the living spirit were streaming into his breast, piercing his being and coming out at his shoulders like a pair of wings” (343). “Tochno dar zhivogo dukha potokom vkhodil v ego grud’, peresekal vse ego sushchestvo i paroi kryl’ev vykhodil iz-pod lopatok naruzhu” (Sobranie 3: 339). N.B. The “living spirit” or “zhivago dukha” echoes the protagonist’s surname.

The wing motif appears again when Lara claims Yurii has wings to soar while she, with wings to protect her young, is still anchored to the earth (Doctor 435; Sabrante 3: 429). Perhaps Pasternak, as noted by Spencer, envisioned her as soaring through Yurii’sart. (84).

35 See Endrius’s article for a more detailed examination of these and other mirroring elements in this poem as well as a study of phonemic structure and repetition. The latter, along with a study of the symbolism of light as connected to the divine and the artist, can be found in T.S. Petrova’s article.

36 My interpretation of non-vertical motion differs from that of Endrius (93). Note that a more common meaning for “lozhilis”‘ is “were lying,” which involves low positioning rather than downward motion.

37 With regard to space, Endrius notes that stanzas four and five, which contain only imagery of the interior world with no references to the storm outside, appear in the exact middle, or interior, of the poem far from its beginning and end (94).

38 For more information on this topic, see my earlier work on Pasternak, Mirroring as Structure and Concept: Pasternak’s Sestra-inoia zhizn” [My Sister-Life] and Doktor Zhivago [Doctor Zhivago] (Diss. The Ohio State University, 1997. Ann Arbor, Michigan: UMI, 1997), 212-20. Susanna Witt also links mimicry in Doctor Zhivago with other Solov’evian texts in Creating Creation: Readings of Pasternak’s Doktor Zivago [Doctor Zhivago] (Diss. Stockholm University, 2000. Stockholm Studies in Russian Literature 33. Stockholm: Almqvist och Wiksell International, 2000), 114-21, and in “Mimikriia v romane Doktor Zhivago [Mimicry in the Novel Doctor Zhivago]” (Vkrugu Zhivago: Pasternakovskii sbornik [In Zhivago’s Circle: Pasternakian Collection]. Ed. Lazar Fleishman. Stanford Slavic Studies vol. 22, Stanford: Berkeley Slavic Specialties, 2000. 87-122).

39 Solov’ev, however, saw that all creativity, both creative acts as well as reproductive ones, owe their existence to Eros (Kornblatt 43).

40 “Chio glavnuiu rabotu sovershaet ne on sam, no to, chto vyshe ego, chto nakhoditsia nad nim i upravliaet im, a imenno: sostoianie mirovoi mysli i poezii [. . .] on chuvstvoval sebia tol’ko [. . .] opornoi tochkoi, chtoby ona prishla v eto dvizhenie” (Sabrante3: 431).

41 The concept of sacrificing one’s will to a higher power’s for the sake of art can be found in Ivanov’s essay on aesthetic principles, where the author argues “a person, having lost his personal will and having lost himself, finds his everlasting true will and becomes a passive instrument of the living God in him […]. Then for the first time one wills creatively: for to will creatively means to will without will” (my own translation), “chelovek, utrativshii svoiu lichnuiu voliu, sebia poteriavshii, nakhodit svoe predvechnoe istinnoe volenie i delaetsia stradateFnym orudiem zhivushchego v nem boga [. ..] Togda vpervye volit tvorcheski: ibo volit’ tvorcheski, znachit volit’ bezvol’no” (830). Note the phrase “living God,” which echoes the origins of the protagonist’s surname.

42 “iskusstvo vsegda, ne perestavaia, zaniato dvumia veshchami. Ono neotstupno razmyshliaet o smerti i neotstupno tvorit etim zhizn'” (SobranieS: 91-2).

43 “khotia khudozhnik, konechno, smerten, kak vse, schast’e sushchestvovaniia, kotoroe on ispytal, bessmertno i v nekotorom priblizhenii k lichnoi i krovnoi forme ego pervonachal’nykh oshchushchenii mozhet byt’ ispytano drugimi spustia veka posle nego po ego proizvedeniiam” (Sobranie4: 320).


Carlson, Maria. “Gnostic Elements in the Cosmogony of Vladimir Soloviev.” Russian Religious Thought. Ed. Judith Deutsch Kornblatt and Richard F. Gustafson. Madison, WI: The U of Wisconsin P, 1996. 49-67.

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