Urthodox Beauty shows how Russian poets of the early twentieth century consciously adapted Russian Orthodox culture in order to create a distinctly religious modernism. Martha M. F. Kelly contends that, beyond mere themes, these writersdeveloped an entire poetics that drew on liturgical tradition. Specifically, Russian Orthodoxy held out the possibility of unifying spirit and matter, as well as a host of other dichotomies-subject and object, empirical and irrational, umena and phemena. The artist could produce a work of transformative and regenerative power. Using a range of crossdisciplinary tools, Kelly reads key works by Blok, Kuzmin, Akhmatova, and Pasternak in ways that illustrate how profoundly religious traditions and ideas shaped Russian modernist literature.
Martha M. F. Kelly is an assistant professor of Russian in the Department of German and Russian Studies at the University of Missouri, USA.