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A.M. Gorky Institute
of World Literature
of the Russian Academy of Sciences

IWL RAS Publishing

A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature
of the Russian Academy of Sciences


Povarskaya 25a, 121069 Moscow, Russia



Types of publications

About the author:

Olga A. Blinova, PhD in Philology, Associate Member of the Research Units CREE EA4513, INALCO, Grands Moulins 65, 75214 Paris Cedex 13, France; GEO UR1340, University of Strasbourg, René Descartes 22, BP 80010, 67084 Strasbourg Cedex, France.


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On the basis of printed materials in Russian, part of the Merezhkovskys’ private library in Paris, a few biographical facts about Zinaida Gippius are specified, alongside dating the foundation of the aforementioned library. Thus, the article contributes to the study of the Russian-language part of D.S. Merezhkovsky and Z.N. Gippius’ Paris library. Of particular value to researchers of Russia abroad as a special phenomenon and Gippius’ works of the émigré period are her notes on the margins, allowing to reconstruct her reflection of certain literary facts. The article also restores the history of some entries in the Merezhkovskys’ home library. The study of library entries allows to clarify and establish the sources Gippius used for a short story about the Men-of-God sect He Has Descended (1907), the articles Bread of Life (1901) and Infatuation (1904) as well as the poems On Faith and Naked Thoughts (1902). On the basis of D.S. Merezhkovsky’s notes important additions to the creative history and interpretation of his novel Peter and Alexis from the Christ and the Antichrist trilogy, as well as the study L. Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, are made. The final conclusion reflects the particular importance of the Merezhkovskys’ library in Paris, its composition and the exact time of its formation for the study of Gippius’ works, considering a small number of her own testimonies about her creative process.

  • Keywords: Zinaida Gippius, Zinaida and Dmitry Merezhkovsky’s private Parisian books collection, National Library of France (BnF), Nikolai Barsov, Russian popular mysticism, Freemasonry, Russian literature in the late 19th — early 20th centuries.


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