Information about the author:
Anton V. Filatov
Anton V. Filatov, PhD in Philology, 1) A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Povarskaya 25 a, 121069 Moscow, Russia; Lecturer, 2) Lomonosov Moscow State University, Leninskie gori, 1/51, 119991 Moscow, Russia.
The article considers the influence of O. Wilde’s personality and works on N.S. Gumilev’s strategy of self-presentation, as well as on his artistic and journalistic texts. The hypothesis is put forward that the Russian poet in his youth consciously focused on Wilde’s and his characters’ behavior model, constructing the image of a dandy in an effort to compensate for his unattractive appearance. This strategy remained relevant for Gumilev until the end of his life, as indicated by the memoirs of contemporaries, who preserved the image of the poet, who wore an exotic deer dokha with a fur hat in post-revolutionary Petrograd in 1918–1921, as well as a London tailcoat. Interest in the lifestyle and manners of the Anglo-Irish writer was reinforced by Gumilev’s close attention to his work. This is evidenced by reminiscences and quotations from Wilde’s poems, critical essays, as well as his novel “The Picture of Dorian Gray” and the play “Salome”, which the novice poet uses in his letters to V.Ya. Bryusov and V. Arens, his own poems, and later in critical and literary reviews and papers. At the end of the article, it is suggested that the essay “The Decay of Lying” is one of the sources of Gumilev’s article “On Verhaeren” (1908), as well as of his fairy-tale poem “Northern Raja” (1908).