A blank sheet is best for writing

“The Tolstoys rented their first accommodation in Moscow on the corner of Prechistenka and Denezhny Lane in Prince Volkonsky’s house (now it is No. 3 on Maliy Levshinsky Lane).”

Perfect it is not, as we will move into building 1, flat 76 on Malyi Levshinksky Pereulok, but enough to evoke a sensitive and imaginative mind. It’s not necessary to be aware that the Tolstoys were called the ‘Wild Tolstoys’ in the high society of Moscow.

More interesting is a parallel with Andrei Bely’s famous novel-poem Petersburg. Bely was a member of the Symbolism movement, that started with a poem by Baudelaire entitled Le Spleen de Paris. At the time Petersburg was the capital of the imperial Russia and it experienced a turbulent year in 1905, Russia was in flames, the revolutionary spark (Iskra) was lightened, and the Russian fleet suffered a traumatic blow by the Japanese. It were the shadows in the aftermath of le fin du siècle playing against the flames of a redly lightened future.

Bely likely wrote many notes that were to form his Petersburg and The silver dove during his stay in Munich, Germany. Bely’s early works center around the theme of the city and Petersburg is all about the capital.

Now, I too will move away to find time and write, not solely about Moscow, but surely much thought and impressions will evolve around the capital of Russia. I say goodbey to three thousand years of separation between mind and the soul, the heart, and I enter a real of evident unity between our thoughts and emotions. I step forward into a progressive lineage of thought and destroy the Western thought that has gone astray from our nature. This drunkenness has given us great works of literature and for a small man like myself to drink from this fountain is a rare privilege. And thus with a humble but eager soul, eagerness not fed like Faust’s desires but by starvation, I leave and seek freedom of my soul.

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