2021 №20

Author: Alexander L. Sobolev
УДК / UDK: 821.161.1.0
About the author:

Alexander L. Sobolev, independent researcher, Moscow, Russia.

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


For the first time, ten letters of the writer Elena Mikhailovna Tager (1895–1964), referring to the early, least studied years of her life, are published. Among her correspondents are S.P. Milyukov, N.A. Rubakin, Viach. Ivanov and A.A. Blok. The meaning of the letters goes beyond the limits of the biography itself: for example, the letter to Ivanov contains an unknown evidence of the famous meeting of the Religious-Philosophical Society, dedicated to the exclusion of V.V. Rozanov. Letters to Rubakin contain details of the pre-war life of the Russian student-revolutionary diaspora in Switzerland. The publication is accompanied by a detailed commentary.

Keywords: biography of the writer; E.M. Tager; literary life; letters; publication of archival documents.
For citation:

Sobolev, A.L. “Revisiting Elena Tager ’s Early Biography”. Literaturnyi fakt, no. 2 (20), 2021, pp. 160–188. 


1. Aleksandr Blok v vospominaniiakh sovremennikov [ Alexander Blok in the Memoirs of His Contemporaries], vol. 2, comp., text prep. and comm. by Vl. Orlov. Moscow, Khudozhestvennaia literatura Publ., 1980. 546 p. (In Russ.)

2. “Vospominaniia E.M. Tager o Bloke” [“E.M. Tager’s Memoirs about Blok”], introd., publ. and comm. by Z.G. Mints. Trudy po russkoi i slavianskoi filologii. IV [Works on Russian and Slavic Philology. IV]. Tartu, 1961, pp. 296–303. (In Russ.)

3. Genis, V.L. Nevernye slugi rezhima. Pervye sovetskie nevozvrashchentsy (1920–1933): opyt dokumental'nogo issledovaniia: v 2 kn. [ Unfaithful Servants of the

Regime. The First Soviet Defectors (1920–1933): an Attempt of Documentary Research: in 2 vols.], book. 2: “Tret'ia emigratsiia” (1929–1933) [“Third Emigration” (1922–1933)]. Moscow, 2012. 815 p. (In Russ.)

4. Levin, L. Takie byli vremena [Such Were the Times]. Moscow, Sovetskii pisatel' Publ., 1991. 397 p. (In Russ.)

5. Maslov, G. Sochineniia v stikhakh i proze. Materialy k biografii [ Poetic and Prose Works. Materials for Biography], comp. by V.V. Nekhotin, I.G. Devyatyarova. Omsk, tipografiia “Zolotoi tirazh” Publ., 2020. 440 p. (In Russ.)

6. Nosova, A.G. “Tager Elena Mikhailovna. Fond 907” [“Tager Elena Mikhaylovna. Collection 907”]. Ezhegodnik rukopisnogo otdela Pushkinskogo Doma na 2012 god [Pushkin House Manuscript Department Annual for 2012]. St. Petersburg, Pushkinskii Dom Publ, 2013, pp. 986–989. (In Russ.)

7. Ogryzko, V. Severovedy Rossii: materialy k biograficheskomu slovariu [Russian North Scholars: Materials for a Biographical Dictionary]. Moscow, Literaturnaia Rossiia Publ., 2007. 558 p. (In Russ.)

8. Prishvin, M. Dnevniki. 1914–1917 [ Diaries. 1914–1917], text prep. by L.A. Ryazanova, Ya.Z. Grishina, comm. by Ya.Z. Grishina, V.Yu. Grishin. St. Petersburg, Rostok Publ., 2007. 607 p. (In Russ.)

9. Religiozno-filosofskoe obshchestvo v Sankt-Peterburge (Petrograde). Istoriia v materialakh i dokumentakh. 1907–1917 [ Religious and Philosophical Society in St. Petersburg (Petrograd). History in Materials and Documents. 1907–1917], vol. 2: 1909–1914, comp., text prep., introd. and notes by O.T. Ermishin, O.A. Korostelev, L.V. Khachaturian et al. Moscow, Russkii put' Publ., 2009. 600 p. (In Russ.)

10. Rozental', L.V. Neprimechatel'nye dostovernosti. Svidetel'skie pokazaniia liubitelia stikhov nachala XX veka [Unremarkable Authenticities. Testimony of an Early 20th Century Poetry Lover]. Moscow, Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie, 2010. 816 p. (In Russ.)

11. Sal'man, M.G. “Iz iunosheskikh let Eleny Tager (materialy k biografii, 1895–1924)” [“From Elena Tager’s Youth (Materials for the Biography, 1895–1924)”]. Unacknowledged Legislators. Studies in Russian Literary History and Poetics in Honor of Michael Wachtel, ed. by Lazar Fleishman, David M. Bethea, and Ilya Vinitsky. Berlin etc., Peter Lang, 2020, pp. 443–483. (In Russ.).

12. Samizdat Leningrada. 1950-e – 1980-e: literaturnaia entsiklopediia [Samizdat of Leningrad. 1950s – 1980s: Literary Encyclopedia], ed. by D. Severyukhin, comp. by V. Dolinin, B. Ivanov, B. Ostanin, D. Severyukhin. Moscow, Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie, 2003. 624 p. (In Russ.)

13. Shishkin, A.B. “Viach. Ivanov i Peterburgskoe religiozno-filosofskoe obshchestvo (materialy k postanovke temy)” [“Viach. Ivanov and the St. Petersburg Religious and Philosophical Society (Materials for Setting the Theme)”]. Viacheslav Ivanov. Issledovaniia i materialy. Vyp. 2 [ Vyacheslav Ivanov. Studies and Materials. Issue 2], ex. ed. N.Yu. Gryakalova, A.B. Shishkin. St. Petersburg, Pushkinskii Dom Publ., 2016, pp. 109–142. (In Russ.)

14. Shtal', E. Literaturnye Khibiny: entsiklopedicheskii spravochnik. 1835–2015 [Literary Khibiny: Encyclopedic Reference Book. 1835–2015], introd. by Yu.L. Voitekhovsky. Moscow, AIRO-XXI Publ., 2017. 1056 p. (In Russ.)