УДК / UDK: 821.161.1.0

2021 №22

Author: Marina A. Arias-Vikhil
About the author:

Marina A. Arias-Vikhil — DSc in Philology, Leading Research Fellow, A.M. Gorky Archive, А.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Povarskaya, 25 a, 121069 Moscow, Russia.


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The Archives of A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences keep a record of the lecture of the Italian freemason, writer and journalist Arrigo Rizzini “Ideas and Dramas of Maxim Gorky,” read on March 13, 1903 at a meeting of the Literary and Philosophical Circle of the University of Rome. Rizzini prefaced the recordings of the lecture on the Gorky's work with an unexpected dedication: “I dedicate with brotherly love to Maria Feliksovna Zelenskaya and Vsevolod Vladimirovich Lebedintsev.” This early dedication reveals a very important, but little-known page in the history of the Russian revolutionary movement — its connection with Italian Masons and the secret assistance of Italian Masonic organizations to Russian emigrant revolutionaries. The story of V. Lebedintsev is well known, in particular, thanks to the story of Leonid Andreev “The Tale of the Seven Hanged,” where Lebedintsev was bred under the name of Werner. However, Lebedintsev’s connection with Italian Freemasons has so far remained out of sight of Russian researchers. The well-known fact of the execution of a militant Social Revolutionary under the name of the Italian Mario Calvino sheds light on the rather large-scale and effective activities of Italian Masons to legalize Russian revolutionaries in Russia and in Europe by providing them with passports of members of Masonic lodges (just in 1907 more than 100 passports were handed over, according to the results investigation by the Italian Ministry of the Interior). Masons, who were opponents of violent actions, saw in Russian revolutionaries, first of all, victims of autocracy and fighters for civil society, and not terrorists, as the case of M. Calvino testifies.

Keywords: A. Rizzini, V. Lebedintsev, L. Andreev, M. Calvino, M. Gorky, Italian Masons, “The Tale of the Seven Hanged.”
For citation:

Arias-Vikhil, M.A. “Italian Freemasons and the Russian Revolutionary Movement: Vsevolod Lebedintsev’s Story (about the Prototype of the Hero of ‘The Tale of the Seven Hanged’ by L. Andreev).” Literaturnyi fakt, 2021, no. 4 (22), pp. 136–145. (In Russ.) 


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