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2023 №28

Author: Marina Yu. Koreneva
About the author:

Marina Yu. Koreneva — PhD in Philology, Leading Research Fellow, Institute of Russian Literature (Pushkin House) of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Makarova Emb., 4, 199034 St. Petersburg, Russia.


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The diary of Z.N. Gippius dates back to the time of the Italian journey that she made in 1896 together with D.S. Merezhkovsky and A.L. Volynsky (Flekser). The trip was undertaken in order to collect material for Merezhkovsky’s “The Romance of Leonardo da Vinci” and included visits to places associated with da Vinci’s life. Starting with a tour of the village of Vinci, where Leonardo was born, the travelers reached Amboise and visited the Clos Luce castle, the last refuge of the painter. The diary entries with brief observations and characteristics of the things seen by Gippius allow us to trace (although not completely) the route of the journey, which was later reflected in Merezhkovsky’s novel as well as in Volynsky’s “Leonardo da Vinci.” At the same time these records allow us to understand the emotional component of the trip. It took place in the middle of the “crisis” in the love relationship between Gippius and Volynsky, which, however, is not directly reflected in her notes equally ironic both towards Merezhkovsky and Volynsky. In the absence of Gippius’ letters for this period the published diary becomes an important document, which (for all its laconicism) gives a general idea of the circumstances of a joint trip to Italy. Of particular interest are the numerous pencil drawings made by Gippius during the sightseeing.

Keywords: Z.N. Gippius, D.S. Merezhkovsky, A.L. Volynsky (Flexer), Leonardo da Vinci, Italy.
For citation:

“Z.N. Gippius. The Italian Diary. 1896,” introd. article, text prep. and comm. by M.Iu. Koreneva. Literaturnyi fakt, no. 2 (28), 2023, pp. 52–72. (In Russ.)


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