- Author: Boris M. Gorelik
- УДК / UDK: 8220.127.116.11
- About the author:
: Boris M. Gorelik, PhD in History, Senior Researcher, Institute for African Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences, Spiridonovka 30/1, 123001 Moscow, Russia.
ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8839-3889.
In the past ten years, biographers of Valery Bryusov pointed out that it was necessary to continue research into the life of M.V. Wulffahrt, to whom Bryusov dedicated the fourteenth sonnet of his Fatal Set. Her image permeated Bryusov’s love poems in 1914–1915, the period when he was particularly close with her. The history of their relationship was thoroughly researched by analysing their correspondence preserved in the Russian State Library. However, until now, scholars were unable to extend her biography past the end of her love affair with Bryusov. The task has been accomplished by using sources from other archives in Russia and South Africa, which are being introduced into scholarly discourse for the first time, as well as genealogical databases and interviews with Wulffahrt’s family members. It has been established that Wulffahrt immigrated to South Africa in the 1920s but did not give up the hope of returning to her native country and meeting Bryusov’s widow. The article explains the reason for the ‘anxious obsessiveness’ of Wulffahrt’s attitude towards Bryusov, which has been repeatedly noted by scholars, and sets the emotional background of the relationship between the poet and his last muse. The most important events in Wulffahrt’s life are identified and described, and several aspects of her relationship with Bryusov as well as her presence in his work that were mentioned in the literature on this subject are clarified.
- Keywords: Bryusov; Wulffahrt; Russian symbolism; crown of sonnets; The Fatal Set; Silver Age.
- For citation:
Gorelik, B.M. “Valery Bryusov’s ʽUnnamed’ Muse. A South African Epilogue.” Literaturnyi fakt, no. 3 (17), 2020, pp. 281–291. (In Russ.)
Briusov, V. Pis'ma neofitsial'nogo korrespondenta. Pis'ma k zhene (avgust 1914 – mai 1915) [Letters of the Unofficial Correspondent. Letters to His Wife (August 1914 – May 1915)]. Moscow, Vodolei Publ., 2015. 230 p. (In Russ)
Briusov, V.Ia. Sobranie sochinenii: v 7 t. [Collected Works: in 7 vols.]. Moscow, Khudozhestvennaia literatura Publ., 1973–1975. (In Russ.)
Gorelik, B.M. Rossiiskaia immigratsiia v Iuzhnuiu Afriku: vchera i segodnia [Rus- sian Immigration to South Africa: Yesterday and Today]. Moscow, Institut Afriki RAN Publ., 2007. 255 p. (In Russ.)
Lavrov, A.V. “ʽSanatornaia vstrecha’ (Mariia Vul'fart v zhizni i stikhakh Valeriia Briusova)” [“ʽMeeting at Sanatorium’ (Maria Wulffahrt in the Life and Poetry of Valery Bryusov)”]. Lavrov A.V. Simvolisty i drugie: Stat'i. Razyskaniia. Publikatsii [Symbolists and Others: Essays. Discoveries. Publications]. Moscow, Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie Publ., 2015, pp. 178–186. (In Russ.)
Molodiakov, V.E. Valerii Briusov. Bud' mramorom [Valery Bryusov: Be Like Marble]. Moscow, Molodaia gvardiia Publ., 2020. 541 p. (In Russ.)
Prieditis, A. “Kurzemskie druz'ia Briusova” [“Bryusov’s Courland Friends”]. Daugava, no. 5, 1986, pp. 112–114. (In Russ.)
Sobolev, A.L. Leteiskaia biblioteka: Ocherki i materialy po russkoi literature XX veka [The Lethean Library: Essays and Materials on Russian Literature of the 20th Century], vol. 2: Strannoliubskii perebarshchivaet: Skonapel' istoar [Strannolyubsky Goes Overboard: Cе Qu'on Appelle Histoire]. Moscow, Truten' Publ., 2013. 440 p. (In Russ.)
Die Ausbürgerung deutscher Staatsangehöriger 1933–45 nach den im Reichsan- zeiger veröffentlichten Listen, b. 1, ed. Hepp Michael. München, NewYork, London, Paris, Saur, 1985. 782 p. (In German)