BAL’MONT, Konstantin Dmitrievič

BAL’MONT, Konstantin Dmitrievič. Gumnišči, Vladimir gub. 15(3).6.1867 — Noisy-le-Grand near Paris 24.12.1942 (not 1943). Russian Symbolist Poet, Critic, Essayist, Novelist, and Playwright, interested in Theosophy and a Translator of Indian Classics. One of the most important members of the symbolic school in Russian literature. Son of Dmitrij Konstantinovič B., a nobleman and lawyer, and Vera Nikolaevna Lebedeva, born in the family estate. After gymnasium in Vladimit studied law at Moscow, but was expelled because of his leftist political activities. After unsuccesful suicide attempt he began his literary career in 1890. Fearing jail he emigrated in 1905, returned in 1913, but after the revolution, in June 1920 again left Russia and lived the rest of his life in France. At the turn of the century translated Kālidāsa’s and Aśvaghoṣa’s works and wrote an article analysing Kālidāsa’s works.

Publications: Many works of poetry (far ptitsa, or the Fire-bird, 1907) and translations from European languages (Ibsen, Shelley).

Kalidasa. Dramy. M. 1916; new ed. Ašvaghoša. Žizn Buddy; Kalidasa. Dramy. M. 1990.

Sources: W. Kasack, Lex. der russ. Literatur des 20. Jhdts. 2nd ed. Munich 1992; R.L. Patterson in H.B. Weber (ed.), The modern Encyclopedia of Russian and Soviet Literature 2, 1978, 75-85; *Bongard-Levin, “Indijskaja klassika v perevodah K. Bal’monta”, Vostočnyj al’manah 16, M. 1988, 588–601; *further material in the 1990 edition of his translations; long article with several pictures in Wikipedia.

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