The Antiliterary Man

Richard Taruskin

in On Russian Music

Published by University of California Press

Published in print December 2008 | ISBN: 9780520249790
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520942806 | DOI:
The Antiliterary Man

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Rimsky-Korsakov once had the opportunity of earning a visit from a certain young man, a rendezvous that resonated of extreme emissions of ego, quite long into the future. The compositions written by the latter were, according to Rimsky, nonsensical. He liberally expressed his opinion, but that did not deter the young man from bursting into his egotistical rhetoric, predicting his eventual ascension and Rimsky's resultant regret for his ‘rash’ comments, words which partially manifested, albeit not serving so much the cause conceived by the young man. This young man was Sergey Diaghilev. This chapter outlines the contentious space between the two individuals, and the dynamics therein. As it is, it concentrates a tad more on Diaghilev's character. Diaghilev was one of what psychologists called “borderline dwellers,” with a strong impulse to write. Despite his future clout in the St. Petersburg cultural scene, he remained an object of ridicule to the Rimsky circle, elements of which guarded their mentor from contact with Diaghilev.

Keywords: Rimsky-Korsakov; Sergey Diaghilev; borderline dweller; St.Petersburg; cultural

Chapter.  5674 words. 

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

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