Aleksandr Blok’s Diary as the Key to the Mysterious Image of Jesus Christ at the End of The Twelve

Sergei Dotsenko

Abstract


The unexpected appearance of Jesus Christ at the end of Aleksandr Blok’s The Twelve has caused much debate among scholars. This essay attempts to discover a key to decoding this image in the light of a much-discussed remark in Blok’s diary: “A terrible thought from the present times: the problem is not that the Red Guards are ‘unworthy’ of Jesus Christ who walks with them now; rather, the problem is that it precisely He who walks with them, when an Other is needed”. This remark suggests that the author himself could not fully explain this controversial idea he introduced in the poem. In the light of this remark, this article reads the ending of the poem as Blok’s attempt to deconstruct the symbolism of the traditional image of Christ. For Blok, such an attempt was necessary because at the time of writing the old image of Christ was already obsolete for Blok, and the new meaning had not yet crystallized for him. As a result, we are presented with a puzzling, transitional image that stems from the author’s searching for a new meaning.

Keywords


Aleskandr Blok; image of Christ; symbol; desymbolization; diary

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References


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.25430/2281-6992/v8-177-194

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AvtobiografiЯ
Journal on Life Writing and the Representation of the Self in Russian Culture

Dipartimento di Studi Linguistici e Letterari
Via Elisabetta Vendramini 13
35137 PADOVA

ISSN: 2281-6992
Registrazione del Tribunale di Padova 23-04-2013, n. 2326 Registro della Stampa,
Variazione: Tribunale di Padova 27-10-2014, n. 3197 Registro della Stampa.

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