Resurrection of the Gods

Resurrection of the Gods

Dmitry Merezhkovsky


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Resurrection of the Gods (1900) is a novel by Dmitriy Merezhkovsky. Having turned from his work in poetry to a new, spiritually charged interest in fiction, Merezhkovsky sought to develop his theory of the Third Testament, an apocalyptic vision of Christianity’s fulfillment in twentieth century humanity. Resurrection of the Gods, the second work in the trilogy, is preceded by The Death of the Gods (1895) and followed by Peter and Alexis (1904). Well received internationally, The Christ and Antichrist Trilogy was largely ignored by Russian critics at the time of its publication, but has since been recognized as his most original and vital literary work. “This personage was already inspecting the Venus, with a cold, imperturbable composure, so different from Giovanni's personal agitation, that the lad could not but be struck with astonishment. He continued to gaze at the statue, but his consciousness now was entirely for the man by his side.” In Resurrection of the Gods, Merezhkovsky moves his groundbreaking vision of spiritual progress and the historical development of humanity to the world of the Italian Renaissance. The novel captures a pivotal moment in the life of Leonardo da Vinci: invited as an expert to appraise a recently rediscovered statue of Venus, the artist embarks down a path of self-discovery whereby the humanist ideals of the ancient world will reinvigorate his faith in art. With a beautifully designed cover and professionally typeset manuscript, this edition of Dmitriy Merezhkovsky’s Resurrection of the Gods is a classic of Russian literature reimagined for modern readers.


Dmitry Merezhkovsky:

Dmitry Merezhkovsky (1866-1941) was a Russian novelist and poet. Born in Saint Petersburg, Merezhkovsky was raised in a prominent political family. At thirteen, while a student at the St. Petersburg Third Classic Gymnasium, Dmitry began writing poetry. Soon, he earned a reputation as a promising young writer and enrolled at the University of Saint Petersburg, where he completed his PhD with a study on Montaigne. In 1892, he published Symbols. Poems and Songs, a work inspired by Poe and Baudelaire in which Merezhkovsky explores his increasingly personal religious ideas. In 1895, he published The Death of the Gods, the first novel in his groundbreaking Christ and Antichrist Trilogy. With these novels, Merezhkovsky was recognized as a cofounder of the Russian Symbolist movement. In 1905, his apocalyptic Christian worldview seemed to come to fruition in the First Russian Revolution, which he supported through poetry and organizing groups of students and artists. Formerly a supporter of the Tsar, Merezhkovsky was involved in leftist politics by 1910, but soon became disillusioned with the rise of the radical Bolsheviks. In the aftermath of the October Revolution, Merezhkovsky and his wife, the poet Zinaida Gippius, were forced to flee Russia. Over the years, they would find safe harbor in Warsaw and Paris, where Merezhkovsky continued to write works of nonfiction while advocating for the Russian people. Toward the end of his life, he came to see through such leaders as Benito Mussolini, Francisco Franco, and Adolf Hitler a means of defeating Communism in Russia. Though scholars debate his level of commitment to fascist and nationalist ideologies, this nevertheless marked a sinister turn in an otherwise brilliant literary career. Nominated for the Nobel Prize in literature nine times without winning, Merezhkovsky is recognized as an important figure of the Silver Age of Russian art.