By John E. Malmstad, Nikolay Bogomolov
My test at three hundred dpi, bookmarked and OCR'd, eight b/w pictures integrated on the end
RONALD VROON: "Not merely the 1st scholarly biography of Mikhail Kuzmin, yet ipso facto an important new research of the Russian Silver Age that illuminates a few of its most crucial facets-literary, theatrical, musical-and the homosexual culture that contributed in this sort of significant option to its luster. As a story, i actually chanced on it tough to place down. Mikhail Kuzmin: A existence in paintings is a fantastic paintings of scholarship, well-wrought, attractive, crucial to a person attracted to the tradition of the Russian Silver Age."
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Additional info for Mikhail Kuzmin: A Life in Art
I am in a state of the most absolute mad intoxication. The only thing that really amazes me is that the sky is not blue but pale gray, and that it is not particularly hot. I have just returned from Memphis and am sitting in Alexandria at night, and from the street, through the jalousie, one can hear someone improvising infinitely doleful and languid music on a mandolin. I cannot write, there are too many impressions. [I was] in the pyramid of Menkaure, climbed up Cheops, sailed on the Nile at night: Lord, what ecstasy.
Kuzmin, though at times sorely tried, would remain true to these ideas. Kuzmin read Plotinus selectively; like most writers, he took from him (and others) only what coincided with and bolstered conclusions he had reached already. There are explicit references to Plotinus after 1895, and his name need not appear for the reader to recognize his imprint, as in this letter of]une 8, 1896: "Despite all the variety, I sense beauty everywhere, the same kind that is also incarnated in perfect love ....
It manifests itself most often as an awareness of isolation and a fear of being totally absorbed in art itself: "How strange. More and more I am losing touch with life (in the narrow and literal sense) and everything for me is concentrated in but a few people, books, and all-important concepts. And this does not oppress but somehow cleanses me, and when I see people from the 'world' it seems we're speaking different languages" (September 6, 1895). The lack of many close friends or even acquaintances and the recent death of a lover only enhanced his perception of the artist's essential loneliness.
Mikhail Kuzmin: A Life in Art by John E. Malmstad, Nikolay Bogomolov