The article deals with relations between Alexandr Blok’s poem The Twelve (1918) and Henrik Ibsen’s “world-historical drama” Emperor and Galilean (1873). Proceeding from the Christian paradoxical discourse after the Norwegian playwright, the poet radicalizes it so much that the bounds of traditional Christian worldview are broken down. In the poem, one can notice a rather complex indirect connection with the paradoxical discourse of both Dostoevsky (whose Christian identity is difficult to question) and Ibsen, especially beloved by Blok, in whose system of views it is important to notice the Lutheran dominant, implicitly referring to some Gnostic views that have quite logically been actualized in European culture of the last two centuries. The similarity between works so different, at first glance, as The Twelve and Ibsen’s double-drama, deserves attention: in both cases, Christ appears ghostly, not in the flesh, in Blok — invisible to all the characters, in Ibsen — as visible only to very few. In both cases, he brings retribution — a theme equally important both in Ibsen’s work and in Blok’s poem. Both the Norwegian playwright and the Russian symbolist poet interpret world history from the standpoint of religious and metaphysical paradoxicalism.
Ibsen’s hero who renounced Christ begins the most brutal, bloody persecution of the Christian Church in order to destroy Christianity (Blok’s Red Guards shooting at both “Holy Russia” and the invisible Christ for them create a kind of parallel for him in this case), but achieves the goal opposite to his intentions — he cleanses Christianity and thereby saves it. The same can be said about Ibsen’s Julian that was said by Blok about the Red Guard — this is “water” to the mill of the Christian church. We do not know whether Blok think of Emperor and Galilean when working at his poem, but the parallels are obvious and remarkable.
Yuriev A. IBSEN, BLOK AND RUSSIAN REVOLUTION (ON CONNECTIONS BETWEEN THE POEM THE TWELVE AND THE DOUBLE-DRAMA EMPEROR AND GALILEAN)