Belinsky, Vissarion Grigoryevich
art for art's sake.As critic for four major reviews he became the principal champion of the realistic and socially responsible new Russian literature. His emphasis on the use of literature to express social and political ideas is the basis of Soviet literary criticism. Among the authors whose talents he recognized and encouraged were Gogol, Lermontov, and Dostoyevsky. A selection of his philosophical and sociological works was published in English in 1948. It includes Letter to Gogol (1847), a summation of his beliefs. Belinksy lived in poverty and died at 37 of tuberculosis.
See studies by H. Bowman (1954, repr. 1969) and V. Terras (1973).
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