Remizov, Aleksei Mikhailovich (РЕМИЗОВ, АЛЕКСЕЙ МИХАЙЛОВИЧ) (1877–1957) By Palmer, Isobel
Aleksei Mikhailovich Remizov was a Silver Age prose writer, associated with the Symbolists but not aligned completely with the tenets of this movement. Born in Moscow, he died as an émigré in Paris at the end of an unusually long and prolific career; in total, he published 83 books. Arrested and expelled from Moscow University in 1896 for participating in student riots, he was imprisoned and then exiled to the provinces. He returned to St Petersburg in 1905, where he took an active part in literary life until his emigration in 1921, via Berlin to Paris. Regarded by many as a ‘writer’s writer’, Remizov is known for his highly poetic prose and ornate, often esoteric style. Part derivative (based on folk-tales, legends, mystery plays, and so on), part non-derivative (novels, short stories, fragments, dreams, biographical narratives), his work makes innovative use of the Russian language, mingling vocabulary taken from contemporary speech, pre-Petrine Russian chronicles, folk sources, and more. Influenced by Gogol, Dostoevsky, and Leskov, he is widely regarded as a master of skaz, employed in such works as Neuemnyi buben (‘The Indefatigable Tambourine’, 1910).