Rozanov, Vasily (1856–1919) By Griffin, Sean
Leading writer, publicist, literary critic, and philosopher in late 19th- and early 20th-century Russia, Rozanov was born in Vetluga, Russia, in 1856, and remained in the provinces as a secondary school teacher until 1893, when he gained a civil service post in St. Petersburg, Russia. A prolific and original thinker, Rozanov’s path-breaking ideas on sexuality, religion, and the family made him one of the most controversial figures of his day. Writing at a time when Russian journalism was highly partisan, Rozanov confounded his contemporaries by publishing contradictory views in liberal and conservative journals. Around the turn of the century, Rozanov became preoccupied with the mystical nature of sexuality in ancient pagan and Jewish religious practice.