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Biography's Source: From the publisher
Andrei Bely (pseudonym of Boris Bugayev) was born in Moscow in 1880, the son of a world-famous mathematician. He was soon a leading figure in the Russian Symbolist movement, which had wider than purely literary aims, in particular the ideal of community underpinned by religious-philosophical beliefs. His fiction, working through sound and ideas, pointed Russian prose in a new direction after the realism of Tolstoy. His best-known novel, Petersburg (published 1913–14), was originally conceived as the second part, following The Silver Dove, of a trilogy on the theme of East and West. He is the author of five further novels and some invaluable memoirs, including a volume of reminiscences of his friend and rival the poet Aleksandr Blok. After the Revolution, apart from two years spent in Berlin (1921–23) he stayed in Russia; he died in straitened circumstances in 1934.