Russia’s Mystical Anarchism: the Case of Aleksej Solonovich (1887–1937)

Romina Kaltenbach, M.A., PhD candidate
Faculty of Translation Studies, Linguistics, and Cultural Studies Germersheim
Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany
e-mail: romina.kaltenbach@outlook.de


The name of Aleksej Solonovich is hardly ever heard of in Russian studies, nor is his philosophy of “Mystical Anarchism”, although they both stirred up the esoteric and dissident underground of early Soviet Russia. This paper sheds light on the biography and personality of this controversial mathematician, anarchist, and esotericist whose ideas contributed to the final collapse of the Russian anarchist movement. At the same time, it dwells upon the encounter of “mysticism” and “anarchism” in post-revolutionary Russia, which engendered not only a philosophy but also a movement of social protest and a secret society of Knights Templars. Approaching Solonovich’s “mystical anarchism” from a cultural and translation studies perspective, the author takes into account the semantic baggage and scope of cultural concepts, narratives of tradition, and the political mythology of leftist thought. Focusing on the beginning of the twentieth century, the paper offers a long-durée perspective on the development of the Russian New Age culture and a nuanced understanding of its syncretisms.

Keywords: Russian anarchism, mysticism, Knights Templar, translation studies, cultural analysis, travelling concepts, Silver Age


How to cite:
Kaltenbach, R. (2022). “Russia’s Mystical Anarchism: the Case of Aleksej Solonovich (1887–1937).” Journal of Comparative Studies 15 (44), 124–151. https://doi.org/10.59893/jcs.15(44).008