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Translation of Alexander Blok: The Lightning of Art (Masks on the Street chapter)

This work, which essentially predicts the fall of mankind and all that it has produced, was originally written by Russian Silver-Age poet Alexander Blok in 1909, more than one-hundred years ago. Describing his travels to Italy, once a large, cultural center of European civilization, The Lightningof Art, Blok’s unfinished book, delves into the depths of human nature, art, and technological achievements reached by mankind.

Reflecting and projecting the common intolerance of his day, Blok’s venomous foreword predicts the downfall of humankind caused by technology. Although very pessimistic in its nature, intolerant towards people of low social rank (the working class), and disrespectful towards people of other nationalities, Blok’s text still possesses relatable thoughts and ideas that we, people of the future, must not disregard. It is undeniable that, although his attitude towards technology is filtered by the conservatism of his time, he was close in his predictions that Art, in his un…

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