Background. The paper contains a revised text of Lev Vygotsky's review of Andrei Bely's novel “Petersburg”. In addition to Vygotsky’s review the paper presents the author’s comment. The review is of particular importance for understanding the biography facts of Lev Vygotsky, the greatest psychologist of the twentieth century.
The Objective is to provide the modern reader with a semantic understanding of both the text of the peer-reviewed novel and a special stage of personal, national and religious self-determination of Lev Vygotsky, the outstanding psychologist of the twentieth century.
Design. When working on the comment, traditional historical and philological methods of text analysis and reading techniques were used to identify the hidden and implicit citations contained in Vygotsky's review from a number of interpretation angles. One of them concerns the artistic features of the novel associated with the distinctive aesthetics of symbolism. Another perspective is connected with the religious and philosophical issues that determine the ideological position of Andrey Bely. The third one concerns a wide range of issues related to anti-Semitism issues.
Results. We sought to give the reader an opportunity to feel the urgency of the political situation and ideology in the Russian intelligentsia of the period when the novel was created and the review was written. We tried to devote particular attention to the aspects of a psychological phenomena (e.g. consciousness, semantic understanding) and those methodological principles that Vygotsky would later use in his own psychological research.
Findings.The analysis of Vygotsky's review carried out in the paper will help clarify the authenticity of the cultural-historical approach of Vygotsky as psychologist. Keywords:symbolism, artistic features of the text, anti-Semiteism, Sionism, consciousness, self-determination.