IN 1920, AFTER A HARSH WINTER, Viacheslav Ivanov found a temporary refuge in a sanatorium for imperiled writers in Moscow. During June and July he shared a room with his old friend, the cultural historian Mikhail Gershenzon. Inevitably, their conversation turned to the cataclysmic events unfolding outside their precarious asylum. Russian culture had been put on trial by the Revolution and the magnificent tapestry of its Silver Age, shredded in the civil war, was now abandoned to fate in the clash of blind, brutal forces. On the question of culture the two interlocutors were sharply divided. Gershenzon noted: "You and I dear friend, are diagonal not only in this room, but in spirit too." By common agreement, they decided to record their debate in a formal exchange of letters. The resulting text, A Correspondence from Opposite Corners (Perepiska iz dvukh uglov, 1921) consists of twelve letters, six by each correspondent. (1) The dialogue runs for fifty pages, initiated by Ivanov's letter of June 17 and closed by Gershenzon's on July 19.