Bely was Boris Bugaev’s pen-name. Tsvetaeva, then an emergent writer, met him in the circle around the critic Voloshin. Ehrenburg, Mayakovsky, Mandelstam and Pasternak were others he hob-nobbed with; Pasternak said he hadn’t stretched his talent as much as he should have, but also acknowledged his influence. Bryusov co-edited a magazine with him, Bakst painted him. He had a close but stormy friendship with Blok, his fellow-follower of the esoteric philosopher Solovyov, having an affair with Blok’s wife, and duelling with him. Bely became a disciple of Steiner’s, working on his anthroposophical temple in Switzerland, before falling out with him.