Studia Litterarum

Studia Litterarum

Basic info

  • Publisher: A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences
  • Country of publisher: russian federation
  • Date added to EuroPub: 2018/May/06

Subject and more

  • LCC Subject Category: Languages and Literature, Literature
  • Publisher's keywords: History of Philology, Comparative Studies, Folklore Studies, Literary History and Theory, Historical and Theoretical Poetics
  • Language of fulltext: russian, French, english
  • Full-text formats available: PDF

Publication charges

  • Article Processing Charges (APCs): No
  • Submission charges: No
  • Waiver policy for charges? No

Editorial information

Open access & licensing

  • Type of License: CC BY
  • License terms
  • Open Access Statement: Yes
  • Year open access content began: 2016
  • Does the author retain unrestricted copyright? False
  • Does the author retain publishing rights? False

Best practice polices

  • Permanent article identifier: DOI
  • Content digitally archived in: , Other
  • Deposit policy registered in: None

This journal has '164' articles

Two Wooers and their Sonnets: On Poetic Forms in Romeo and Juliet

Two Wooers and their Sonnets: On Poetic Forms in Romeo and Juliet

Authors: E.V. Haltrin-Khalturina
( 17 downloads)
Abstract

The article looks at the semiotics of the sonnet form used by Shakespeare in his tragedy Romeo and Juliet. Particular attention is paid to two sonnets, of Paris and of Romeo, in which different manners of courting are played out. The poetic “gift” from Romeo to Juliet, their shared sonnets, one complete and one interrupted (Act 1, Sc. 5, ls. 92–109), is a notorious and much discussed piece of Shakespeare’s dramatic poetry. However, the other wooing sonnet representing desires of Paris and mouthed by Lady Capulet (Act 1, Sc. 3, ls. 80–95), seems to lack that kind of attention. Our essay juxtaposes the two sonnets in question, which are built around extended metaphors (conceits). Romeo’s sonneteering is endowed with dramatic power that quickens the debate and inspires accord between the title’s heroes. The semantic charge of this shared sonnet resonates in the heroes’ scenic gestures, prompting the play’s outcome. By contrast, the rather inert sonnet of Paris is like a dead letter of bookish instruction, which neither inspires amorous response, nor moves Juliet. The article also places Romeo’s and Paris’s pieces against Shakespeare’s sonnets 128 and 126 of the 1609 edition.

Keywords: inset sonnets, shared sonnet, truncated sonnet, sonnet written in couplets, Shakespeare’s experiments with the sonnet form
On the Symbolism of Thomas Mann

On the Symbolism of Thomas Mann

Authors: V.M. Tolmatchoff
( 17 downloads)
Abstract

The essay discusses Thomas Mann’s symbolism and its parameters as well as Mann’s interpretation of the crisis of European spiritual values. Тhe author examines the role of Nietzsche in Mann’s heritage as well as interconnections between Mann and Wilde, Mann and Gide. Buddenbrooks is interpreted as a novel about the end of the German Renaissance; duality of the modern artist is shown on the example of “Tonio Kröger” while the paradoxes of his eroticism are analyzed on the example of “Der Tod in Venedig.”

Keywords: Thomas Mann, German symbolism, conflict between bürger and artist, health and sickness in Buddenbrooks, the limits of art in “Tonio Kröger,” eroticism in “Der Tod in Venedig.”
Alexander Pushkin in the 19 th Century Italian Drama

Alexander Pushkin in the 19 th Century Italian Drama

Authors: A.V. Golubtsova
( 13 downloads)
Abstract

The article deals with the problem of Alexander Pushkin’s reception in the 19 th century Italy. In the first half of the century, during the years of national liberation movement, Italian intellectuals were concerned with the question of national identity and with the search for common cultural grounds of the Italian nation. In Italy, a country that for various reasons felt a certain affinity with Russian culture, patriotic intellectuals considered Pushkin as a model national poet. “Italian” Pushkin was perceived through a set of stereotypes failing to form a coherent image. At the same time, his reception was not free from mythologization that made his image fit into the context of European and Italian Romanticism. In the second half of the 19 th century, Pushkin’s myth inspired two plays, “Alessandro Puschin” by V. Carrera and “Puschin” by P. Cossa. The plays combining biographical facts with concepts and images drawn from Pushkin’s own, works model the image of the Russian poet in accordance with the Romantic myth albeit including contradictory, even incompatible elements. Pushkin is represented as a Romantic poet of Byronic type, an integral part of European literary tradition; nevertheless, both playwrights emphasize Pushkin’s national identity, his close ties with Russian language and folk poetry and above all, point out his exotic African origin. Not only Carrera’s and Cossa’s plays retranslate Italian myths related to Alexander Pushkin, they also show which Pushkin’s works were better known in Italy at the beginning of the 1870s (mostly his Romantic poems such as The Gypsies).

Keywords: A. Pushkin, V. Carrera, P. Cossa, Italian plays, Risorgimento, national identity, myth, Romanticism, Byronism
CHAPTERS FROM PUSHKIN’S NOVEL. CULTIC MECHANISMS AND TEXTUAL POETICS OF “THE LAST TEXT” AND THE SWORD OF “THE SENSITIVE NOBLEMAN” BY ANDREY BITOV

CHAPTERS FROM PUSHKIN’S NOVEL. CULTIC MECHANISMS AND TEXTUAL POETICS OF “THE LAST TEXT” AND THE SWORD OF “THE SENSITIVE NOBLEMAN” BY ANDREY BITOV

Authors: Z. Kalavszky
( 14 downloads)
Abstract

This study aims to trace and demonstrate the construction of Pushkin cult in two essays by Andrey Bitov, “The Last Text” and “The Sword of the Sensitive Nobleman.” It examines how cultic mechanisms including specific rhetoric formulas operate in both texts. Bitov’s cultic approach, however, does not imply dogmatic attitude to Pushkin nor requires a prescriptive attitude to his heritage. Quite on the contrary: Bitov’s texts are as always open, dialogical, and openly address themselves to the reader. I am interested primarily in the points of convergence between Bitov’s scholarly approach to Pushkin’s work, e.g. his study of the Pushkin’s reception history, on the one hand, and his literary position, on the other; yet at the same time, I find most interesting the way he expresses his concept. He writes an essay where he suggests something rather than states it, prompts, hints, offers one interpretation the way that does not exclude an entirely different one. Thus, this article examines how Bitov’s text is constructed and how it functions.

Keywords: Alexander Pushkin, Andrey Bitov, literary cult, intertextuality, poetic analysis
Mark Twain in the Russian Pre-Revolutionary Periodical. Part 2

Mark Twain in the Russian Pre-Revolutionary Periodical. Part 2

Authors: E.А. Stetsenko
( 19 downloads)
Abstract

This article deals with the analysis of interpretation of the works by Mark Twain, famous American author, in the Russian pre-revolutionary periodical press (1872–1916). The objects of research are critical articles, essays, reviews, correspondences, introductions to publications of Twain’s short stories and novels, obituaries, and other materials printed in central and provincial magazines and newspapers. Perception of Twain in Russia was contingent on many factors including political and cultural situation in the country, state of social thought and literary criticism, newspaper and magazine conjuncture etc., always remaining polysemantic and conflicting. In different times, in the years of democratic rising or reaction critics looked for something in Twain’s works that corresponded to the spirit of their time and helped solve ideological and aesthetic problems. Twain had reputation of either a “pure humorist” or a great writer, philosopher, and moralist. Democrats, liberals, conservatives, feminists, adepts of realistic or naturalistic trends in art discussed Twain’s works that became a source of knowledge about the United States and inspired polemics about Russia’s further development. Twain was highly esteemed as the author of books for children and young people. Yet his works that criticized monarchism and imperialism were often ignored or abridged. The history of Twain’s interpretation in the Russian press serves as evidence of the fact that perception of foreign literature is a dynamic and bumpy process, repeating itself and moving backwards but also getting to deeper levels of meanings.

Keywords: American literature, Mark Twain, Russian periodicals, literary criticism, journalism, social and cultural situation
The Dutch Connection: Johanna van der Meulen’s Contribution to Russian Symbolism

The Dutch Connection: Johanna van der Meulen’s Contribution to Russian Symbolism

Authors: M. Ljunggren
( 16 downloads)
Abstract

The Symbolist Ėllis’ (Lev Kobylinskij) writings during his Moscow period emphasize the split, the division and dichotomy between material reality and celestial vision. His works written in exile in Locarno-Monti in Switzerland are devoted to resolving these antitheses by building bridges on all levels: between Catholicism and Orthodoxy, between culture and religion, between worldly and otherworldly, ultimately between East and West. From being a poet and critic he became a translator and culturologist: “Dr. Leo Kobilinski-Ellis.” The Dutch medium Johanna van der Meulen — whom he had met in 1911 in Rudolf Steiner’s Theosophical, soon Anthroposophical colony — played a crucial role in this fundamental metamorphosis. With her he lived in a thirty-five-year-long creative symbiosis that proved extremely beneficial to the two of them. Van der Meulen developed a mystical doctrine of her own, “Cosmosophy”, based on a Gnostic world view, strongly influenced by Russian religious philosophy. As she had finished her work in four parts Dr. Kobilinski-Ellis published his summary and interpretation of her teachings, in which he defines the core of Cosmosophy as a synthesis of the “Johannian” element in the meditative wisdom of the Eastern Church and the “Petrine” component in the energetic faith of Catholicism.

Keywords: Ellis, Van der Meulen, symbiosis, mystical doctrine, cosmosophy, gnosticism, catholocism, cultural
Racine and Mandelstam

Racine and Mandelstam

Authors: M.Yu. Ignatieva (Oganisyan)
( 15 downloads)
Abstract

This article is a fragment of the PhD thesis Philosophical and Aesthetic Principles of Tragedy in Calderon and Racine (Department of the History of Foreign Literature, Moscow State University, 1988). In her dissertation, the author examined Racine’s presence in Mandelstam’s poetry against the theory of the tragic. Written in the essayistic form, the article examines the following basic images and key concepts of this general theme: (1) cascading shawls as emblematizing heaviness / lightness; (2) a word-confession as expression of pure and redemptive suffering; (3) death by word followed up by redemption. It pays particular attention to the image of the “black sun” and the “tainted day” in Racine’s Phaedra. According to Mandelstam, this image has different connotations and “does not evoke a ready-made meaning” (“Conversation about Dante”). In Racine, Sun is a sacred symbol, it is “the Hidden God”, or Deus absconditus of Jansenism. Phaedra’s sin stains the Sun and darkens it. Phaedra’s last words confirm the redemptive effect of her death. In the article “Pushkin and Scriabin,” Mandelstam writes about the tragic meaning of the artist’s death and compares it with Phaedra’s deed. The study of Racine’s presence in Mandelstam, taking into account the studies of such scholars as Barthes, Goldmann, Poulet and others, allows us to point out explicit and implicit allusions to Racine in Mandelstam’s poetry. It also helps to understand Mandelstam’s idea of the tragedy and the tragic as it developed from 1914 through 1920 when the poet was translating the great French tragedian and at the same time was trying to comprehend the tragic events he witnessed.

Keywords: Mandelstam, Racine, tragic, tragedy, black sun, Scriabin
Shakespeare and the Fight for Promfinplan, or How High Voltage is Made

Shakespeare and the Fight for Promfinplan, or How High Voltage is Made

Authors: D.S. Moskovskaya
( 13 downloads)
Abstract

In his play Announcement of Death (the initial title of the play High Voltage), Platonov used documentary facts he observed in 1929–1930s while staying at the Leningrad metal factory. The play was intended to fulfil the political order of RAPP to represent “a live example of a specific enterprise and specific individuals.” Platonov coped with this task. The play tells the story of heroic struggle of engineers and workers endeavoring to implement the factory’s work plan. It shows a sharp conflict of characters and worldviews. In the replicas of the main characters, engineers of the “old school,” one can recognize vocabulary and style of the harsh reviews of Platonov’s work by literary critics and Stalin. In the characters themselves, one can recognize their alter egos — representatives of the so called creative intelligentsia of the reconstruction era, Mayakovsky and Zelinsky. The motif of love plays a special role in the play in that it introduces a new level of meaning. The “manufacture play” reveals a tragedy that stages the “borderline” situation and places a free-willed person at the center of the represented events as the only true value of the world. The essay argues that Platonov was aware of the discussions around Shakespeare unfolding in 1931. RAPP critics encouraged authors “to catch up with and overtake not only some Pilnyak — this it is not a great honor, the proletarian literature has already caught up with him and overtaken him. The challenge is to catch up with and overtake Shakespeare.” Platonov succeeded in combining the high tone of Shakespearean tragedy with the plot of the “manufacture play” despite the general sneer at RAPP’s attempts to shakespearize plays about Soviet factory leaders — the so called “udarniki.”

Keywords: manufacture art, Andrey Platonov, Stalin, drama, Shakespeare, documentary, prototype, discussion, RAPP, criticism, existential situation, dramaturgical knot, allegory
A Journey to the Old Russia and Back. Bogatyry by Demian Bedny

A Journey to the Old Russia and Back. Bogatyry by Demian Bedny

Authors: M.L. Fyodorov
( 20 downloads)
Abstract

The article examines the history of writing and staging of Demyan Bedny’s play Bogatyry (Epic Heroes) at Kamerny theater. The play is based on the legend about the Baptism of the Rus.’ Bedny represents the images of epic heroes and the legendary prince Vladimir in satirical, even grotesque light. Such understanding of ancient Russian history was congenial with the ideas of the Soviet historians of the 1920s. In the changed climate of the second half of the 1930s (defeat of the historical school of M.N. Pokrovsky), such attitude became perceived as deeply wrong. The performance was closed while the director A.Y. Tairov and Demyan Bedny were subjected to disgrace.

Keywords: Kamerny theater, Tairov, Demyan Bedny, history
David’s Psalms by Taras Shevchenko: From the Sacred Text to the Poetical Text

David’s Psalms by Taras Shevchenko: From the Sacred Text to the Poetical Text

Authors: Yu.Y. Barabash
( 16 downloads)
Abstract

The article attempts to compare a poetic circle David’s Psalms by Taras Shevchenko with its origin — Book of Psalms in The Old Testament. It singles out, in the synchronical aspect, major factors and key attributes that allow us to interpret this poetic circle as a systematic object, or “text.” The circle is analyzed on two levels: (1) the poet’s choice of ten psalms out of 150 for adaptation; (2) the actual adaptation and transformation of the original text. This two-level process forges a new literary text authored by Shevchenko. The system of inner connections within the new text is defined by (a) textual transformation and changes in the “neighborhood relations” between the textual components; b) the “speaker’s code,” e. g. the system of textological, semantic, and figurative revisions, additions and accentuations introduced by the author of the adaptation into the texts of the chosen psalms. The article examines such categories as pretext and context and introduces such notions as “off-text” and “the dialogue of interpretations.” The essay deliberately narrows down its scope of examination implying the method of the “sums of technology” and pursuing euristic purposes. Thus, a wide range of facts and problems widely discussed within Shevchenko Studies is intentionally left behind.

Keywords: system, text, structure, semantics, choice, adaptation, the “speaker’s code.”
“Prayer to the Archangel Michael” and “The Dream of Our Lady” in the Records of Petr G. Bogatirev (On the Archival Materials)

“Prayer to the Archangel Michael” and “The Dream of Our Lady” in the Records of Petr G. Bogatirev (On the Archival Materials)

Authors: E.A. Samodelova
( 21 downloads)
Abstract

This is the first publication of “The Dream of Our Lady” and “The Prayer to Archangel Michael,” two pieces recorded by Petr G. Bogatirev in 1914–1915 in the village Bavykino of the Moscow region with a commentary. The publication contains extensive passages from Bogatirev’s presentations on collected works of spiritual folklore and proceedings of the meetings of the Society of Lovers of Natural Science, Anthropology and Ethnography (OLEAE) dedicated to Bogatirev’s lectures about apocrypha and other results of his folklore expeditions. Bogatirev attempted to prove that at the beginning of the 20 th Century, traditional folklore was still preserved in the settlements near large industrial centers. Already during his first expedition as a student of Moscow University, he recorded the work of the entire folklore complex in dialect. His valuable works on spiritual folklore bearing on book and church sources exist both in verbal and written form. While preparing presentations about his expeditions, Bogatirev pointed out a corpus of already published analogical works and compared it with his own folklore discoveries, analyzed previous research on the subject and made his own conclusions. Keywords: Petr G. Bogatirev, expeditions, Moscow region, Serpukhov district, apocryphal prayer, “The Dream of Our Lady,” Commission of the Society of Lovers of Natural Science, Anthropology and Ethnography, Moscow linguistic group.

Keywords: Petr G. Bogatirev, expeditions, Moscow region, Serpukhov district, apocryphal prayer, “The Dream of Our Lady,” Commission of the Society of Lovers of Natural Science, Anthropology and Ethnography, Moscow linguistic group
“Falsification of Shakespeare”: Georgy Shengeli’s Unpublished Article on Boris Pasternak’s Translations

“Falsification of Shakespeare”: Georgy Shengeli’s Unpublished Article on Boris Pasternak’s Translations

Authors: V.А. Rezvy
( 16 downloads)
Abstract

In his article “Pasternak’s Shakespeare” (1945), Georgy Shengeli, poet, literary translator and expert in prosody, examines the fragments from Shakespeare’s tragedies Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet translated by Boris Pasternak, criticizing the latter in the light of his own views on translation, according to which accuracy and artistry are the main literary translation requirements. At the same time, Shengeli ignores the circumstances in which Pasternak made his translations as well as his intentions: to adapt Shakespeare to the Russian stage; the adaptation should be therefore judged as an original work of Russian literature.While recognizing natural and free syntax as an unquestionable merit of Pasternak’s translations, Shengeli seeks to prove by means of statistical calculations and line-by-line comparison of the translation with the original that Pasternak’s work is a falsification of Shakespeare. This essay shows how Shengeli, albeit aptly noting semantic and stylistic flaws in Pasternak’s translations, himself makes inaccuracies in the interpretation of the original and, in the spirit of the time, translates literary polemics into ideology, calling for “political conclusions.”

Keywords: Shengeli, Pasternak, Shakespeare, literary translation, translation history, translation theory and criticism
Illustrations in Biographical Studies: Sharing Experience of Preparing The Chronicle of Life and Work of Sergey Esenin

Illustrations in Biographical Studies: Sharing Experience of Preparing The Chronicle of Life and Work of Sergey Esenin

Authors: M.V. Skorokhodov
( 17 downloads)
Abstract

The article discusses the function of illustrations in biographical studies. In particular, it examines a section “Appendix” in the 5-volume Chronicle of Life and Work of Sergey Esenin that includes documentary and visual materials. The use of illustrations not only makes a biographical study attractive to readers, but also serves as a welcome supplement to the information contained in the main part of the chronicle.

Keywords: biographical study, the chronicle of life and work, biography of Sergey Esenin, documentary sources, illustrations

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