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

The Image of Nestor Makhno in the Pages of Alexey N. Tostoy’s Trilogy The Road to Calvary: Documents and Materials

The Image of Nestor Makhno in the Pages of Alexey N. Tostoy’s Trilogy The Road to Calvary: Documents and Materials

Authors: Galina N. Vorontsova
( 13 downloads)
Abstract

This article examines documentary sources of the image of Nestor Ivanovich Makhno in Alexey N. Tolstoy’s trilogy The Road to Calvary; it bears on the materials that are both published (Tolstoy’s notebooks) and hitherto unpublished. Among the latter, there are Tolstoy’s notes from The Diary of Makhno’s Wife and the execution record of ataman N.A. Grigoriev shot by the Makhnovists on July 28, 1919. The document entitled The Diary of Makhno’s Wife was repeatedly quoted in Soviet publications of the 1920s which caused a negative reaction on behalf of both Makhno and P.A. Arshinov, the ideologist of the Makhnovist movement who claimed the diary to be fake. However, G.A. Kuzmenko, Makhno’s civil wife, recognized the authenticity of the document in a conversation with a historian S.N. Semanov in the late 1960s. The traces of Tolstoy’s acquaintance with the diary may be found in the final book of the trilogy The Road to Calvary, a novel Gloomy Morning where he describes Makhno’s behavior before the march on Yekaterinoslavin. Drawing details from the document, reconstructing a general picture on its basis and adding imaginary details, the author thus gave his own assessment of the diary. Equally interesting is Grigoriev’s execution record that is preserved in Tolstoy’s archive. It is the evidence of the author’s open refusal to follow reliable, documented information. Despite the fact that Grigoriev was shot by Makhno’s allies, the author makes Makhno himself commit the crime. The leader of the Ukrainian rebel movement leaves the pages of the trilogy as the immediate assassin of the insurgent ataman, and the novel’s climax thus reflects Tolstoy’s attitude to his literary character.

Keywords: A.N. Tolstoy, trilogy The road to Calvary, Nestor Makhno, archive, documents and materials, the history of the trilogy
“The Testament” of XII Pandito Hambo-Lama Dashidorzhi Ithegelov in the Context of Buddhist Philosophy

“The Testament” of XII Pandito Hambo-Lama Dashidorzhi Ithegelov in the Context of Buddhist Philosophy

Authors: Elizaveta E. Baldanmaksarova
( 14 downloads)
Abstract

The article deals with a hitherto unexamined literary text written by a famous Buddhist philosopher and scientist XII Pandito Hambo-Lama Dashidorzhi Itigelov. This text is the last poem by D. Itigelov entitled “The Testament” (1927) written in the genre of the epistle and addressed to the people of the 21st century. 2017 is a year of the 90th anniversary of the phenomenal state achieved by the philosopher; on September 10, Buryat people celebrate the 15th anniversary of his acquisition of the Precious Inexhaustible Body. Not only was D. Itigelov a leader of the Buryat society who headed its religious and secular (state) activity until 1917, he also was an educated theologian and a gifted writer who left rich literary, religious, and philosophical heritage relevant in the context of the Buddhist aesthetics and philosophy. This essay calls for the necessity to make this heritage available to public by stressing its originality and relevance for contemporary society.

Keywords: XII Pandito Hambo-Lama Dashidorzhi Itigelov, Buddhist philosophy, literary canon, Indo-Tibeto-Mongolian-Buryat literary connections
CHINESE PRAYER CHANT TO THE GODDESS OF FERTILITY

CHINESE PRAYER CHANT TO THE GODDESS OF FERTILITY

Authors: L.V. Makhova
( 11 downloads)
Abstract

The article examines the prayer chant to the Goddess of Fertility performed by a blind singer and accompanied by the stringed instrument banghu and foot castanets in the temple of the Spirit of the Tanshan Dong Yue mountain, in Puxian county Shangxi province of the Republic of China. The video of the chant was recorded in April 2011, during the days before the Temple festival in honor of Dong Yue, a tradition that has been revived in the modern China. We publish the text of the chant not only in the Russian translation but also in Chinese. There are three graphic variants of the Chinese text presented — in Chinese characters, in standardized Pinyin, and in transcribed Pinyin that gives an idea of the actual pronunciation and allows the reader to trace dialectical specificity of the song. The article includes the music of both the chant and the instrumental accompaniment together with their ethno-musicological characteristics. The musical structure of the instrument and the modal specificity attribute this piece to the musical style of Northern China. The Authors analyze the verse and the strafica of the chant. They argue that its metrical structure consists of couplets (except for the last three line stanza), with instrumental wagering played in between that is characteristic of the ancient Chinese lyrics. The analysis of the text’s contents and imagery reveals that it reflects popular notions of Songzi nannan, the Goddess of Fertility. It also shows that the chant dates back to the feudal China: it predicts the fate of the future son of the young couple that ordered the chant by describing his future life of the “official” and the “noble man,” the image that has been developed on the basis of Confucian canons within the two millennia of Chinese history.

Keywords: Chinese folklore, worship songs, childbed rituals, Sun-tzu Nánchāng, Goddess of Fertility
A NARRATIVE ABOUT A “RESURRECTED WOMAN” IN THE RECEPTION OF D.V. BATOV, AN OLD BELIEVER OF TULA

A NARRATIVE ABOUT A “RESURRECTED WOMAN” IN THE RECEPTION OF D.V. BATOV, AN OLD BELIEVER OF TULA

Authors: Alexander V. Pigin
( 13 downloads)
Abstract

The article deals with one of the genres of Russian folklore, the so-called obmiraniye narratives about a human soul visiting the other world during the lethargy state. It discusses the problem of perception of such texts on the example of the following case study. At the turn of the century, a famous Tula-based Old Believer and publisher D.V. Batov (1825–1910) wrote a short article “On the Reading of Brochure Phrases” (reprinted as “On the Reading of Fictitious Brochures”). In this article, he strongly criticized the narrative about a “resurrected woman” recorded by Archimandrite Macarius (Glukharyov) of Altai in the early 1830s. In this narrative, a local Cossack’s wife sank into lethargy and was ascended to heaven where she met the Lord who heard the prayers for her and let her go back but instead ordered to bring him the soul of a different woman bearing the same name. D.V. Batov interpreted this obmiraniye narrative as sheer fiction circulated by the dominant church, alongside other fictitious stories, and causing damage to the faith. The article examines other D.V. Batov’s arguments against this text: the main one is discrepancy between the narrative and the Orthodox doctrine of the soul’s afterlife ordeals as represented in the Byzantine Life of Vassily Novy (10th century). The Old Believer of Tula reads a text belonging to folk culture through the lenses of church literature and bookish topoi. Thus, the process of text verification by the bearer of religious consciousness consists in its juxtaposing with the tradition that the recipient sees as the only true one. The article also analyzes the actual obmiraniye narrative recorded by Archimandrite Macarius and finds its parallels in oral and written texts of the visionary genre.

Keywords: folklore genre of obmiraniye, visions of the otherworld, Archimandrite Macarius (Glukharyov), D.V. Batov, Old Belief
Russian Folk Culture in the 20 th Century: Oral Evidence of the Villagers (On the Materials of Folklore Expeditions)

Russian Folk Culture in the 20 th Century: Oral Evidence of the Villagers (On the Materials of Folklore Expeditions)

Authors: E.A. Dorokhova, O.A. Pashina
( 13 downloads)
Abstract

Folk culture is capable of developing certain adaptation mechanisms that help it promptly react to the changing conditions of natural, socio-political, and economic environment. This is evidenced by the stories of the villagers recorded during folklore expeditions to different regions of Russia. The article highlights changes that took place in the traditional Russian culture under the influence of collectivization in the 1920s–1930s, the collapse of kolkhozes in the 1990s, the development of the rural club amateur performances in the Soviet time, the events of the World War II, modern military conflicts, and Chernobyl ecological catastrophe. The authors come to conclusion that representatives of traditional culture flexibly adapt to their new living conditions, while extreme conditions such as wars and ecological catastrophes often contribute to the actualization of folk culture and enable the return of its certain aspects to living practice.

Keywords: RUSSIAN FOLK CULTURE, ORAL EVIDENCE, THE VILLAGERS. FOLKLORE EXPEDITIONS
The Plot and Its Modifications in the Temporal and Generic “Space”

The Plot and Its Modifications in the Temporal and Generic “Space”

Authors: Еlena S. Kotlyar
( 12 downloads)
Abstract

With the loss of mythological beliefs, traditional plots become decompensated by their new interpretations. For example, when a tribe borrows a plot from a neighboring tribe but does not share the beliefs of the authentic “bearers” of this folklore, we may observe the plot’s transformation that often results in its deformation and eventual transfer to a different generic category. For example, a leitmotif of a hero, tribe leader searching for a great river and new lands for his tribe as presented in the epic legends by Lianja (and Nsong’a) transforms into a residue motif in the secondary variants that focus only on the moment of the “movement” itself. Motifs concerned with the magic become autonomous of the main character and prompt the inclusion of magicians. We encounter similar examples of plot transformation in Mandinka epos devoted to the development of medieval Sudan state in the 13th century Mali. Comparison of the more archaic texts about the “patron of the water” with the more recent heroic narratives about the “guard of the water,” demanding the sacrifice of female victims in exchange of the water, reveals a variety of plots — from archaic myths to numerous transitional texts and epic legends. In the more recent texts, the guard of the water replaces the patron of the water, and water does not disappear after his death. A young stranger who redeems people from the obligatory sacrifices by killing the serpent, commits a heroic act and gains a reward. The image of mythological trickster with whom Khoisan tribes associated all their mythological events also underwent radical metamorphosis. The more recent texts accentuate not his properties of the demiurge but his humoristic and comic traits of a simpleton or a fool. In general, plot deformation and underestimation of the ideal epic hero image lead to the reorientation of the original legend and to the destruction of the epic genre.

Keywords: epos, plot transformation, Lianja, Nsong’a, Mandinka epos, the motif of serpent killing, mythological trickster
Gorky’s Editorial Project The History of the Civil War: On the Materials of the A.M. Gorky (IWL RAS) and RGASPI Archives

Gorky’s Editorial Project The History of the Civil War: On the Materials of the A.M. Gorky (IWL RAS) and RGASPI Archives

Authors: Olga V. Bystrova
( 11 downloads)
Abstract

The article focuses on the history of Maksim Gorky’s design — the publication of the History of the Civil War volumes. The analysis of Gorky’s correspondence (1929–1930) from the A.M. Gorky archives (IWL RAS) reveals that the idea of the collection emerged at the beginning of 1928. In the course of the preparatory work, the Central Committee of the CPSU(b) obliged Communist party officials, Soviet and military functionaries in all Soviet republics and regions to collect documents and memories of the Civil War, to write and review materials for the collection. Gorky conceived the volumes of The History of the Civil War to be popular and accessible to the average reader. For this purpose, he considered inviting talented Soviet authors who took part in the Civil War. Gorky’s recommendations were taken into account while forming the Editorial Board. The CC of the CPSU(b) on July 31, 1931 established the Editorial Board (comprised of Chief, Historical and Artistic Boards) that Gorky also joined. Under his guidance, the Secretariat of the Chief Editorial Board issued instructions that were intended to direct a wide range of research subjects and provide researchers with methodology. Gorky’s letters from the RGASPI collection give us idea of the huge amount of work done by the writer in the process of preparing the first volume for publication. If the first, 1935 volume reflects Gorky’s vision and concept of the collection, the subsequent 4 volumes published after his death departed from the original design. Despite this and the fact that only 5 volumes out of 15 were issued, we can state that Gorky’s design was realized and that the History of the Civil War still remains an authoritative book in the field.

Keywords: Maxim Gorky, History of the Civil War, correspondence, editing, publishing series
The Model and the Masterpiece (Balzac and his followers)

The Model and the Masterpiece (Balzac and his followers)

Authors: Sergey N. Zenkin
( 14 downloads)
Abstract

Balzac’s short story “The Unknown Masterpiece” (“Le Chef-d’œuvre inconnu”) is one of his most commented works. This essay offers a new reading of the story by correlating the narrative structures of the text with the deforming effect these structures produce on the visual artifact (the painting) featured in “The Unknown Masterpiece.” The analysis takes into consideration the dynamic history of Balzac’s “waving” text undergoing changes with every new authorial revision that obscured the important circumstances of the plot and made the central visual image ambiguous. The latter is stratified as it acquires width instead of depth while the figure it represents protrudes from the smooth surface of the canvas. The close reading of Balzac’s text is followed by the survey of French literary works and films that elaborate, after Balzac, on “the masterpiece and the model” plot. The latter include the works by Théophile Gautier, Goncourt brothers, Émile Zola, and Jacques Rivette.

Keywords: Balzac, “The Unknown Masterpiece,” Gautier, Goncourt brothers, Zola, Rivette, visual image in the narrative text
On the Image of Calif Ali in Malay Narrative Tradition

On the Image of Calif Ali in Malay Narrative Tradition

Authors: L.V. Goriaeva
( 11 downloads)
Abstract

With the advent of Islam in the region of maritime Southeast Asia, stories about Prophet Muhammad and his closest companions began to spread there. The most important ones among them are Malay stories about early Islam wars, featuring the fourth of the “righteous” caliphs — Ali ibn Abu Talib — as their character (“The Tale of Rajah Handak”, “The Tale of Raja Lahad”, “The Tale of Abu Bakr”). In these stories, Ali is represented as both a great warrior and a saint, the most enlightened of Muhammad’s companions. Like the prophet Sulaiman, Ali has power over jinnies and animals and is endowed with supernatural capacities. At close examination, it becomes clear that in the Malay stories, the image of Ali and the stories about the early Islam wars are intertwined with local legends and archaic beliefs according to which the well-being of a person depends on his or her relations with the spirits inhabiting the world, and with mountains, hills and forests. Their Middle Eastern roots notwithstanding, Malay stories of this series reveal many similarities to the pre-Islamic literature and to the theatrical tradition of maritime Southeast Asia. Transformation and adaptation of the image of Ali by Malay tradition are associated primarily with the transition of this character into the realm of oral tradition due to the widespread practice of reading books aloud. Obviously, as we move eastwards, stories about Ali and other characters of the sacred Muslim history undergo serious generic changes. This process is accompanied by continuous interaction of oral and written traditions, gradually merging the boundary between legend and history.

Keywords: Ali, Muhammad, early Islam wars, Malay literature, oral tradition
Reexamining Two Mythological Ballads from Christine de Pizan’s Cent Balades

Reexamining Two Mythological Ballads from Christine de Pizan’s Cent Balades

Authors: L.V. Evdokimova
( 16 downloads)
Abstract

The article analyzes two mythological ballads from Christine de Pizan’s early collection Cent Balades (1399–1411). I propose to interpret them against allegorical commentary on Ovid’s Metamorphoses, a poem Ovide moralise and two treatises — Pierre Bersuire’s Ovididius moralizatus and Boccaccio’s De genealogia deorum gentilium. These works help us understand the ballad XC that critics have traditionally considered mysterious. The ballad tells the story of Adonis and his early death. Christine was familiar with the commentary on Metamorphoses that rendered the poem allegorically. The ballad can be therefore read as a story of the struggle for the human soul where Adonis emblematizes youth, Vulcan — desire, Pallas — wisdom, Juno — will, Jupiter — Supreme Reason, and Mercury — eloquence. Adonis must overcome corporeal passion voluntarily — this is the moral lesson that Christine gives in the allegorical form to her reader. Her relation of human will to reason is similar to that of Thomas Aquinas. The poem Ovide moralisé and Bersuire’s Ovididius moralizatus shed light on the allegorical subtext of the ballad LXI that narrates the love story of Io and Jupiter. Io epitomizes a sinful human soul temporarily deprived of humanity that, however, returns to the beloved — Jupiter, or God. The analysed poems demonstrate Christine’s taste for allegorical and obscure poetry that Boccaccio defended in his De genealogia deorum gentilium.

Keywords: Christine de Pizan, Cent Balades, mythological ballades, allegorical comments on Metamorphoses, Ovide moralis, Pierre Bersuire, Boccaccio’s De genealogia deorum gentilium
Postmodernist Techniques and Grown-Up Themes in the Juvenile Novel Learning to Scream (2009) by Beate T. Hanike

Postmodernist Techniques and Grown-Up Themes in the Juvenile Novel Learning to Scream (2009) by Beate T. Hanike

Authors: T.V. Govenko
( 17 downloads)
Abstract

The novel Learning to Scream (Rotkäppchen muss weinen, 2009) by Beate Teresa Hanika is addressed to the adolescent reader. This is a novel about growing up, a novelinitiation which main character challenges life circumstances and finds the strength to put an end to the family abuse; from her early childhood, she was sexually abused by her own grandfather, a former Nazi who took part in the World War II, with the tacit consent of her grandmother. Sexual violence of minors in the family, a theme raised by B.T. Hanika was considered tabooed both in society and in juvenile literature up until the 21st century, when juvenile literature declared itself as literature without borders. Modern authors working with social-oriented fiction genres, make their characters experience their own, individual apocalypse, while at the same time, retain the right to the happy ending. Fairy tale techniques and allusions traditionally have created a special aesthetic and psychological climate for children and adolescents. By means of postmodernist literature, B.T. Hanika removes taboos from the grown-up audience topics and tells stories about traumatized childhood to adolescents without traumatizing them.

Keywords: modern German juvenile literature, folklore, postmodernism, intertextuality
Religious Dimension of German “Unending Book” in the Children’s Fantasy by Cornelia Funke

Religious Dimension of German “Unending Book” in the Children’s Fantasy by Cornelia Funke

Authors: E.V. Astashchenko
( 10 downloads)
Abstract

This article examines a fantasy genre in the work of Cornelia Funke against the background of Protestantism and “Als ob” (“as if”) philosophy. Alongside, it also explores fantastic Romantic novels written by modern German authors (M. Gläser, K. Gier, K. Mayer, and V. Moers) that champion the cult of literature and writing. The essay thus attempts to systematize the features of German identity as revealed through representation of childhood and the national specificity of fictional art. The symbol of “an unending book” as a way of reconstructing the world is at the very basis of German culture and is endowed with religious meanings, from Novalis to M. Ende and more recently to C. Funke. In The Thief Lord (Herr der Diebe), a novel full of references to E.T.A. Hoffmann’s Princess Brambilla, F. Pforr’s and F. Overbek’s paintings, Funke seeks to combine German love of dreaming with poeticized Italian joyfulness and love of life. For example, the novel’s characters discover a magical carousel on the Isle of Mysteries and set off on an existential journey. In the course of this journey, they try to recognize themselves “in other clothes that seem to belong to the past,” in a fashion similar to Heinrich von Ofterdingen. In the Inkheart trilogy (Inkheart, Inkspell, and Inkdeath), the author underscores the vernicle nature of verbal reality and its power over human existence; she also touches upon the problem of the author and her literary gift. According to Funke, a human being should certainly correspond to his or her higher destination and be directed by the inner moral law. However, it is words, like prayers in late Kant, that transform and create the universe.

Keywords: children’s fiction, Die unendliche Geschichte, hermeneutics, didacticism, escapism
Sacred Land –Roman Empire – Byzantium — Rus’: The Concept of Heredity in Old Russian Literature

Sacred Land –Roman Empire – Byzantium — Rus’: The Concept of Heredity in Old Russian Literature

Authors: V.M. Kirillin
( 25 downloads)
Abstract

The article examines the history of the idea of connection, succession, and heredity between Old Rus’, on the one hand, and such ancient political and spiritual centers of the Christian world as Jerusalem, Rome, and Constantinople on the other, within the Old Russian political thought. This idea was never documented in particular treatises but was nonetheless present in fictional, polemical and didactic works whether as a marginal or central theme, whether directly or allegorically. The author of the article considerably extends the circle of sources that drew retrospective analogies between Russian history and Sacred Land history. Indirect parallels in the “Word about the Law and the Grace” become explicit and specific in the hagiographic legend about Kiev Prince Vladimir Svyatoslavich and later recur, with different accents, in a number of literary texts in the 15th–17th centuries, reflecting the course of Russian history. In these texts, we encounter a division between Rome as a symbol of imperial mundane power associated with state politics, and Jerusalem as a symbol of the Kingdom of God associated with church and religion.

Keywords: Jerusalem, Rome, Constantinople, Kiеv, Moscow, the theory of translatio imperii, biography of Vladimir Svyatoslavich, retrospective analogy, “Story about Russian Literacy,” Moscow architectural design
Musical Outlook in Alexey Losev’s Novel The Woman-Thinker

Musical Outlook in Alexey Losev’s Novel The Woman-Thinker

Authors: G. Rimondi
( 13 downloads)
Abstract

This article discusses the role of music in the context of A.F. Losev’s philosophical prose of the 1930’s and 1940’s. Describing the key ideas of Losev’s philosophy of music, the essay presents Losev as both the writer and the philosopher and analyzes the relationship between these two facets of his work. It pays particular attention to the way philosophical ideas are conveyed in the novel The Woman-Thinker where the opposition of rational thought and antinomical knowledge emerges in the form of a binary of the “musical” and the “non-musical,” as two modes of attitude to the being. In the novel, the specificity of the musical worldview is embodied in the tragic fate of the pianist Radina whose character reveals a deep reflection on the meaning of life and the spiritual state of contemporaneity.

Keywords: A.F. Losev’s philosophical prose, musical myth, musical worldview, The WomanThinker, autobiographism, philosophy of music

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