Acta Universitatis Lodziensis. Folia Litteraria Rossica <div style="text-align: justify;"> <p><em>Acta Universitatis Lodziensis. Folia Litteraria Rossica </em>yearly publishes papers on Russian literature and culture, alongside articles devoted to translational issues connected with literary texts. Occasionally, works in the field of more broadly understood Slavic studies are accepted as well. The aim of the journal is to present research results by scholars specialising in Russian/Slavic studies from home and foreign academic centres, to foster the exchange of ideas and integrate the academic community.</p> <p><a href=""><em>Acta Universitatis Lodziensis. Folia Litteraria Rossica </em>on <strong>Digital Commons (Elsevier)</strong></a></p> <p><a href=""><em>Acta Universitatis Lodziensis. Folia Litteraria Rossica</em> on</a></p> <p> </p> </div> Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Łódzkiego en-US Acta Universitatis Lodziensis. Folia Litteraria Rossica 1427-9681 Birds’ Eden: Birds of Paradise in Early Modern Russian Culture <p>The article discusses the model of synthesising literary images (eclecticism) with reference to the history of birds of paradise in Early Modern Russia. In medieval Russian books, legendary birds (Sirin, Alkonost, Phoenix, Gamayun, etc.) are depicted and described with their individual characteristics. Some of them have human features (anthropomorphism), others have no legs and never sit on the ground; some can heal, others can be reborn; some fascinate with their singing, others control the elements. In medieval culture, the images of these miraculous birds almost never merge. In the Early Modern Russian culture, a new “bird pantheon” is being created, the representatives of which are united on a twofold basis: external splendour and special properties of voice. The pantheon includes both characters of medieval legends and real-life birds, especially exotic ones, with which the Russian people begin to get acquainted then, mixing truth and fiction in stories about them. Birds of the “paradise pantheon” replace each other and are being combined. The symbolic paradise in folk culture becomes a space in which their various features are permitted to interact. The hyperbolisation of brightness, beauty and magical properties is perceived in this context as natural and harmonious, and various birds, getting into the “pantheon”, lose their individual characteristics and acquire features of their “neighbours”. In a drawing a parrot is called a peacock. A canary and a parrot in a wood carving look like a rooster. Gamayun and Alkonost become anthropomorphic (like Sirin) and acquire peacocks’ tails. The Sirin’s images bear the inscription “Pharaoh”, because the siren (sirena) is called “faraonka” in the Russian culture. However, the same eclecticism of images and features receives an ironic interpretation in fables and journalistic genres of the 18th century. The enumeration of beauties and wonders turns into grotesque, the multiplication of birds’ names, where a peacock and a crow, a parrot and an eagle appear alongside, leads to ridiculing the overall image. The parrot and the raven can replace each other in different translations of a fable because both of them have the ability to speak, but the expectation of a beautiful singing from the crow is a subject of a comic story. Alexander Shishkov enhances the confusion, naming not only well-known allegories (the parrot as a stupid chatterbox and imitator; a crow in peacock’s feathers), but also turning the narrative (a peacock in a crow’s feathers). Beautiful and great things become comic and ridiculous in the new culture, but remain relevant in modern kitsch.</p> Olga Kuznetsova Copyright (c) 2021 Acta Universitatis Lodziensis. Folia Litteraria Rossica 2021-12-23 2021-12-23 14 9 16 10.18778/1427-9681.14.02 The Formation of a Variety of the Travelogue Genre: Travels Through Russia in 18th-Century French Literature <p>The article is devoted to the book by Jean Chappe d’Auteroche <em>Voyage en Sibérie fait par ordre du roi</em> en 1761, which laid the foundation for the development of that variety of the genre form of travelogue about Russia which is commonly called Russophobic. Its main features are 1) a biased attitude towards the country as barbaric, backward, populated by an unenlightened, immoral people, threatening the entire European world with its aggressiveness, 2) stereotyped assessments, 3) rejection of everything unique and unfamiliar to Europeans and therefore found condemnable. The book by Chappe d’Auteroche was the product of the beliefs widespread in the late French Enlightenment that it was necessary to destroy “the Russian mirage” and to return to the European stereotype of perception of the country as an epitome of barbarism. Such a view became the first generic feature of Russophobic travelogues. This was fiercely resisted by Catherine II, whose <em>Antidote</em> was not only an attempt to refute the judgments of Chappe d’Auteroche, but also the beginning of an information war between Europe and Russia. The illwill underlying the opinions of Chappe d’Auteroche about the country had alarmed Mikhail Lomonosov four years before the publication of the book by the French author. The French astronomer gave a merciless assessment of the despotic form of government in Russia and its consequences but remained bound by the stereotypes generally accepted in the West regarding the country that he had not studied well. The book is characterised by the following: intolerance and lack of understanding for other cultures, arrogance towards everything Russian as obviously flawed, an eagerness to judge the entire life of Russia without having studied and understood the country (influenced by political ambience and the reluctance to allow Russia on equal terms into the circle of European states), and relying on cultural stereotypes. All these became the main genre features of the travelogue about Russia, of which Chappe d’Auteroche can be called the creator.</p> Nina Korzina Copyright (c) 2021 Acta Universitatis Lodziensis. Folia Litteraria Rossica 2021-12-23 2021-12-23 14 17 25 10.18778/1427-9681.14.03 On Some Features of Derzhavin’s Late Metric-Stanzaic Repertoire <p>The paper discusses versification features of the texts that make up the fifth volume of <em>Sochineniya Derzhavina</em> [The Works of Derzhavin], the last book compiled by the poet during his lifetime. These 57 poems have rarely been an object of scholarly attention and have not previously been analysed in terms of versification as a corpus. The author of the article has compiled a metric-stanzaic directory for this volume. An analysis of the material indexed this way shows that most of the poems are written in one kind of stanza. Only “Tseleniye Saula” [The Cure of Saul], a compositional centre of the collection, is written in various types of stanzas. Another work pivotal for the book, “Gimn liro-epichesky” [The Lyric-epic hymn], is written in complex Pindaric triads. Among other stanzas, the poet shows a predilection for the 8- and 6-line strophes; many poems are also written in the odic stanza (and all the odic stanzas are cast in the 4-foot iambics, traditional for them) or use variations thereof. The quatrain, one of the most popular stanzas in Russian poetry, does not occur very often in the book. Moreover, none of the quatrains is written in a 4-foot iamb — unlike the stanzas with 8 lines, more than 70% of which employ this metre. It is interesting that Derzhavin does not give preference to the rhythmic scheme of the 4-foot iamb, which is considered characteristic of his earlier poetry (with the first and fourth feet strong, second and third feet weak). The poet often employs more stresses than required by a given metre, and they can have different functions. For example, in the poem “Problesk” [A Glimpse] it is connected with the plot of the poem: the lines which speak of the difficulty of walking a path contain a high number of such “excess” stresses, through which the reader must “wade”. In some cases, a variable reading is possible (and, accordingly, the decision on the presence or absence of an extra stress) – where neither of two points of view contradicts the text, the reading depends on the arrangement of logical stresses. Transaccentuation, on the other hand, is not very common in Derzavin’s fifth volume. There are several instances of poems written in metres that must have seemed to Derzhavin similar to the ones used in the Antiquity. The most interesting of these is “Poligimnii” [To Polyhymnia], the poem that closes the collection. It is dedicated to the theme of the poet and poetry and as if serves demonstrating Derzhavin’s own skills. He seems to be stylising the meter to resemble “antique” ones (although the result is unlike any of the meters traditionally employed in Russian poetry with a view to imitating antique metrics). The choice of the stanzas is also unusual – they consist of 7 lines, with the first four lines in each rhymed (and the type of line endings varies throughout the poem), while the latter three are left unrhymed. The distribution of stresses in the line endings of the blank verses used in the last stanza occurs only once in the poem. This stanza, which is the semantic core of the poem and which closes the collection with the final line “I will be immortal, I will!”, was apparently written with intentional sophistication. In general, the analysis of the metric-stanzaic repertoire of the late Derzhavin makes it possible to see the poet as a real old master who pays attention to versification issues, avoids monotony, looks for new metrical patterns, and composes his collection skilfully – also from the point of view of versification features of the texts.</p> Ekaterina Pasternak Copyright (c) 2021 Acta Universitatis Lodziensis. Folia Litteraria Rossica 2021-12-23 2021-12-23 14 27 38 10.18778/1427-9681.14.04 A Dark-Skinned Muse: a Duel in the Steppe <p>The aim of the paper is to argue that the scene of the poet’s “duel” with the Kalmyk woman he met (not included in the final text of Pushkin’s “A Journey to Arzrum”) most likely has a literary basis rather than being based on reality. The claim is substantiated by an analysis of the texts that reflect the “Kalmyk” episode of Pushkin’s Arzrum journey (“Caucasian Diary”, 1828; “To a Kalmyk Maiden”, 1829), as well as biographical data on the corresponding period. A number of details about the encounter raise doubt as to its “authenticity”, in particular, the climax — a blow with a <em>dombra</em> on the head of a traveler who has tried to kiss the “Circe of the steppe”. Such an encounter between a stranger and a beauty, culminating in the lady-killer receiving an unexpected and often humiliating rebuff, had been a subject depicted by such eminent writers as Voltaire (the poem <em>The Maid of Orleans</em>, 1762) and Shakespeare (<em>The Taming of the Shrew,</em> 1590–1592). From the late 1810s to 1830, Pushkin himself repeatedly presented such “duels” (in the poems <em>Ruslan and Lyudmila</em> and “Count Nulin”, in his “Caucasian Diary” and the story “The Lady Rustic”). A connection of particular interest is that with Cinq-Mars ou <em>Une conjuration sous Louis XIII</em> by Alfred de Vigny (1826), mentioned in the epistle “To a Kalmyk Maiden”. This novel, mediocre but once very successful, contains a pivotal episode in which the title character punishes an “unjust judge” by hitting him on the head with a red-hot crucifix. A number of inconsistencies, however, turn the scene into a farce against the author’s intention. In “To a Kalmyk Maiden”, de Vigny is contrasted with Shakespeare, who consciously sought a comic effect by having Katherine break a lute on the head of an unwelcome teacher. In Pushkin’s text the scene in the kibitka contains a number of unmistakable references to The Taming of the Shrew. Furthermore, the use of biographical data allows the author of the paper to identify a number of semantic nuances in the epistle “To a Kalmyk Maiden” that have not been noticed earlier by researchers.</p> Andrei Kunarev Copyright (c) 2021 Acta Universitatis Lodziensis. Folia Litteraria Rossica 2021-12-23 2021-12-23 14 39 57 10.18778/1427-9681.14.05 Love, Gender Roles and Stereotypes in Chekhov’s Stories from Peasants’ Life (“Agafya”, “Baby”) <p>The article is devoted to Chekhov’s stories from the life of peasants and explores how Chekhov described folk ideas about love, how he depicted gender roles and stereotypes prevalent in this environment. The short stories “Agafya” (1886) and “Baby” (“Peasant Wives”) (1891) are interesting from the point of view of describing the state of a woman in love, her role in marriage and her social lot. Chekhov is sensitive to the framework of the folk culture, as reflected in ‘Proverbs and Sayings of the Russian People’ collected by Vladimir Dal. It is marked by male dominance, male aggression, dependent position of a woman, her vulnerability. Young girls shown in “Agafya” and “Peasant Wives” have been married off without love, and female sexuality finds its expression in extramarital relationships. In “Agafya” Savka attracts women with masculine beauty and an artistic manner. His contemplation, “concentrated immobility” and his love for birds are signs of inner freedom: Savka is not like everyone else. His existential choice arouses sympathy in women so that they bring him food or make dates with him at night. In the time of the story, Agafya has been a wife for a year, and the fact that she goes out on a date at night indirectly reflects on her marriage with a railway switchman. She will be punished in the morning. In the short story “Peasant Wives” Mashenka also becomes a victim of male sexuality. When her husband had been conscripted and “packed off to Poland,” a neighbour, Matvey Savvich, began to call on the young woman and to help her with the harder household work. In his own interpretation, “a year had not passed before the Evil One, the enemy of all mankind, confounded me” [from Constance Garnett’s translation]. In Chekhov’s text, the male character does not admit his guilt in seducing another man’s wife; he puts the blame on the woman. Thus, he does not perform the main gender role of a man – to be the protector of his beloved. In Chekhov’s short story there are two gender motives that explain a woman’s love: the first is male help with the household; the second is women’s loneliness, the need for contact and men’s affection. In Matvey Savvich’s description Masha is an adulteress and a criminal. And in all subsequent events – the wife getting bitten by her returned husband, his death from poisoning – Matvey takes the side of the formal justice. Chekhov’s short stories are anti-literary in that they reveal the author’s purpose as depicting peasant and burgher life as actual existence. There is no aestheticisation, heroisation or idealisation of peasant life, which were the sins of the populist writers (narodniki). Chekhov’s Agafya and Mashenka are Russian women, their fates are typical both in terms of gender sociology and of gender psychology. Behind the complex narrative structure, the biographical author (Chekhov) hides his own feeling of pity and compassion for a specific female fate.</p> Anatolii Sobennikov Copyright (c) 2021 Acta Universitatis Lodziensis. Folia Litteraria Rossica 2021-12-23 2021-12-23 14 59 68 10.18778/1427-9681.14.06 The Dialogical Quality of the Russian Poetry of the Silver Age: A Case Study of Poems about Don Juan <p>The article brings a discussion of three poems of Russian modernist poets that undertake the theme of Don Juan – written by Konstantin Balmont, Valery Bryusov and Nikolai Gumilyov. The purpose is to elucidate the characteristics of the artistic dialogue in the discourse of modernist poetry. Two types of dialogue are discussed: macro- and microdialogue. The former is realised through intertextual forms, the latter – by means of intersubjective forms. When poets refer to the image of Don Juan, one variety of dialogue may well transform into the other. The author of the paper indicates emphatically that the poems under discussion constitute a chain of transformations of the image of Don Juan: the image as proposed by Balmont is then developed by Bryusov and revaluated by Gumilyov. The semantic core of all the three texts is the image of Don Juan as a wanderer who yields to temptations of transient delights.</p> Aleksandra Szymańska Copyright (c) 2021 Acta Universitatis Lodziensis. Folia Litteraria Rossica 2021-12-23 2021-12-23 14 69 79 10.18778/1427-9681.14.07 The Poem “Neslyshnyi, Melkyi Padal Dozhd’…” by Nikolai Gumilyov: The Motive of the Double and the Quest to Understand the Nature of Evil <p>The article discusses the poetics of a little-known poem, “Neslyshnyi, melkyi padal dozhd’…” [‘It was quiet and drizzling…’] (1907), in terms of the formation of the motif of the double as a key parameter of Nikolai Gumilyov’s artistic world. This text was not published during the poet’s lifetime and is known from an autograph in a letter to Valery Bryusov. Gumilyov’s refraining from publishing this poem could have had various causes, but the author of the paper attributes it to two factors. The first one is that it would have been difficult to embed this text in the conceptual logic of the cross-cutting “plots” of either Romanticheskiye tsvety [‘Romantic Flowers’] (1908) or Zhemchuga [‘Pearls’] (1910), i. e. poetic books the creation of which is chronologically close to the time of writing this poem. The second is the fact that “Neslyshnyi, melkyi padal dozhd’…” explicitly affirms the demonic principle in the human “self ” as an axiological constant, explicating the adherence to the “diabolical” poetics of early Russian symbolism, which Gumilyov had been trying to creatively rethink since 1907. However, despite the author’s neglect, the poem merits close attention, since it shows fundamentally important aspects of Gumilyov’s artistic conception. This poetic text is based on a narrative representation of the meeting between the lyrical subject and the character of a killer, who appears as his double, an alter ego of “the self ”. The analysis of the poem shows that recognizing the value of the painful existence of the demonic stranger is an act of comprehending the ontological nature of evil, which in the consciousness of the lyrical “I” acquires the status of something equivalent to the good of the existential constant. In the structure of this text the motif of the double, which goes back to the poetic practice of the romanticism and of the Russian symbolism, is realised on the story-plot level by dividing the human soul into two hypostases, the “light” and the “dark” one, the meeting of which becomes for the lyrical subject an initiation into the essence of another world. The author formulates the conclusion that getting to know the infernal side of the universe, here through the actualisation of the motif of the double, was in Gumilyov’s writing conceived as a necessary process of gaining spiritual experience that would synthesise the “light” (positive) and the “dark” (negative) aspects of being. Accordingly, the lyrical “I”’s encounter with his criminal- -demonic double presented in the discussed poem reveals the principles of formation of Gumilyov’s occasional mythopoetics based on the convergence of ontological antinomies.</p> Arkadii Chevtaev Copyright (c) 2021 Acta Universitatis Lodziensis. Folia Litteraria Rossica 2021-12-23 2021-12-23 14 81 95 10.18778/1427-9681.14.08 Iosif Brodsky’s Anapestic Dimeter: Rhythm and Semantics <p>The paper discusses the poems by Iosif Brodsky written in cross-rhymed anapestic dimeter with alternating feminine and masculine line endings. The focus is on two poems titled “Strofy” (1968 and 1978). Anapestic dimeter is not typical of Brodsky’s work, his oeuvre includes only four poems written in this meter: “Stansy” (Stanzas, 1962), “Pod zanaves” (At Curtain-Call, 1965) and the two texts with the same title “Strofy” (Strophes, 1968 and 1978). Therefore, an assumption is made that the poet chooses it not by chance and that when doing so he follows the rhythmic patterns and semantic characteristics already established in Russian poetry in connection with this meter. Anapestic dimeter is rarely encountered in Russian poetry, with the main period of its development being the twentieth century, and the set of texts written in this meter limited, which makes it possible to clearly outline the range of possible “metrical pre-texts” of Brodsky’s poems. The metrical and rhythmic characteristics of anapestic dimeter of Brodsky are analysed and compared with those of Boris Pasternak and, on a smaller scale, those of Anna Akhmatova and Innokenty Annensky. The analysis of the poem “Strofy” (1978) shows how Brodsky makes a new use of the metrical-rhythmic potential contained in a seven- or six-syllable speech segment by combining two-word lines of anapestic dimeter with three-word (and therefore three-beat) tonic verses – at the same time retaining the connection both with his predecessors (here, Pasternak) and with his own texts, written earlier or over the same period.</p> Olga Barash Copyright (c) 2021 Acta Universitatis Lodziensis. Folia Litteraria Rossica 2021-12-23 2021-12-23 14 97 110 10.18778/1427-9681.14.09 Boris Pasternak’s “Wind (Four Fragments About Blok)” as a Neotraditionalist Cycle <p>The purpose of this article is to study the relations of the neotraditionalist cycle and genre strategies, as applied to Boris Pasternak’s cycle of poems “Wind (Four Fragments about Blok)” (1956). Despite an abundance of research dedicated to Pasternak’s attitude to Aleksandr Blok, still little attention is paid to the poetics of this lyric cycle. The analysis of genre strategies, the concept of which has been developed by Valery Tyupa, and the principles of lyric cycle, proposed by Igor Fomenko, were used as the methodology of this research. The paper is organised around the following points. Firstly, while the main title (“Wind”) and the meter (amphibrachic trimeter with the rhyme scheme AbAb) function as a centripetal force of the cycle, the configuration of various genre invariants becomes a centrifugal force. Secondly, however, the genre repertoire shows a special logic of the lyric cycle, which can be characterised as a movement from the vertical of the ode to the horizontal of the ballad. The first poem follows the strategy of the ode, but cannot be regarded as a traditional one. In the second poem, the lyrical subject uniquely combines the strategy of the idyll with Blok’s radicalness through the image of wind. The third poem also takes up the strategy of the idyll; here, however, signs of an impending catastrophe can be seen in the lines resonant with the first poem of Blok’s cycle “On the Kulikovo Field”. In the final poem, looking at the lines from Bely’s poem “To the Motherland” (“And you, firestorm, / rage and burn me, / Russia, Russia, Russia”) makes it possible to identify the strategy as that of the ballad (“Blok awaited this storm and its lashing. / With flame- -strikes its lashes would hit” [from Don Mager’s verse translation, “Wind”]). Thirdly, the analysis of Pasternak’s cycle from the perspective of genre strategies helps us to reconstruct a dialogue between poets, which is inherent in the neotraditionalist poetics. Finally, the artistic logic of combining genres in this work sheds new light on the poetological characteristics of the neotraditionalist cycle, which should be distinguished from the poetic homage.</p> Dzhongkhen Li Copyright (c) 2021 Acta Universitatis Lodziensis. Folia Litteraria Rossica 2021-12-23 2021-12-23 14 111 121 10.18778/1427-9681.14.10 The Motif of Palingenesis in the Megatext of World War I <p>The paper explores poems by Russian and Belarusian authors written during World War I and directly related to this historical phenomenon. The presence of a common “mission” – that of overcoming death and destruction – induces the author to combine these texts into a megatext. Problems related to the creation and existence of supertext formations have become a priority of research in modern literary studies. The range of such polytextual unities is gradually expanding and has been acquiring a tradition of scholarly description. In this regard, the question of whether to consider the text(s) of World War I as a megatext is a legitimate one and requires an answer. A megatext ought to be understood as a synthetic supersaturated text that preserves traces of an “extra-textual substrate”. The megatext of World War I, from our point of view, is a complex semiotic formation of a mythopoetic nature. An analysis of the poetry of this period (1914–1915) reveals a similarity between the texts of authors that belong to different literary trends and schools as well as to different national literatures. This similarity can be explained by the influence of a common “mission”, and this is why the poems reproduce the same model of the world. This model of the world can be investigated through motives; among them the author of the paper indicates images of fire, including the world conflagration, in combination with images of food. The unifying principle behind these images can be identified as the motif of palingenesis, which indicates the substrate mythologem of rebirth or resurrection. The peculiarity of “life-and-death” issue in the megatext of the World War I is that the “eternal return” and rebirth lead not to a renewal, but to a circular movement between deaths: after dying in the universal conflagration, the world is not reborn, as could be expected. Cyclical by its nature, the mythological plot finds its realisation in this megatext in the form of a cumulative chain.</p> Diana Molchanova Copyright (c) 2021 Acta Universitatis Lodziensis. Folia Litteraria Rossica 2021-12-23 2021-12-23 14 123 132 10.18778/1427-9681.14.11 Metabole as a Dominant Type of Verbal Image in Metarealism: Reasons for Distinguishing and Ways of Analysing It <p>In the article the author analyses contemporary contents of the term <em>metabole</em>, as well as the ways of and limitations to using it. The term has been introduced by Mikhail Epstein with reference to <em>metarealism</em>, one of the largest Russian poetry schools, which emerged in the 1980s. The notion not only helps to understand the specifics of metarealistic language, but also makes analyses of this language more productive. By now, the content of the term metabole has expanded, which allows the author of the paper to look at this type of verbal image from several positions. Thus, from the point of view of linguistic poetics (Severskaya), <em>metabole</em> can be considered as a type of synthetic, contaminating method of word transformation, based on the mechanism of “realising”, “literalising” the metaphor. For example, in Aleksandr Yeryomenko’s sonnet “V gustykh metallurgicheskikh lesakh” [‘In the dense metallurgical forests…’] the metabole ‘metallurgical forests’ has a direct, literal meaning. In Ivan Zhdanov’s poem “More, chto zazhato v klyuvakh ptits, – dozhd’…” [‘The sea, clasped in the beaks of birds – rain...’] contamination encompasses various tropes: the complicating of the constructions of identification with predicative metaphors expressed by the participles (‘clasped’, ‘encompassed’) and the genitive metaphor (‘gesture of a tree’). From the point of view of theoretical and historical poetics (according to Broitman), metabole can be understood as one of the ways to revive the image language of syncretism, which expresses the relationship of identity of heterogeneous phenomena. For example, in the poem “Bortsy” [‘Wrestlers’] by Aleksei Parshchikov, cumulative images and parallelisms create an inversion of the myth about the origin of species. Applying combined philological methods makes it possible to see how metabolic imagery results from the contamination of various tropes and from the interpenetration of two image languages. For instance, in Andrei Tavrov’s poem “Blake i mladenets” [‘Blake and the Infant’] the accumulation of images forms a metaphysical picture, which correlates with the archaic motif of the path. At the same time, the description of the character of the poem is built through a contamination of tropes. The paper shows that the synthesis of linguistic, theoretical and historical poetics allows one to analyse the texts not only of early metarealism (Parshchikov, Yeryomenko, Zhdanov, Arkadii Dragomoshchenko), but also pertaining to metarealism at the contemporary stage (Vladimir Aristov’s <em>idem-forma</em>, the <em>before-verbal</em> of Tavrov, Kutik’s intertextuality, <em>Celtic poetics </em>of Agris), and to various poetics associated with metarealism (the Dragomoshchenko line, etc.).</p> Aleksei Masalov Copyright (c) 2021 Acta Universitatis Lodziensis. Folia Litteraria Rossica 2021-12-23 2021-12-23 14 133 144 10.18778/1427-9681.14.12 Biblical Allusions in Contemporary Russian Poetry <p>The paper deals with enigmatic symbols presented in Biblical allusions in the texts of contemporary Russian poets Bakhyt Kenzheev, Evgeny Lesin, Ilya Falikov and Oleg Komkov. Three types of artistic symbols may be distinguished according to the criterion of their interpretative depth: empathic symbols are connected with the most important characteristics of existence, eidetic symbols remain in our memory due to the exceptional brightness of images, while enigmatic symbols constitute riddles to be deciphered. Biblical allusions in modern Russian poetry often belong to the third class of symbols. The allusions in the poems analysed are predominantly tragic in tone and develop the ideas of Ecclesiastes, with an emphasis on the incomprehensibility of the divine plan. The images of retribution to Sodom and flights to Egypt and from it illustrate the eternal circle of human existence. Bakhyt Kenzheev offers a new reading of the story of the destruction of Sodom, in which God’s messenger comes to the ruins of the city to see if there are any survivors after the apocalyptical retribution. A new dialogue with Ecclesiastes includes an image of an endless line of lanterns which may symbolise an after-death meeting of souls. In another poem of this author there is an allusion to the world’s annihilation as a necessary stage of the development of the Universe. Evgeny Lesin calls his country the last Sodom, and a place which he is reluctant to leave even though he is aware of its imminent fate. A new interpretation of the Exodus from Egypt is given by Ilya Falikov. In his take it becomes an eternal journey in a circle with no chance of escape. Oleg Komkov also treats this narrative in a new way: as a never-ending chain of death and resurrection. These allusions emphasise the idea that after creation, there inevitably comes destruction. The emphasis in the analysed texts is on a tragic perception of the world blended with an ironic attitude to it. Interpreting enigmatic symbols requires from the readers a creative participation in the dialogue with poets.</p> Vladimir Karasik Copyright (c) 2021 Acta Universitatis Lodziensis. Folia Litteraria Rossica 2021-12-23 2021-12-23 14 145 156 10.18778/1427-9681.14.13 “Self-Portrait” and the Issues of the Visual in the Russian Poetry of the 20th Century <p>The paper analyses visual poetics in a number of poems entitled “Self-portrait”. The author construes the visual in literature as a category of poetics which assumes the visibility of the inner world of the poem for the lyrical subject and for the reader. The visual in the lyric poetry can be expressed in various ways, including allusions to the genres of visual arts, for example, to self-portraiture. The topic undertaken is relevant, given the currently growing interest in intermediality in literature in general and in poetry in particular. What is new about the present research is that poetic self-portraits are considered here from the point of view of visual poetics. The main purpose of the paper is to analyse the ways in which the lyrical subject visually represents his or her own image. The following aspects are touched upon: the interaction of poetry and painting, the common and the differentiating features of a pictorial and a lyrical self-portrait; the use of visual details; the subjective structure of poems and the lyrical plot. There is also an attempt to build a typology of poetic self-portraits, depending on how the lyrical subject sees himself/herself as another. The material of the study includes poems by Aleksandr Kushner, Ilya Selvinsky, Andrei Voznesensky, Osip Mandelshtam, Konstantin Bolshakov, Valentin Katarsin, Nikolai Rylenkov, and others.</p> Viktoriia Malkina Copyright (c) 2021 Acta Universitatis Lodziensis. Folia Litteraria Rossica 2021-12-23 2021-12-23 14 157 168 10.18778/1427-9681.14.14 Photopoetics as Structure: ‘A Camera is a Scary Thing…’ by Boris Khersonsky <p>The article is dedicated to the analysis of the poem “fotokamera strashnaya veshch…” [‘a camera is a scary thing...’] by Boris Khersonsky. The analysis is divided into three levels encompassing the sound, vocabulary and grammar, and the plot. The structural features of the poem are identified and it is shown that they conform to the peculiarities of photopoetics, such as transgressiveness, discreteness, isolation, documentary character and metonymic treatment of the object. The sound-level analysis reveals a lack of order, in view of which rhyme becomes the ordering mechanism of the poem. Syntagms corresponding to the syllabotonic meter are broken by enjambements, some of which also violate stanza boundaries. The density of consonants and vowels and the rhythmic scheme allow the author of the paper to highlight the weak and strong points of the poem, as well as the principles of the relations between stanzas: they can form crosswise or regular pairs, both opposed and conjoined. The poem’s vocabulary features two thematic fields, one relating to the camera, the other to the soul. The camera is mostly connected with death and immobility, it can capture only scattered fragments, while the soul, on the contrary, is living, moving, it can see and contains memories. Combining the two groups in metaphors and personifications can be perceived as an attempt to overcome antinomies and at the same time as acknowledging that it is impossible to do so. The initial situation is that of the horror of the camera. Mechanically organised memory (photo album) is lost, and the human soul proves to be more capacious and more perfect, which helps to negate and thus ultimately overcome the initial situation. The lyrical subject cannot appear in the text, and where he strives to do this, he turns out to be helpless, the weakest link in the plot. In the first stanza, the world captured by the camera falls apart and becomes insignificant – it loses its uniqueness due to the infinity of automatic clicks (the camera is alive). The second attempt to collect this world within the framework of the album proves futile (the soul is dead). In the third stanza, the situation is reversed (the soul is alive). The poem ends, in essence, with the death of the camera, because its gaze lacks viability. The turning point in which the subject becomes aware of himself in the process of reflection is the moment of differentiation between his vision and the vision of the camera: it does not see, but the lyrical subject does. Thus, photography, which appears to the reader primarily as a topic, becomes the basis of the poetics of the entire text. Throughout the poem, we are faced with how, for example, metric-rhythmic and syntactic discreteness is overcome with the help of stanzaic unity, how fragmentation of imagery turns into integrity through oxymoronic combinations; grammatical isolation and limitations of vocabulary are not absolute; the transgression of the lyrical subject, forcing him into losing his identity, is overcome by gaining his own vision. Finally, object metonymy – replacing memories with photographs – ends with the defeat of the camera and the triumph of the integrity of the subject.</p> Mariia Samarkina Copyright (c) 2021 Acta Universitatis Lodziensis. Folia Litteraria Rossica 2021-12-23 2021-12-23 14 169 179 10.18778/1427-9681.14.15 Genrikh Sapgir: “…Children’s Thinking is Much Like Poetry” <p>The article dwells on the specific character of subjectivity in the poems by Genrikh Sapgir. The features of the lyrical subject’s speech and thinking are discussed on basis of the book Deti v sadu [Children in the Garden]. As the analysis shows, the author’s strategy in this poetic volume is an artistic reconstruction of an adult’s attempt to enter the world of a child’s consciousness. It turns out that texts composed of “half-words” provide clues enough for well- -defined and adequate interpretations. Among the author’s main methods and “signals” that guide the reader, one should mention the context of an utterance (provided by a line or by a poem as a whole) and the operation of language regularities. The poems present a certain poetic experiment, the essence of which is to show the ability of speech to convey meaning accurately even when a significant proportion of lexical units is missing – due to the systemic character of language itself. The result is an attempt of an adult to get into the world of a child’s consciousness, to show this world through “the child’s own mentality”. Moreover, Sapgir’s “experiment” has methodological importance. In the volume Deti v sadu, the poet corroborates the claim made by Aleksandr Skaftymov in his absentee dispute with Aleksandr Potebnya: the subjectivity of a reader’s perception notwithstanding, it is the author that guides the reader. As is worth pointing out, Sapgir may have had yet another reason for resorting to the “half- -words’ poetics”. As is well known, Viktor Krivulin has suggested that as a children’s poet Genrikh Sapgir was a true professional, while in his adult poetics the professionalism sometimes handicapped him. On the one hand then, dealing with the “child’s vision” is one of the ways to avoid “adult professionalism”. On the other hand, such poetics entirely corresponds with Sapgir’s type of creativity – his constant search for new writing methods and new forms of poetic language.</p> Elena Balashova Igor Kargashin Copyright (c) 2021 Acta Universitatis Lodziensis. Folia Litteraria Rossica 2021-12-23 2021-12-23 14 181 189 10.18778/1427-9681.14.16 “Parad Idiotov” by Gehrikh Sapgir in the Context of Twentieth-Century Poetry <p>This paper analyses and interprets possible sources of the subtext in Genrikh Sapgir’s poem “Parad idiotov” [‘A Parade of idiots’], namely motifs of the road and marching onward, as reflected in the revolutionary parades of the early twentieth century and in the Soviet poetry for children and for the general reader. In the poetry of Aleksandr Galich and Iosif Brodsky the revolutionary fervour of the parade is presented ironically. In it, the distinctions between military and civil parades, between the jubilee parade and a workers’ demonstration are elided: movement to the music itself becomes a characteristic motif of the poetry of the 1960s, so that the motif of the parade becomes not just a literary signifier, but also a feature of everyday life, suggesting on the one hand joy and celebration, and on the other the greatness of the country and the glorification of the Soviet man who strides along “the correct path”. In parallel with the semantics of a holiday, the motif of the procession acquires an additional meaning (also inspired by the era) of a forced movement, the march of prisoners towards their place of imprisonment. Sometimes the parade motif takes on both meanings: the joyous march and the listless marching of puppets become woven into a single whole. It is noteworthy that in children’s poetry, the parade motif is indistinguishable from its counterpart in “adult” poetry. The lyrical subject of Sapgir’s poem, who walks towards the parade of idiots, merges with it: movement is proclaimed to be the goal of life, and death for a dream with a blissful smile – the romantic idea of an idiot. It is probably no coincidence that Sapgir’s text contains no direct quotes from previous “parade” texts nor clear markers of a genetic connections with them: the poet is quoting not texts, but the epoch.</p> Svetlana Artemova Copyright (c) 2021 Acta Universitatis Lodziensis. Folia Litteraria Rossica 2021-12-23 2021-12-23 14 191 202 10.18778/1427-9681.14.17 “Ya Ne Zabudu Svoyei Kolybelnoi…” by Pyotr Vegin: a Genre-Oriented Analysis <p>Pyotr Vegin’s text “Ya ne zabudu svoyei kolybelnoi…” [‘I won’t forget my lullaby’] is weaved of multi-genre motives. Its analysis in the paper substantiates the conclusion that the writer continues the genre history of “the last poem”, valediction and visionary poetry, and that he adopts a polemical stance toward the Horatian tradition of “poetic monuments”. In classical texts, starting with Horace’s “Exegi monumentum...”, which are rhetorical and open to public discussion and part of a poetic agon, the poet’s posthumous fame is compared with artifacts of material memory that are being belittled for the sake of the author’s self-aggrandisement. Vegin’s “monument” is, by contrast, dendronic (a ‘Lombardy poplar’) and his poetic voice soft, addressless, and not expecting response. In juxtaposing Vegin’s text with Pushkin’s “Ya pamyatnik sebe vozdvig nerukotvornyi” (‘I’ve raised myself a monument not built by human hands’), what is evident is a lowering down of the romantic image of the lyre (Pushkin’s ‘my soul in the sacred lyre’) as the sign of the creative legacy bequeathed to the scions, or, in a broader sense, as an allegory of the poetic tradition. As distinguished from the mainly ironic revaluation of this tradition by Vegin’s contemporaries, his polemic with it is undertaken, as it were, from inside, by means of a metaphoric resemantisation of its stylistic formulas, while at the same time leads to creating Vegin’s individual version of a “poetic monument”. His is semantically oriented not on the immortality of the author’s artistic legacy but on an individual reincarnation, a resurrection that excludes death as such by dint of the poet’s carnal death, which has served as the event around which the poetic text is build.</p> Boris Ivaniuk Copyright (c) 2021 Acta Universitatis Lodziensis. Folia Litteraria Rossica 2021-12-23 2021-12-23 14 203 213 10.18778/1427-9681.14.18 “Vsyo ne tak, kak nado…”: from Vysotsky’s parody to Pyetzukh’s remake (axiologisation of Russian classic) <p>The idea of the literariness of Russian culture, of the impact of literature on Russian life may be an axiom of the Russian cultural consciousness, yet it does not cease to attract the attention of researchers. Russian literature itself, from the 19th century onwards, has been a manifestation of this idea, even though the semantics of the life–literature relationship evolves. The present text traces the development of the said idea in the Russian unofficial literature from the Soviet period (1960s-1980s) on the basis of comparison between Vladimir Vysotsky’s parody on Pushkin’s prologue to the poem Ruslan and Lyudmila and Vyacheslav Pyetzukh’s The New Moscow Philosophy (Novaya moskovskaya filosofiya) – a remake of Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment. A question is posed about the difference between Vysotsky’s parody and school parodies (a connection which the bard’s researchers also investigate) and the elements of remake within it. The analysis thus leads to the theoretical problem of the relationship between parody and remake. What calls for attention in Pyetzukh’s novella is the metatextual commentary on the role and value of the Russian classics (and literature in general), and on the literariness of the Russian consciousness – a commentary which becomes close to scientific discourse. The affinity of Pyetzukh’s concept with that of Vysotsky can also be found in the travestied image of the Soviet reality as seen in the mirror of a classic work, and in the direct expression of the notion of devaluation: the “not as with other people” formula in Pyetzukh, and the one “things are not as they ought to be” in Vysotsky. The conclusion points to the development of a similar axiologisation of the Russian classics observable in the post-modern remakes from the 1990s to this day.</p> Dechka Chavdarova Copyright (c) 2021 Acta Universitatis Lodziensis. Folia Litteraria Rossica 2021-12-23 2021-12-23 14 215 230 10.18778/1427-9681.14.19 The Phenomenon of Silence in Contemporary Russian Fiction (The Novels of Yevgeny Vodolazkin, Lyudmila Ulitskaya and Guzel Yakhina) <p><em>Silence</em>, a characteristic theme in Russian literature, also plays a significant role in contemporary Russian fiction. Yevgeny Vodolazkin’s Laurus, Lyudmila Ulitskaya’s <em>The Kukotsky Enigma</em> and Guzel Yakhina’s <em>Deti moi</em> [‘My Children’] share several features in their representation of the phenomenon of silence, despite the manifold differences in the plots, the periods in which they are set and in the characters. The first part of the paper explores the components of the three works that establish connections between silence and the conflict, the chronotope and the issue of communication. In each case the plot focuses on the story of a deep but doomed love. It is the protagonist that is responsible for the love’s tragic end and will later try to redeem his or her sin and thereby preserve love in themselves. In all the three works, the reason for the silence of the protagonist – Arseniy, a mediaeval healer, Yelena Kukotskaya, the wife of a gynaecologist from Moscow, and the teacher Bach, a Volga German – is the violence they have had to endure. The spatial attribute of silence is a place on the periphery, which assumes a certain symbolic meaning. In each of the plots, water becomes a very significant spatial element, and it assumes a distinctive mythopoetic function. All three protagonists partake in some mystical experience in which linear time, which plays a dominant role in the depiction of their progression through life, is eliminated. The silent characters also stand out from their environment because of their special connection with language and culture. They replace speech with gestures and writing, and their connection with culture becomes a starting point for certain parallels with the literary tradition. In the second part of the study the common features of the three plots are examined from the point of view of the anthropology of silence and in the perspective of postmodernism. On the basis of this, the author of the paper concludes that none of the three writers are postmodern in the way they describe silence, in terms of either anthropology or aesthetics. Firstly, the image of the human which they revive is characteristic of the Christian and the Cartesian tradition, and alien to the postmodern. Secondly, contrary to the way the function of a literary author is conceptualised in postmodernism, in all the three novels the writers adopt an omniscient position, that is, they embrace the role and responsibility of a centre of sense-making and language.</p> Tünde Szabó Copyright (c) 2021 Acta Universitatis Lodziensis. Folia Litteraria Rossica 2021-12-23 2021-12-23 14 231 246 10.18778/1427-9681.14.20 Determinants of Time in Yevgeny Vodolazkin’s Novel “The Aviator” <p>The paper is devoted to the category of time in the novel <em>The Aviator</em> (2016) by Yevgeny Vodolazkin, the category being the key to comprehending the conceptual universe of this text. The main aim of the study is to identify the temporal layers in the novel and to indicate the dominant attributes that define each of the described periods. In the paper time is considered as a phenomenon, and attribute (determinant) as its distinctive feature. Such an approach allows the author to identify not two, as in previous scholarly literature, but three layers of time: the period of pre- -revolutionary Russia, the period of the “Bolshevik hell”, and the period of Russia at the end of the second millennium. The interpretation of the nature of time in the novel has also been facilitated by a general consideration of the work’s genre affiliation. Basing on the conviction that the elements imperceptible in the historical process create a real picture of a certain period, thus encouraging the study of the minutiae of life in different times, the author describes various details, as well as classifies them. The representative groups of indicators are distinguished as follows: smells inherent to certain attributes, sounds emitted by attributes, elements of the characters’ everyday life as well as festive time, means of transport, and the arrangement of space. The concept of chronotope, developed by Mikhail Bakhtin, has also been important for the study. The author notices that the change of a historical reference point is accompanied by a new characterisation of the indicators. In the discussed novel it is precisely the attributes that make it possible to separate the temporal layers, and this, indeed, is their main function.</p> Piotr Baleja Copyright (c) 2021 Acta Universitatis Lodziensis. Folia Litteraria Rossica 2021-12-23 2021-12-23 14 247 260 10.18778/1427-9681.14.21 On Visual and Graphic Experimentation in a Prose Text (Knishka Pollok’s “Writing in the Fourth Degree”) <p>The article examines the poetics of the book <em>Pis’mo v chetvyortoi stepeni</em> [Writing in the Fourth Degree], published in 2017 by friends of the late author, the writer and philologist Oleg Gorbachev (1980–2016), who wrote under the pseudonym of Knishka Pollok. The book displays such structural features as non-linearity of the plot, fragmentary narration, combining epic, lyrical and documentary genres, meta- and intertextuality, as well as visual and graphic expressiveness. The present contribution focuses on this last aspect, which manifests itself, in particular, in the use of the $ sign instead of the letter ж [corresponding to the /ʐ/ sound, typically transcribed “zh”] – a device mimicking an imaginary computer error. Another paragraphemic element is the use of italics, which marks parts of another’s (extraneous) text representing the genres of the short story, the letter, or the medical document. An even stronger typographic marker is the use of bold characters to highlight the extraneous poetic text embedded in the writer’s own prose text. Distinguishing between the two types of text is possible only thanks to the font differentiation, the meaning of which becomes apparent to the reader not immediately, but in the process of (re)reading. The essence of the experiment is to notice signals of a stricter, orderly arrangement in the groups of selected words and to impose on the structural code of prose a different code – the poetic one. Such combined forms can legitimately be called “verseprose”. This dynamic combination of prose and verse elements, whereby a new theme is added to the main theme, forming a structural and semantic unity with it, produces what may be called a certain “prosametric” counterpoint. Oleg Gorbachev’s book might be turned into an audiobook, if desired, but then the entire semantic layer created by supragraphemic means would be lost. “Writing in the fourth degree” is an example of experimental prose in which paragraphemics constitute one of the levels on which meaning is generated.</p> Aleksandr Stepanov Copyright (c) 2021 Acta Universitatis Lodziensis. Folia Litteraria Rossica 2021-12-23 2021-12-23 14 261 273 10.18778/1427-9681.14.22 A Young Poet from the Pavlodar Region: The Originality of the Poetry of Ilya Argentum <p>The article is devoted to the study of poetry of Ilya Argentum, a Russian-speaking author of the Pavlodar region in Kazakhstan. The article presents an attempt to identify traits that characterise the creative output of this contemporary author. In the analysis, special attention is paid to how the worldview provides foundations for Argentum’s writing. When addressing issues such as the meaning of life, the true and false values, death and immortality, love, the role of the poet in modern life, the role his hometown has played in his own destiny, the young poet undoubtedly proves his individuality, both artistically and in terms of worldview. The poet’s significant creative potential and his original manner of writing help legitimizing the claim about the strengthening of the position of the local literature of the Pavlodar region in the contemporary literary process.</p> Elena Novoselova Olga Iost Copyright (c) 2021 Acta Universitatis Lodziensis. Folia Litteraria Rossica 2021-12-23 2021-12-23 14 275 284 10.18778/1427-9681.14.23 Introduction Aleksandr Stepanov Aleksandra Szymańska Copyright (c) 2021 Acta Universitatis Lodziensis. Folia Litteraria Rossica 2021-12-23 2021-12-23 14 7 7 10.18778/1427-9681.14.01