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 Introduction Ewa Sadzińska Aleksandra Szymańska Copyright (c) 2023 2022-12-30 2022-12-30 15 7 7 10.18778/1427-9681.15.01 An Experience in Analyzing Civil Lyrics (“Snake Island” by Dmitry Bykov) <p>The article analyses Dmitry Bykov’s poem “Snake Island”, an example of essential civil lyrics. The text was first published on the “Novaya Gazeta” website on February 26, 2022, two days after the Russian army’s intrusion to Ukraine and seizure of Snake Island. Writing his poem, the author proceeded from the early (luckily wrong) info on the death of the island’s defenders. This defined the heroic ring of the piece (which is determined by the epigraph alluding to an episode of the Waterloo battle described in Part 2 of “Les Misérables” by Victor Hugo) and its anti-emperial focus. The semantic associations are motivated by the intonation of the three-foot anapest with the AbAb rhyming scheme. The poem shows similarities with the texts written by Nikolay Ogarev, Nikolay Nekrasov, Nikolay Gumilev, Osip Mandelstam, Timur Kibirov. The toponym “Snake Island” hints on the key zoological metaphor whose negative sense traces back to the biblical Christian concept of the snake as an embodiment of Satan. Hence the monstrosity of this chthonic creature that can only be terminated if you throw a shell to its open mouth. Persona’s rejection of the motherland captured by snakes goes along with self-identification with the island’s defenders, Ukrainian border guards. A border guard is a maverick with regard to the protected area (Lat. marginalis – standing on the edge). And if his homeland is attacked by a “superpower” whose image is labeled by “a nameplate, a sheepskin hat and a scaffold”, then the reaction to this intrusion will only be an imperative utterance containing an obscene rhyming word. Moreover, if almost the whole text retains demarcation of the subjects, the final quatrain reveals subject syncretism. Alienable both ideologically and stylistically, a Russian man-of-war is attributed as “my”. Hence combination of a civic stance and a personal intonation, both filling the text of poetry with the consciousness of moral rightness.</p> Александр Степанов Copyright (c) 2023 2022-12-30 2022-12-30 15 9 21 10.18778/1427-9681.15.02 The Question of the Technique of Verbatim Theatre in Russian Dramaturgy in the First Two Decades of the 21st Century <p>The start of the third decade of the 21st century marks twenty years of the existence of the verbatim technique in the Russian dramatic space. This article describes the history and specificity of the Russian verbatim theatre, as well as different ways of using and adapting this technique in the plays of the authors associated, permanently or occasionally, with the Moscow-based <em>Teatr.doc.</em> Using the example of texts such as <em>Nord-Ost: Forty-First Day</em> (2002) by journalist and theatre critic Grigory Zaslavsky, New Antigone (2017) by journalist Elena Kostyuchenko, and <em>67/871</em> (2017) by dramatist Elena Gremina, it can be concluded that the main differences between verbatim plays are primarily related to the degree of the author’s processing of documentary material. <em>Nord-Ost: Forty-First Day</em> is a transcript of the event that took place in the Teatr.doc, a literal recording of the statements of their participants; <em>New Antigone</em> – the montage of fragments of transcripts of the trials, conversations, life stories of the heroines, and quotes from Sophocles’ <em>Antigone</em>;<em> 67/871</em> – a montage of fragments of the characters’ monologues united into thematic blocks, quotes from statements from Adolf Hitler and Heinrich Himmler, and letters from a German soldier. The variety of ways to create verbatim texts influences the expansion of the boundaries of the concept of “play” and indicates that the traditional sequence of the emergence of a dramatic text and its theatrical embodiment has lost its relevance.</p> <p>It is concluded that the specificity of verbatim plays fits into the modern trend of the democratisation of theatre and drama, since their rootedness in the world of reality and documentaries opens the way to dramaturgy for those authors who had not been engaged in this type of activity before.</p> Paulina Sikora-Krizhevska Copyright (c) 2022 2022-12-30 2022-12-30 15 23 32 10.18778/1427-9681.15.03 Observations on the Garden in Alexander Kushner’s Lyrics <p>The article surveys how the European topos of the garden is reflected in Alexander Kushner’s poetry, in the form of both continuations and modifications. The analysis of the poet’s selected lyrical pieces reveals, on the one hand, a maintained relation with the tradition, while on the other, the emergence of certain new features – the latter connected with axiological transformations. The semiotic approach is applied, in which space is seen as an independent world-modelling category (V. N. Toporov and Yu. M. Lotman).</p> <p>In Kushner’s poetic picture of the world, the garden is a valuable image; it is multifaceted and multifunctional. The new features and meanings result from an individual reception of the garden(s), i.e. a new type of relationship between the subject and the presented space. For the poet, the garden is one of the main protagonists of his urban (and dacha) landscape. The diversity of his poetic incarnations allows us to state that it is a place with an exceptional atmosphere; an oasis of poetic imagination; a metaphor of creative consciousness; a space of memories – personal, historical, cultural; a contact zone of two spaces – real and imaginary; a meeting place with his beloved and with the poets predecessors; a space where past and present, life and creativity are combined. Regardless of the themes, pathos, and intonation (lyrical, dramatic, ironic) in Kushner’s lyrics, the garden becomes an “entrance” to another space, the space of eternity.</p> Ewa Sadzińska Copyright (c) 2022 2022-12-30 2022-12-30 15 33 46 10.18778/1427-9681.15.04 “The Oval” by Mikhail Kreps: The Poetical Semantic of Time <p>The article offers a structural-semantic analysis and interpretation of Mikhail Kreps’ poem “The Oval” that so far has had no history of scholastic study. The poem is devoted to the traditional problem “man and time” , represented in the text by an artistic antithesis of two thematic motives – “man in time” and “time in man”, that are unfolding in the modus of existential choice. The poetic of the poem is oriented towards the proof of the second motive. In the course of the perception of the poem, the content-related changes in the author’s modality are traced that are expressed, on the one hand, in the polemic with some commonplace notions of time that had formed in the collective man’s consciousness, and, on the other, in the affirmation of time’s due comprehension. The contextual allusions, motif-linked reminiscences, and textual applications that participate in the realisation of the poem as an integral utterance are revealed and commented upon. On the whole, the reading of the text makes it possible to formulate its meaning. Human beings exist both in the linear, outward time with the faustian desire of an eternal instant, and in the circular, in-depth time that makes them involved in the eternity. Both instants are connected with the motif of individual immortality. The text offers two content-related variants of this motive. The first one, nominated in the very title of the poem, is as follows: the coveted attainment of the immortality-for-oneself in the linear time that ends up in personal death is rejected by irony as absurd. The second variant, the author’s, is such: a relative connection of a human being with eternity as the keeper of the phenomenal lives of those who passed away has a mnemonic nature and is realised in the memory about others, and their mnemonic immortality in the circular, ever-returning, and never-ending time grants a retentive human being individual immortality.</p> Борис Иванюк Copyright (c) 2023 2022-12-30 2022-12-30 15 47 57 10.18778/1427-9681.15.05 The “Zofia’s Text” of Iosif Brodsky: The Start (1961–1962) <p>The paper discusses two pieces of poetry from the early period of Iosif Brodsky’s creative work (early 1960s): the long poem <em>Zofia</em> and the 16-line verse “Leti otsiuda, belyi motyljok…” [En. “Fly away from here, white moth…”], dedicated to the addressee referred to in “Zofia”. The presumption is that Brodskii’s verses dedicated or referring to his Polish friend Zofia Kapuścinska (Z.&nbsp;K.) form a&nbsp;kind of hypertext with a&nbsp;single set of images, motifs, and subtexts, which, according to Vladimir Toporov’s terminology, may be defined as the “Zofia’s Text”. The paper presents some facts from the poet’s biography that gave rise to the “Zofia’s Text” and provides a&nbsp;comparative analysis of the two mentioned works. Guided by Vladimir Toporov’s methodological principles used in his study of the “Liza’s Text” in Russian literature, the author points out the conceptual features of “Leti otsiuda, belyi motyljok…” and shows how all of them were later reproduced and elaborated in “Zofia”. Without making it her aim to undertake a&nbsp;comprehensive analysis of the texts, the author confines herself to considering some lexical and lexical-grammatical means, interpreting some images and motifs, and identifying some sense-forming subtexts that can be taken as differential features characteristic of the assumed hypertext.</p> Ольга Бараш Copyright (c) 2023 2022-12-30 2022-12-30 15 59 73 10.18778/1427-9681.15.06 Poems from Iosif Brodsky’s Cycle From ‘Old English Songs’ as a Rejected Homage to Robert Frost <p>The article deals with the history of the creation and publication of poems included in Iosif Brodsky’s cycle From <em>‘Old English Songs’</em>. The stanzaic features of all four poems suggest that the songs by Robert Burns translated by Samuil Marshak, as well as Robert Frost’s poem “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” were the most likely sources of the cycle. The second and third poems of Brodsky’s cycle can be considered as a paraphrase of the above-mentioned Frost’s poem. The poem “On the Death of Robert Frost”, which was written at the end of January 1963, elaborates the Frostian context and provides a means of considering the episode as an attempt to master Frost’s poetics. However, neither the paraphrase “Stopping by Woods…” nor the poem in memory of the American poet were ever included in the author’s collections, and the cycle was not fully represented in them. The exclusion of Frost’s episode from the “poetic autobiography” can be explained by the fact that by the time the author’s first collection of poems (1970) was being prepared, the romantic heroism of existential loneliness, which attracted Brodsky to Frost in the early 1960s, had no longer been perceived by him as an invariant of his own fate.</p> Кирилл Соколов Екатерина Ботвинова Copyright (c) 2023 2022-12-30 2022-12-30 15 75 84 10.18778/1427-9681.15.07 Sergei Yesenin’s Olfactory and Peculiarities of its Reproduction in Polish Translations (Based on the Example of Selected Works) <p>Sergei Yesenin is one of the most popular Russian poets in Poland. Interest in his poetry has been undiminished ever since the first translations of <em>Inoniya (Otherland)</em> and Tovarishch into Polish appeared in 1922.</p> <p>Although the literary heritage of Yesenin has been professionally researched by Polish scholars and has attracted a large following of Polish readers for a century, there are gaps in his poetry that need to be filled. The author of this article investigates the role of scents in the poems of Sergei Yesenin, taking into account their changes throughout the creative process, from his juvenile works to his final texts. This approach allows us to present not only the poet’s worldview and his deep connection to the Russian culture, but also to trace the reflection of his individual linguistic worldview in his works. The article also presents a relatively new perspective on the reception of Yesenin’s poetry in Poland, namely the peculiarities and difficulties of translating into Polish the olfactory images used by the poet to convey profound emotions. </p> Ełona Curkan-Dróżka Copyright (c) 2022 2022-12-30 2022-12-30 15 85 100 10.18778/1427-9681.15.08 The Poem “Semiramis” by Nikolay Gumilev as a ‘Curtailed’ Lyrical <p>The article deals with the poetics of the poem “Semiramis” (1909) by Nicolay Gumilev, included in his book of verses titled <em>Pearls</em> (1910). This text is one of the mythopoetic variants of the reflexive comprehension of death, forming the meaningful framework of <em>Pearls</em> and conceptualising the mythologeme of path-ascension to the true essence of the Universe. The title of the poem explicates the name of the heroine and defines the historical-mythological context of the simulated world. The “point of view” of Semiramis – i.e. the Assyrian queen who, according to myths, killed her husband tsar Nin for the sole power and became famous for creating the Babylonian hanging gardens – is the structural-semantic centre of the plot development in the Nikolay Gumilev’s text. The monologue of Semiramis is clearly anarrative in nature and determines the lyrical exploration of the natural and cultural space. However, the analysis of the poem shows that the self-presentation of the heroine appears to be a kind of a ‘curtailed’ lyrical narrative, in which the events are not stated, but are implied and require a reconstruction by the reader’s consciousness. The name of the queen, placed in the strong position of the title, and the actualisation of the realities of her mythologised life, imply a certain series of events that goes back to the mythological past of the Ancient East. The attainment of harmony and peace postulated by Semiramis, embodied by the hanging gardens created by her will, turns out to be illusory. The confirmation of the illusory nature of beauty and power comes in the form the heroine’s collision with the other world, personified in the image of “the moon”. This ontological conflict at the level of the poem’s plot is realised as an anarrative ‘ballade’, the structure of which separates the ‘curtailed’ narratives about the empirical (mythological) past of the heroine as well as the lyrical revelation about the catastrophism of her future. By ‘curtailing’ the narrative structure and reducing the event to a sign, Nikolay Gumilev’s poem “Semiramis” shows a special poetic experience of mythologising the relationship of a person with the world on the ontological axes ‘life – death’, ‘profane – sacred’, ‘earthly – otherworldly’.</p> Аркадий Чевтаев Copyright (c) 2023 2022-12-30 2022-12-30 15 101 118 10.18778/1427-9681.15.09 The Theme of Metempsychosis in the Poetry of Nikolay Gumilev <p>The article is devoted to Nikolay Gumilev’s appeal to the topic of recalling past incarnations, understood as the mystical ability of memory. This topic was popular in the period of the Silver Age in Russian literature. Despite the acmeist’s refusal to turn to mystical experience, the theme of rebirth and memories of past lives was realised by Gumilev throughout his entire work, i.e. starting with the book <em>Romantic Flowers</em> and up to a number of poems from the book <em>Pillar of Fire</em>. It is from this point of view that the poems under the titles of “Credo”, “Adam`s Dream”, “Eternal”, “Primal Memory”, “A Memory”, “The Lost Tram”, and others are considered. These texts are somewhat similar to each other at the level of motivational organisation: the depiction of earthly life as a dream and death as the awakening; the motif of ringing and harmony, referring to the theme of creativity; the motif of sensory perception of the earthly world through physical love; or the motif of the path and life as a directed movement. In the early texts, memories of past lives and existing before birth are painted in harmonious tones, while in later poems it is eschatological motifs that come to the fore. In addition, in the poems titled “A Memory” and “The Lost Tram”, the theme of network psychosis is metaphorised; it becomes a way to tell about the experience of one lived life, included in a wide mythopoetic context. It is interesting that the mystical property attributed to memory to overcome the boundaries of life is consistent with a number of modernist concepts of culture (Aby Warburg, Thomas Stearns Eliot, and Osip Mandelstam), implying the resurrection of past eras. Thus, Gumilev’s appeal to the theme of metempsychosis can be placed in the context of the idea of ‘cultural synchronicity’.</p> Ксения Сундукова Copyright (c) 2023 2022-12-30 2022-12-30 15 119 128 10.18778/1427-9681.15.10 The Myth of Don Juan in Life and Literary Works of Alexander Blok and Valery Bryusov <p>The subject of interest in this article is the myth of Don Juan in the life and literary works of two great figures of the Silver Age – Alexander Blok and Valery Bryusov. The consideration of the biographies of writers (Blok’s marriage to Mendeleeva, Bryusov’s romance with Nina Petrovskaya) as well as selected examples from their literary works (Blok’s poems: “Ya ee pobedil nakonets…”, “The Commander’s Footsteps”; Bryusov’s poems: “I snova…”, “Don-Juan”) in the context of the culture of the Silver Age (the philosophy of Vladimir Solovyov, the idea of ​​life-creation, ideas about the “Eternal Feminine”, the myth of the Beautiful Lady, the vampiric myth) led us to the conclusion that the ‘don juanism’ was one of the important components of the myths of poets. We noted that in both cases the concept of ‘don juanism’ is strictly correlated with the concept of vampirism. On the other hand, it is also related to such concepts as “Eternal Femininity”, ‘true to the ideal’, and ‘the role of art’. All these provide us with the basis to state that the productivity and potential of the theme of Don Juan goes far beyond the usual notion of Don Juan as a seducer.</p> Aleksandra Szymańska Copyright (c) 2022 2022-12-30 2022-12-30 15 129 139 10.18778/1427-9681.15.11 “The Night Watch is Going Through Amsterdam”: Rembrandt’s Painting in the Lyrical Plot <p>This paper is devoted to the problem of visual representation in a&nbsp;lyric text. The main problem that is solved in the paper is the following: how is Rembrandt Van Rijn’s painitng titled <em>Performance of the rifle company of Captain Frans Banning Kok and Lieutenant Willem Van Ruytenburg</em> (1642) –&nbsp;better known in the history of culture as <em>The Night Watch</em> – presented in the lyrical plot of poems by various authors. The material of the paper consists of the works in which the painting by Rembrandt is in the centre of the lyrical plot, but not merely mentioned. These include: Alexander Kushner’s poem “The Night Watch” (1966), the song “The Night Watch” by King Crimson (1974), “Ayreon’s” song “The Shooting Company of Captain Frans B. Cocq” (2000), and Alexander Gorodnitsky’s poem “The Night Watch: Painting by Rembrandt van Rijn” (2019). To achieve the goal, several tasks are solved in the paper. First, the conceptual apparatus is determined, which includes categories such as ekphrasis, lyric plot, and the visual in literature. Second, the selected texts are analysed from the point of view of the use of Rembrandt’s paintings in them. And, finally, the works are compared with each other and a&nbsp;conclusion is made about what features the <em>The Night Watch</em> paining acquires, falling into the context of a&nbsp;lyric poem.</p> Виктория Малкина Copyright (c) 2023 2022-12-30 2022-12-30 15 141 152 10.18778/1427-9681.15.12 Picturesqueness and Plasticity in the Poetry of Boris Kupriyanov <p>The little-studied poet of the Soviet second culture Boris Kupriyanov shows affinity with other authors of the religious-metaphysical tradition of the Leningrad underground, except for his striving for big form. His lyrical pieces are preparatory forms of the novel in verse, experiments in making a complex system of characters as explaining the statement. This allows him, while actualising the elegiac and epigrammatic elements of lyricism, to introduce the imagery of various arts, as was customary for poets of his circle. But his attitude towards art is not a synthesis but an analysis; he sees in the arts not the producing of capacious images of experiences, but different layers of experience so that each art for him does not only have its own expressiveness, but also the own timing of articulation of a lyrical emotion. A close reading of this author’s two poems, taking into account the sources of speech figures and quotations available to him, allowed us to establish common patterns in the superimposition of images of painting, graphics, and architecture in the perspective of the invention of the novelistic-type hero. The common theme of poems from different years turns out to be a polemic with abstract theses of philosophy, from Neo-Platonism to Existentialism, as not taking into account the specific dynamics of each art. The parallel development of the aesthetic and ideological programme of Boris Kupriyanov is reconstructed; the perception of Neoplatonism through the works of Alexei Losev and of Christian mysticism in communication with the circle of Goricheva and Okhapkin required treating lyrics as a moment of self-determination, fixing the current state of mystical detachment. At the same time, the lyrics turned out to be a configuration of pictorial and plastic ways of expressing mystical symbols, insufficient for a detailed lyrical biography, but necessary for fixing the factuality of mystical experience.</p> Александр Марков Copyright (c) 2023 2022-12-30 2022-12-30 15 153 165 10.18778/1427-9681.15.13 The Portrait in the Semiosphere of the Home <p>The subject of analysis in this article is the function of portraits placed in the semiosphere of&nbsp;the house, primarily the family nest. The author of the article, referring to the works of Yuri Lotman and other representatives of the Moscow-Tartu semiotic school, builds three possible typologies of home portraits: from the point of view of the “hero” depicted in them, the applied stylistic convention, and his semantic-pragmatic functions. During the first typological analysis, firstly, commemorative portraits of family members, relatives, and acquaintances are singled out, and, secondly, portraits of historical figures and artists, including writers, are considered. The second typological analysis reveals the stylistic codes used in creating portraits: ceremonial, sentimental, realistic, eclectic, playful, etc. The purpose of the third typological analysis is to determine one or&nbsp;another effect of the portrait on the viewer, e.g. cult, memoir, comic, tragic, cathartic, etc.</p> Wasilij Szczukin Copyright (c) 2023 2022-12-30 2022-12-30 15 167 176 10.18778/1427-9681.15.14 A Window as a Liminal Space (Victor Pelevin’s Hermit and Six-Toes) <p>The window in Victor Pelevin’s works has numerous connotations, i.e. it is an element of the living space shaping the protagonist’s relationship with the outside world, defining his (i.e.&nbsp;the protagonist’s) position towards the world; it is a&nbsp;border (both spatial and ontological), as well as it is a&nbsp;link and a&nbsp;passage. Thus, the ambivalent characteristics of the window, its perception and feature all depend on the stance of a&nbsp;human beholder (or using literary terminology: a&nbsp;character, protagonist, and narrator) towards the window and his attitude towards the space with the window being its element. In <em>Hermit and Six-Toes</em>, the confined space in which the protagonists spend their entire lives is an oppressive territory, with the protagonists seeking a&nbsp;way to escape. The road to freedom leads, quite surprisingly, through a&nbsp;broken window, followed by a&nbsp;flight towards the sun. Thus, in this work, the window is treated as a&nbsp;threshold (liminal) zone, because a&nbsp;specific rite of passage and transformation of the characters takes place there or within. They grow to learn the truth and, rebelling in defence of their own lives, realise that they will either save themselves or succumb to the disastrous rhythm imposed on them by the world. </p> Magdalena Ochniak Copyright (c) 2023 2022-12-30 2022-12-30 15 177 187 10.18778/1427-9681.15.15 The Diagnosis of Nostalgia from Teffi <p>The literature of the Russian diaspora, as one of the brightest national literatures created outside the metropolis, received an unprecedented acute sense of nostalgia as the most effective stimulus for its development. It permeates the works of virtually all Russian writers who, by the will of fate, found themselves abroad. The article examines nostalgic experiences in the work of the writer Nadezhda Teffi, extremely popular among Russian and foreign readers alike, on the basis of her prose novel <em>Nostalgia</em> (1920), a&nbsp;short story written before emigration in 1915&nbsp;– “Tosca moja, tosca! Ja vizhu v den’ dozhdlivyj…” as well as a&nbsp;cycle of seven poems dedicated to the same topic in volume 3 of the Collected Works under the generalised title<em> Tosca</em> (in the first newspaper publication&nbsp;– <em>Nostalgia</em>). All the analysed texts follow the same strategy of describing the symptoms of unbearable homesickness, which Teffi adopted in an early poem of 1915 and developed in works written five years later in exile: the prose novel Nostalgia and the report of seven poems of 1920. An&nbsp;example of such a&nbsp;lyroepic polyphony for her could be Nikolay Nekrasov’s poem <em>Sovremenniki</em>, with one, albeit a&nbsp;significant, difference: in Nekrasov, each new character is endowed with an individual metric voice, while in Teffi, on the contrary, almost all nostalgic compatriots express their feelings in a&nbsp;universal verse. </p> Олег Федотов Copyright (c) 2023 2022-12-30 2022-12-30 15 189 199 10.18778/1427-9681.15.16 The Narrator and the Meaning: A Reading of “The Kiss” by Isaac Babel Compared to Alexander Pushkin’s “The Postmaster” <p>In this article, a&nbsp;connection between Pushkin’s <em>The Postmaster</em> and Babel’s <em>The Kiss</em> is demonstrated. The links between the stories go far beyond the general likeness of the plot, which follows the pattern of Nikolai Karamzin’s <em>Poor Liza</em>. This makes it possible to speak about a&nbsp;contrast between the narrators of Babel’s and Pushkin’s short stories. Babel’s narrator demonstrates a&nbsp;lack of interest in meaning&nbsp;– a&nbsp;fundamental category for Pushkin’s narrator, who extracts meaning from narratives he listens to. Unlike the narrator of The Postmaster, the narrator of<em> The Kiss</em>, who at first claims to be a&nbsp;representative of the intelligentsia, gives up reflection and meaning, surrenders his agency to his Cossack assistant, merges with the Cossack mass, and, in return, gets the physical love of Tomilina. A similar contrast could be traced between the narrator of <em>The Kiss</em> and the narrator of Red Cavalry. On the one hand, thus, <em>The Kiss</em> marks a&nbsp;change in Babel’s attitude towards his narrator; on the other hand, the story shows how the role of a&nbsp;thinking person in Russia has changed, according to Babel, since Pushkin. Therefore, the story constitutes a&nbsp;statement which could be interpreted as an ‘answer’ to <em>The Postmaster</em>.</p> Александр Танхилевич Copyright (c) 2023 2022-12-30 2022-12-30 15 201 209 10.18778/1427-9681.15.17 Oleg, the Sorcerer, and the Two Alexanders (The Political Subtext of Pushkin’s Ballad “The Song of the Wise Oleg”) <p>Alexander Pushkin wrote his ballad “The Song of the Wise Oleg” (1822) in Kishinev during his forced administrative presence in the South (1820–1824). The poem retells, with meaningful differences, a legend in Nikolay Karamzin’s <em>History of the Russian State</em> that describes the miraculous death of the Kievan Prince Oleg, who is bitten by a snake hiding in the skull of the hero’s dead horse. The poem was inspired by Pushkin’s visit to Kamenka and Kiev in 1821 and his acquaintance there with the assembled members of the future Decembrist uprising, as well as his visit to the supposed site of Oleg’s grave. An examination of the work in the context of Pushkin’s <em>Southern Text</em> reveals that the poem is an allegory of the poet’s relationship with Alexander I and reflects his fears about the coming political upheaval in Russia and the potential death of the Tsar. The ballad contains the first instance of a motif that becomes familiar in his subsequent work, namely the miracle (<em>chudo</em>) as a sudden, unexpected, and life-changing event. The poetics of the poem represents an important step towards Pushkin’s masterpiece <em>The Comedy of Tsar Boris and Grishka Otrepyev</em> (1825; published in 1831 with the title <em>Boris Godunov</em>).</p> J. Douglas Clayton Владимир Звиняцковский Copyright (c) 2023 2022-12-30 2022-12-30 15 211 219 10.18778/1427-9681.15.18 A Dark-skinned Muse (Ending): An Instrument of Individual Destruction <p>This article is the end of the study, the first part of which – “A dark-skinned muse: A duel in the steppe” – was published in “Acta Universitatis Lodziensis. Folia Litteraria Rossica”, No. 14 (2021). An analysis of the scene of Pushkin’s “duel” with a Kalmyk woman he met during a trip to Arzrum revealed the literary basis for describing the incident in the <em>kibitka</em>. The final part of the study is devoted to the literary and folklore genesis of the image of the “Musikian tool like our balalaika”, which the proud beauty allegedly hit on the head of the traveller who tried to kiss her. The “tool” as such was most likely present in the <em>kibitka</em>, but was hardly used as a weapon. Nevertheless, the blow, and a very sensitive one, was indeed struck, but not literally, but figuratively. The “Musikian tool” turns out to be a metaphor for a beauty that struck the poet’s imagination. The representation of a woman/a female body in the form of a musical instrument is often found in both folklore and literary texts. For example, O. de Balzac used this metaphor in <em>La Physiologie du mariage</em> (1829), and Pushkin himself used it in a drawing in Ushakov’s album in the winter of 1829–1830. For the first time, Pushkin used this metaphor in the poem “Gorodok” (1815), telling about a certain Antoshka who broke a balalaika playing, clearly focusing at the same time on the work of Ivan Barkov, who repeatedly depicted the female body as a musical instrument, in particular a balalaika or a violin, and copulation – playing on it.</p> <p>Along the way, it was possible to establish that Antoshka from “Gorodok” is most likely a friendly caricature of Anton Delvig, who blamed his lyre for poetic impotence and threatened to break it. At the same time, the failed creative act ends with a fall from the Pind forehead to the bottom.</p> Андрей Кунарёв Copyright (c) 2023 2022-12-30 2022-12-30 15 221 234 10.18778/1427-9681.15.19 An Idyll as a Fragment of Russian Germans’ World Picture <p>The appeal of Russian Germans to the genre situation and signs of idyll is largely due to the desire to find rest and harmony in a serene artistic reality, to create a world image of peace and tranquility. The idyll of Herbert Henke has a certain tendency to converge with a landscape meditative elegy, but, not allowing the mood of disappointment and sadness in its tonality, it retains an idyllic constant – a serene tone – and many of its dominants: limited topos, idyllic motives, themes, situations (“Shore”, solitude, fishing), landscape elements, an observer from the side, statics, and visualisation of images. An analysis of the entire Russian-German idyllic corpus (46 texts) outlines the contours of a meta-idyll in the poetry of Russian Germans, features of which, in addition to those noted by Herbert Henke, generate the image of a person in the centre of the artistic world and the high frequency of motives of the motherland and home. The reason for this may be the comprehension in the lyrics of the tragic fate of Russian Germans, a total penetration into the lyrical fabric of drama. When entering an interaction with the ethnic picture of the world of Russian Germans, the idyll activates features such as serene tonalities, a motivational field with the semantics of peace and tranquility, limited topos, and the absence of social problems. They begin to correlate with ethnic elements such as the “awareness of one’s surroundings by someone else”, “being inside another”, a “genetic fear of exile”, “striving for autonomy”, the “priority of statics over dynamics”. The negative semantics of ethnic elements (“alien”, “fear”, “exile”, “dependence”) partly neutralises the positive fullness of the idyllic image, weakening the constant, namely the tone of serenity.</p> Елена Зейферт Copyright (c) 2023 2022-12-30 2022-12-30 15 235 249 10.18778/1427-9681.15.20 Baroque Traits in Russian Neoclassicism: Mikhail Lomonosov, Gavriil Derzhavin, and Symeon of Polotsk <p>In this article, I trace some effects produced by Baroque on the Russian poetry and question the traditional attitude to the cultural epoch as to somewhat occasional and uninfluential; a mere buffer between the traditional Old Russian art and Russian Neoclassicism introduced by Peter the Great’s reforms oriented towards new European norms. In contrast to the vision, I put an emphasis on the genuine, rhetoric nature of the Neoclassicism. Russia has never been a country of the classical antiquity; thus, Russian poets use classical motifs solely and exclusively as popular verbal cliches. Beneath the new formulas, poets continue the Russian literary tradition; Russian Neoclassicism is shaped by the Baroque. I compare works by Symeon of Polotsk, Mikail Lomonosov, and Gavriil Derzhavin in order to explore a poetic tradition manifested by a shared plot and a set of motifs. Influenced by Symeon of Polotsk, Russian Neoclassicism continues to use baroque elements. Namely, the protagonists of Lomonosov are sceptical about the capabilities of the human mind to interpret nature. Quite opposite, they are admired by superabundance and the omnipresent mysteries of the Universe. In later poetry, such as Derzhvine’s ode titled “God”, the baroque vision is linked with Pre-Romanticism. There, an individual appears as someone who is able to have a sensual experience of the Universe and interact with it. The world turns into an area of dialogue and spiritual interaction between the Creator and the Human.</p> Георгий Прохоров Copyright (c) 2023 2022-12-30 2022-12-30 15 251 262 10.18778/1427-9681.15.21 Curious Deaths in the Russian Poetry of the 17th–18th Centuries <p>The subject of the article is a poetic text from the manuscript in Tikhonravov’s collection, which is presented in the Russian State Library. It was created under the influence of medieval books, related to the theme of <em>memento mori</em> (<em>Theatrum mortis humanae tripartitum</em>). The poem describes three curious deaths, as an author qualifies them. Aegeus dies out of cowardice and the lack of wisdom when he saw the decrepit sails on his son’s ship, although Theseus came away from Crete with a victory. Aeschylus was killed because of his naivete when he was trying to avoid a prophecy saying that he would be killed by a falling of someone’s house, but an eagle dropped a tortoise on his head. Samson kills himself of excessive courage and the lack of wisdom. These stories, given in a poem as an exempla, are borrowed from the book <em>Ifika Hieropolitics</em>. When comparing these texts, one can see the technology of transcribing a prose text into a poetic text, which was used at the beginning of the 18th century. Lots of historical anecdotes about curious deaths have been known since antiquity. In the Middle Ages, they are grouped in literature on the theme of death. In Russia, this model was realised in the poetry of Simeon of Polotsk and flourished during the Baroque period. Such plots subsequently appeared in works of fiction and non-fiction, and not only in historical anecdotes, but also for characterising the absurdity of life and creating existential horror. Similarly to baroque texts, they still combine elements of the terrible and the curious.</p> Ольга Кузнецова Copyright (c) 2023 2022-12-30 2022-12-30 15 263 274 10.18778/1427-9681.15.22 The Stylistic Signs of a Polyphonic Text <p>In a polyphonically-organised text characterised by weakened ties between the utterance, its subject, object, and meaning, the style changes its functional vector. In polyphony, the semiotic value of the category of style decreases due to stylistic homonymy. The style ceases to perform a characterological function, hence it is difficult, and in some cases even impossible, to define the hero according to the stylistic indicators of his/her speech. The use of undifferentiated – without attachment to certain subjects and objects – stylistic indicators is a typologically-marked phenomenon inherent in the polyphonic aesthetic system. However, the same element can be encoded by several aesthetic codes: universal, typological, and individual. The degree of stylistic homonymy is in direct proportion to the degree of the polyphonicity of the text. In case an utterance “wanders” freely between different subjects and is overflown with meanings, the technique of repetition, in addition to stylistic homonymy, becomes an integral feature of a polyphonic text as an extremely economical way of generating new meanings, being a tool of foregrounding both secondary (from the standpoint of linear development of the text) and initial meanings. Repetition entails a change in both the pragmatic and the conceptual meaning of the utterance. Thus, style in polyphony acts as a meaning-forming and meaning-transforming factor and takes direct rather than indirect part in creating nuclear meanings of the text.</p> Ольга Валентинова Copyright (c) 2023 2022-12-30 2022-12-30 15 275 282 10.18778/1427-9681.15.23 The Poetics of Essays by Michael Epstein (the Philosophical Aspect of Genre Form) <p>In its most general form, Mikhail Epstein is outlined by such a vast circle of spheres as philology, philosophy, cultural studies, literary criticism, or linguistics. Currently, Epstein’s method is classified by researchers as “analytically-oriented”. The purpose of the article is to determine the set of methods of philosophical essayism by Mikhail Epstein, which will be achieved based on the material of the book <em>The Paradoxes of Novelty</em>. Despite the fact that the author’s self-reflection extends over a large number of articles (“Laws of the Free Genre (Essay and Essayism in the Culture of the New Time)”, “On the Soul. Four Essays”, “Essays on Essays”, “God of Details”, etc.), features of the poetics of essayism such as the author’s principle, imagery, and digressions are revealed in a more focused way, i.e. based on the opening book. The book is notable for its freedom of presentation, its being full of aphorisms, and its lengthy philosophical sayings. Essayisation can be considered the leading genre-forming principle of the book, affecting the way of presenting thoughts. The author’s task is to clarify the meaning of tradition in literature, which is associated with the author’s central interest, namely “culture in its borderline situations”. The factor that holds the texts together is the author’s desire to propose a way to solve the “problem situation”: what is criticism and how to look at literature? The plot of the book is built upon the author’s own questions and personal preferences. The task is to analyse what was written earlier and summarise the milestone results of creative activity. The book has a character of a manifest as the first major work of the author. It contains a programme for Epstein’s future activities, which is confirmed by the subsequent addition and reprint of the publication. It is essential that Russian classical literature was chosen as the material.</p> Елизавета Захарова Copyright (c) 2023 2022-12-30 2022-12-30 15 283 294 10.18778/1427-9681.15.24