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Статья

Peirces semiotics and Russian formalism: The story of Oedipus Rex

Semiotica. 2012. No. 189. P. 255-269.
Kiryuschenko V. V.
It is widely held nowadays that Saussurean semiology and the eircean theory of signs are two major semiotic schools that, although they have certain theoretical and historical background in common, are incommensurable. However, it appears that numerous-and evidently strong-points of incongruence between Saussurean (and post-Saussurean) semiology and Peirces semiotics do not prevent the possibility of some important theoretical intuitions common to both traditions. In particular, this claim finds support in light of Russian formalism-essentially a Saussurean-type semiotic school that gained wide acclaim in mid-twentieth century Europe alongside French structuralism. Without challenging the truth of the obvious differences between the two schools, this paper undertakes to reinterpret some of the late formalist concepts on the problem of continuity in terms of Peirce's semiotics. The brief account this paper presents has a double objective: (1) to give a particular example of how some basic formalist analytical categories may be placed in the wider context of Peirce's semiotics, thus making the purely structural aspect of meaning a particular case of Peirces theory of signs, and (2) to show the possibility of building a case in which Peirces semiotic ideas might actually be applied as efficient tools in the examination of different traditional discourses. This objective is accomplished by way of a sample analysis of Vladimir Propp's "Oedipus in Light of Folklore" in terms of Peirces On a New List of Categories."