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Article

Binômes, opposition, répétition, contraste : les racines mythologiques des catégories esthétiques d’Ol′ga Frejdenberg

Revue des etudes slaves. 2016. Vol. 87. No. 1. P. 35-51.
Translator: G. Ackerman.

The article is devoted to the main theoretical  ideas of Russian classicist Olga M. Feidenberg (1890-1955). During her lifetime under a press of Stalinist persecutions and defamation she had published a meager part of her works. And because of association with N.Marr, with whom she collaborated at the early stage of  her career, her written heritage  remained in oblivion until 1970s. An interest in her work was renewed among the Russian semiotics and about a hundred of posthumous publications of her works appeared since then in different languages, as well as about two hundred books, papers and dissertations devoted to her ideas and writings were printed. Although the basic material of Freudenberg’s researches was classical, her work had been comparative, and touched the ancient Orient, ancient  India, the European Middle Ages, and primitive cultures as well. They were not limited to literature, but turned to philosophy, art, religion, mythology. Analyzing and summarizing the diverse and heterogeneous material, Freidenberg has created her own theory of cultural dynamics, creation and development of meaning and interchange of image and concept ("semantology"). She anticipated in her writings many of the achievements of Western philosophy and specific sciences, theory of Bakhtin,  ideas of Jung,Cassirer, Levi-Strauss, cognitive methods of George. Lakoff. The article is an attempt to summarize one of the nodes of the theory associated with the concept of  duality, of opposition, of parallelism and binary oppositions.