Les illuminations d’un Rimbaud russe : Boris Poplavsky et son Journal d’Apollon Bézobrazov
The article is devoted to the echoes of Rimbaud’s œuvre and especially the Illuminations in the prose poems by Russian émigré poet and writer Boris Poplavsky (1903-1935). Poplavsky, an emblematic figure of the new generation of émigré writers known as the “unnoticed generation”, was very sensible to foreign influences and considered Rimbaud as a perfect incarnation of the French poetry which he tried to match in his Journal of Apollo Bezobrazov.
The article focuses on the legacy of Alexandre Kojève's interpretation of the Phenomenology of the Spirit by Hegel in the novel Homeward from Heaven by Boris Poplavskii, Russian émigré poet and writer who attended Kojève's seminar at the École pratique des hautes études in 1934–35 while writing his final narrative. This enables us to reconfigure the well-known notion of the ‘unnoticed generation’, which claims the cultural isolation of young émigrés in interwar Paris.
The paper attempts to analyse the views of Boris Poplavsky (1903-1935), an émigré poet, writer and amateur philosopher, on the historical dialectics and the role of revolutionary violence and terror. The main emphasis is laid on his essay "Lichnost' i Obschchestvo" ("Personality and Society", 1934) as its line of argument seems to be based to a certain extent on the revolutionary (in every sense of the world) interpretation of Hegel's "Phänomenologie des Geistes" by the Russian émigré philosopher Alexandre Kojève. Poplavsky acknowledges the necessity of revolutionary violence, in particular in his novel "Domoi s nebes" ("Homeward from Heaven"), possibly because of his attendance and participation in Kojève's seminar on Hegel (1933-1939) held at the Ecole pratique des hautes études in Paris. Poplavsky officially attended the seminar in the 1934-1935 academic year, though the close analysis of his essay shows that he might have participated in Kojève's classes of the previous year as well, especially the ones dedicated to Hegel's dialectics of death.
The early years of Soviet rule signaled the arrival of a new Utopian era where it seemed as if even the most outlandish avant-garde projects might be realized. Many avant-garde artists contributed to the construction of this brave new world which quickly degenerated into a nightmarish dystopia. Ironically, many avant-garde poets and painters emigrated from the soviet Russia in the early twenties just at a time when the range of possibilities still seemed enticing. Among the artists who turned their backs on such seeming opportunity was Ilia Zdanevich (Iliazd), Alexander Guinger, Boris Poplavsky, and Serge Charchoune. Thus was born, mainly in Paris, the Russian avant-garde art in exile, a phenomenon which allows the present day observer a fascinating analytical perspective in which the concept of Utopia may be placed at the very centre of our reflections. For if the avant-garde longed for a radical transformation of life, society and art, did it make sense to continue or even to start (as in the case of Poplavsky) such avant-garde developments so far removed from the country where these transformations were supposedly taking place? For example, the invention of transrational language was purely a utopian project, but why print this new language in the Cyrillic alphabet (as Iliazd did in 1923) rendering it inaccessible to the French Dadaists unless read aloud? Kruchenykh declared that Zaum could provide “a universal poetic language born organically”, but this very language produced in a foreign linguistic environment couldn’t help but loose its utopian aura, leaving it at best a pure artifice. The abrupt end of the “heroic times” of Russian avant-garde poetry in Paris demonstrates that the young émigrés had yet to elaborate their own alternatives, both to the art of their Russian predecessors as well to the new leftist ideology of art.
The basic set of issues touched in the published articles is relates to the history of Russian literature of the XX century - in philosophical and aesthetic search of the "Silver Age", the literary process of the Russian diaspora in its correlation with the literature of the metropolis and the shelterling countries.
The present article continues the investigation of the Soqotri verbal system undertaken by the Russian-Soqotri fieldwork team. The article focuses on the so-called “weak” and “geminated” roots in the basic stem. The investigation is based on the analysis of full paradigms (perfect, imperfect and jussive) of more than 170 “weak” and “geminated” Soqotri verbs.