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Article

Державин в гостях у Спинозы: мистика и поэтика Севера в "Сценах из жизни Спинозы" Николая Гронского

Scando-Slavica. 2019. Т. 65. № 2. С. 192-211.

The article focuses on the Nordic “Hyperborean” motive in the oeuvre by Russian émigré poet Nikolaï Gronsky (1909–1934) and especially in his poetic play Scenes from Spinoza’s life. Gronsky, who inherited his interest for the Dutch philosopher from his literary “mother” Marina Cvetaeva, surprisingly puts Spinoza into a Nordic context when he makes him meet an enigmatic old poet who comes from a snowy country. Our argument is that this country should be identified with Russia and the poet with Gavrila Deržavin, whose classicist poetics deeply marked Gronsky’s own poetical style. Deržavin, who lived a century later than Spinoza did, is described by Gronsky as an emblematic rather than a historical figure and helps him to completely reconfigure Spinoza’s philosophical image. It is precisely after his contact with the northern poet that Spinoza happens to become involved in a mystical discourse which is also related to “Hyperborean” and Russian nationalistic topics.