Text within Text — Culture within Culture: Russian Literature (19th Century) in Contexts of Cultural Dynamics
This book is the second volume of the international book series New Perspectives in Reading 19th-Century Russian Literature. The series in 2008 set for purpose to investigate into the historical, theoretical and methodological aspects of the possibilities for new approaches to reading 19th-century Russian literature in various contexts of world literature, literary theory and semiotics of culture. The essays of the first volume were dedicated to the theme Russian Text of the 19th Century and Antiquity. The authors of the present collection of essays – from Austria, Estonia, Hungary, the Netherlands, Russia, and the USA – put in center stage important issues of cultural dynamics, seen in various contexts of intertextuality, intermediality and the interdiscoursive practice of aesthetic communication. Special attention is made to the poetics and semiotics of textual, medial and cultural frontiers involving both conceptual reelaboration of relevant theoretical issues and concrete literary and cultural case studies.
The psychology of royal imposture in Russia is directly connected with the question of the attitude to the Tsar, i. e. the special way in which royal power was understood. Pretenders made their appearance in Russia only after there were Tsars, and this is connected with the sacralization of the Tsar. The notion that the royal power was established by God accounts for the distinction (actual in Russia) between "righteous" and "unrighteous" Tsars. Hence the most striking pretenders crop up precisely at those moments when the natural order of succession has been broken and when the actual occupier of the throne could in fact be regarded as a pretender.
This is a collection of essays on the semiotics of history, a product of the 30 years collaboration of the two co-authors. All the articles are devoted to the history of the Russian culture, treating it not as an isolated phenomenon, but as an integral part of the world culture. Semiotic analysis of various fonts allows to define both universal and pecular characteristics in the history of Rusian culture.
Historical Poetics, while in many ways an ally of Formalism, finds itself in an uneasy relationship with the empiricist mode of formalist enquiry, inasmuch as the latter is seen as generally inimical to historical contextualization. On the other hand, representatives of both Historical Poetics and of the morphological method have at different points been accused of favoring atomizing analysis over aesthetic appreciation. Ironically, this putative inability to grasp the work of art as a totality is a taint that literary theory inherited from nineteenth-century philology whose mission was precisely to combine historicization with minute attention to details of verbal texture. By emphasizing their shared philological patrimony, the article argues for a reconciliation between the morphological method and Historical Poetics. An energetic theory of literary forms, which detects historical vitality in distinct elements revealed by morphological analysis, has important precedents in Alexander Veselovsky’s theory of motif and Mikhail Bakhtin’s concepts of architectonics and the chronotope.
The article deals with one storyline of the novel Anna Karenina that stands as the key for the re-search into the significance of Anglomania in the novel. The 1850-1870s in Russian culture is the time of a most intensive formation of the image of the UK as a highly complex combination of real and mythological elements. The novel Anna Karenina, which Tolstoy himself called the novel about modern life, sets forth the fashion for everything ‘English’ in Russian high society in the 1870s with almost documentary precision. The episode the article deals with is Anna Karenina's reading of an English novel. The article looks at different theories of the origin of the novel and suggests a particular novel as the source for the English novel in Anna Karenina. Article argues that the knowledge of the particular English novel contributes not only to the re-search of Anglomania in Anna Karenina and other Tolstoy's works but also gives a significant in-sight into the study of the characters in the novel.
The present paper is devoted to the transformations of Russian Formalist Theory of Literature just after its declared cancelling in the well-known odious article "A Monument for Scientific Error"published by Victor Shklovsky in the December, 1930. Many researchers (from Richard Sheldon to Alexander Galushkin) share the opinion that the article was an ostensible gesture which permitted the former formalists to remain faithful for their previous research and ethical principles. The author of the present paper insists that Victor Shklovsky has realized even more provocative project, having turned his theoretical statements into multiple genres of literature (i. e. belle-lettres, manuals for creative writing, children's tales, etc). The paper considers these "transponing" examples in detail.
The present study simultaneously belongs to literary studies and to social history, including the history of culture and of political ideas. Indeed it concerns attitudes about the tsar in Russia during various periods of Russian history, and the linguistic - and more generally speaking, semiotic - means in which these attitudes were manifested. Obviously, this is connected to the history of political views. It is demonstrated how differing attitides toward the tsar correlate with various stages of Russian political and cultural history; how diverse aspects of Russian cultural life converged around this question; and how in different periods the very same texts could be interpreted as having very different content, relating to the interests of the particular time.
The political preconditions for the sacralization of the monarch in Russia were twofold. On the one hand, this was the transference onto the tsar of Moscow the functions of the Byzantine basileius, that could be realized both in the conception of Moscow as the Third Rome, which was contrasted to Byzantium, and in the later Byzantanization of the Russian state and ecclesiastical life (beginning in the reign of Aleksei Mikhailovich). On the other hand, this was the tsar’s assimilation of the functions of head of the church (beginning with the reign of Peter I). The very combination of these two essentially contradictory tendencies only became possible in the conditions of Baroque culture, insofar as texts that were authoritative for cultural consciousness could be reconceptualized in any direction within a Baroque framework.
The book presents a collection of articles dedicated to the typological characteristics of the Russian culture in its historical development. Some articles deal with the specific Russian cultural concepts (such as "intelligentsia") other with interpretation of certain concepts (such as "Europe" or "monarchic power") in the specific Russian context. All the articles has a theoretical character with particular illustrations from Russian cultural texts. They are intended to demonstrate a general model which could be applied to other material. A large part of the book is devoted to the semiotic approach to icons. The same approach as a matter of principle can be applied to a different material and this is demonsrtated by all kinds of typological comparisons.