A/Z : Essays in Honor of Aleksander Zholkovsky
"Zholkovsky’s work—vast in scope and eclectic in methodology—has long been humanizing semiotics in both the Russian and American academy, giving it a face, a sense of humor, a stake in the real worlds we live by, but never losing its structuralist bedrock. The essays collected here, which range from Pushkin to Fyodor Karamazov, Okudzhava and Sedakova, from Peter the Great’s scandals abroad to Russian literary theory and filmmaking at home, are a goldmine by leading Slavists in North America, Europe, and Russia. A huge book of brilliant nuggets, it lights up the contours of our field today while paying perfect vignette-like tribute to Alik’s long non-conformist career, as fascinating and inscrutably flexible as it was often perilous.” (By Caryl Emerson). *** “This book is a wonderful gift not only for the 'jubilee celebrant' (for AZ it is impossible to imagine this phrase without quotes), but for all of us. The variety of topics, genres and authors might seem surprising were it not for the fact that this variety reflects the character of the book’s addressee. Its content, better than any manifesto or theoretical treatise, brings us good news: that a lack of intellectual inhibition, an unrestricted field of vision, and an enthusiasm that does not cloy are all so becoming to scholarship that, in essence, has as its sole palpable subject the infinity of creative choices. I have always liked Mayakovsky’s neologism: 'Do not jubilee!' (He himself, though, was very much concerned with his own anniversaries.) A / Z is completely devoid of the sedate smoothness of octogenaric jubilees, but it has a lot of panache and a spirit of intellectual adventure, and most importantly, fun. In this, the book bears a striking resemblance to its addressee.” (By Boris Gasparov).