The novel Doctor Zhivago, first published in 1957, immediately provoked critical debates that continue to this day, and has been the subject of numerous scholarly studies (C. Barnes, B. Gasparov, P. A. Jensen, A. Lavrov. M. Aucouturier, O. Raevsky-Hughes, I. Smirnov, L. Fleishman, Iu. Shcheglov, A. Khan, and many others). On one hand, Boris Pasternak’s positions (founded on his religious historiosophy) with regard to the events, people and situation that he depicts have formed one of the central topics of critical and scholarly contention. On the other hand, it is the specificity of the novel’s poetics and most centrally of its generic identity, the laws of its organization of novelistic time and problems of the prototypes of its central characters, that have served as objects of debate. It is our contention, however, that the choice of genre (that we have defined as being that of “a historical novel of a new type”) was fundamental for Pasternak and determined the entirety of the novel’s poetics. As we will demonstrate, the author was continuing the tradition of Walter Scott, which had been rejected by other contemporary Soviet authors who described the history of the twentieth century. In taking up work on the novel, Pasternak emphasized many times that he desired to present an image of the course of history of the first half of the twentieth century—the “forty- five-year era,” as he named this period several times in his letters. This dissertation describes the author’s search for a means for the artistic embodiment of contemporary events and his final choice of the “Walter Scott tradition” of historical novel for Doctor Zhivago. In this connection the work includes marked reflections of C. Dickens’ Tale of Two Cities, Pushkin’s The Captain’s Daughter and Dubrovsky, and L. Tolstoi’s War and Peace, as well as sharp polemics with historical works of prose fiction by Pasternak’s contemporaries and with the highly ideologically charged Soviet historiography. Separate consideration will be given to the specific events, situations and names that Pasternak considered it necessary to include in his narrative, presenting in this way his own version of a hierarchy of characteristic phenomena of these decades. The dissertation demonstrates that in Doctor Zhivago history is presented simultaneously as a force, organizing the actions of people and forming their characters and world-views, and also as a chain of events to be understood and made meaningful by the protagonists, and finally as an ineluctable law of human existence that has been reestablished by the force of artistic creation—by the poetry of Iurii Zhivago. At the very foundation of the Zhivago’s poetry lay the ideas of his uncle—the philosopher Vedeniapin, who defines history as an element of the Christian comprehension of the world. The central place of these characters in the novel defines the nature of Pasternak’s techniques with prototypes, by which he embeds into his characters the views, characteristics and fates of various of his contemporaries (A. Bely, A. Blok, D. Samarin, the author himself, and others). We also propose explanation of the work’s many anachronisms, which become a means for communication of the laws of the post-revolutionary period (1917-1943)—a period that “fell” out of history. At the same time we will show how historical time is reestablished in the Epilogue that completes the novel and in the “Poems of Doctor Zhivago.” This dissertation may be characterized as interdisciplinary. In it, the methods of literary- historical and intertextual analysis are applied. The text is examined in relation to social, cultural and historical phenomena of Russia during the first half of the twentieth century.
This monograph examines mutual transformations between literature and science in certain texts authored by St. Petersburg Formalists, a literary school that emerged shortly before the Russian Revolution. The author discusses the Formalists' methodological and philosophical origins, the emergence of their collective biography and professional circle of friends, Viktor Shklovsky's literary experiments, and Boris Eichenbaum's intimate prose. The concept of literariness – rather vague and since then abandoned – takes centre stage in the paper as it did in the early work of the Russian Formalists.
The collection Genre in Oriental Literature contains papers by reseacrh fellows of a number of educational and academic institutions of Moscow, under the general supervision of the Institute of World Literature, RAS, and discusses the very important and urgent problem of genre attribution of various works of Oriental literature in correlation with the standard concept of genre accepted in European philology. The book’s contributors strive to find both similarities and differences in varying reasons for distinguishing and demarcating genres in the Orient and in Europe, to grasp the diverse approaches to distinguishing genres practiced by representatives of individual Oriental traditions and by European researchers.
The collection opens with an essay by A. S. Balakovskaya (Institute of World Literature Russian Academy of Sciences), “From Encomium to Biography: The Genre Traits of Hagiographic Works in Honor of John Chrysostom (the 5th–10th centuries),” which, on the basis of copious data, presents literary process in its historical development. To be exact, the paper traces the development of the hagiographic genre from the Funeral Speech by Martyrius of Antioch to the Dialogue by Palladius (intended for the “life” of Pseudo-George) in a form making it easy for the reader to visualize the entire evolution of the genre clearly.
In her “The Literary Mind and the Carving of Dragons (Wen xin diao long) by Liu Xie,” L. V. Stezhenskaya (Institute for Oriental and Classical Studies of National Research University “Higher School of Economics”, Institute of Far Eastern Studies) analyzes the literary-historical work of an early medieval theoretician, critic and literary historian from the standpoint of understanding the notion of “genre.” She has also undertaken an attempt to describe, in the form of a survey, the views of Russian Sinologists on the problem of genre in classical Chinese literature.
The Japanese genre otogi-zoshi, which belongs to the Muromachi period (1336–1573) and tends to be interpreted rather loosely as regards its genre attribution as it includes a motley variety of works of both “high” and “low” genres, is the subject of research by M. V. Toropygina (Institute оf Oriental Studies Russian Academy of Sciences, Institute for Oriental and Classical Studies of National Research University “Higher School of Economics”).
The traditional poetic genre, which is the most popular one in Japan, is the subject of E. M. Dyakonova’s (Institute of World Literature Rassian Academy of Sciences) contribution, “The Genesis and the Principal Features of the Japanese haiku Genre.” The unusual nature of its origin lies in its lineage: it developed in the 15th century from the classical five-line 31-syllable tanka (“short poem”) genre under the influence of yet another genre, renga (“collaborative poetry”).
“On the History of haiku in Latin America” by M. F. Nadyarnykh (Institute of World Literature Russian Academy of Sciences) is a work complementary to the preceding article by E. M. Dyakonova, since it treats the problem of transferring and “cultivating” an “alien” Oriental genre on the Latin Americal soil.
In her paper “On Some Rhetorical Genres in Modern Japan,” L.M. Yermakova (Kobe City University of Foreign Studies, Ritsumeikan University) considers some original fluctuations of old genres (the norito prayers) and the emergence of entirely new genres in the 20th-century Japan.
The two articles by E. N. Afanasyeva (Institute of World Literature Russian Academy of Sciences) discuss the forming and functioning of the epic sepha genre in Thailand and the history of the genre of didactic novella nithan in Laos.
“The Genre of ‘Learned Treatise’ in Classical Persian Prose: Formulationg the Problem” is an article by N. Yu. Chalisova (Institute for Oriental and Classical Studies of National Research University “Higher School of Economics”). It deals with medieval Persian works composed in New and Classical Persian in Iran after the coming of Islam and interpreting diverse “sciences.”
In her “Autobiographical Narrative in Classical Persian Literature,” E. L. Nikitenko (Institute for Oriental and Classical Studies of National Research University “Higher School of Economics”) writes about works composed in Arabic and Persian in the “story-about-myself” genre (the 16th century) and about the emergence of biography from poetical genres.
The monograph describes the genre of readers' letters to Russian newspapers, and various approaches to description of genres are discussed with reference to it.
As a material, letters were taken in four representative publications were taken (in the Soviet - Pravda and Izvestia and in the emigrant - "Latest News" and "Revival"). All the letters under investigation date back to the 1920-1929 period. Since at that time both the Soviet society and the emigrant community were still very young, it can be said that it was the 1920s when the two different communicative spaces, and hence the two types of discourse, are formed. Analysis of letters to newspapers allows, among other things, to observe the formation and internal organization of emigrant and Soviet discourse practices.
The main goal of this study is to describe the genre of readers' letters to the editorial board in emigrant and Soviet newspapers of the 1920s, the system of its varieties (sub-genres) and the means (compositional and linguistic) used by writers for creating texts of various sub-genres. Another aim of the study is to identify similarities and differences in the set of subgenres, their thematic, compositional and linguistic properties in the emigration and in Russia.
The monograph has the following structure:
Chapter I examines the main approaches to problems of speech genres in the works of Russian and foreign researchers. Here, the approach adopted in the work for description of speech genres are formulated and criteria for defining a speech genre are proposed, taking into account the specifics of this study. Finally, in the same chapter, studies of the epistolary genre in general and the genre of letters to newspapers in particular are briefly reviewed.
Chapter II focuses on the description of the general properties of the genre "letter to the newspaper." It consists of two parts. In the first part, using the system of parameters proposed in the situational approach to the speech genre, the communicative situation in which this genre operates is characterized. The analysis of a typical communicative situation allows us to proceed to the description of the features that form the genre of a letter to a newspaper, which is the subject of the second part of the chapter. I consider only those features that do not vary depending on the specific type of typical intention purpose of individual letters, that is, the properties that constitute the genre "letter to a newspaper" as a whole. In particular, the key properties of the author and the addressee are described.
Chapter III presents a classification of letters to subgenres. For each subgenre, I describe the typical intention, the prototypical composition and the content, and its linguistic embodiment is analyzed. In addition, where it is relevant for the description of the sub-genre, separate information about the author and the addressee is given. Response letters (letters that represent a reaction to a certain «text-stimulus», for example, another letter to the editorial office or some other newspaper publication) occupy a special place among the types of letters. In the sections focusing on response letters, I consider the types of references to the motivating text and make some remarks on the functioning of other author’s speech in these letters (in particular, possible mechanisms of its distortion are discussed).
The work contains two appendices in which the corpus of letters (about 500 letters) is represented. Letters in the corpus are organized by genre. For convenience, the body is accompanied by two indices – one organized chronologically, the other according to the genre. In all letters, author
spelling and punctuation are preserved. It is important to note that this corpus of letters will be highly relevant demand for other studies (linguistic and not only) related to letters to newspapers in the emigration and in the USSR, because it introduces a new extensive material for future research.