For the last two decades a large number of philosophical texts have been issued including texts that were formerly hard to access for a Russian reader – publications of the works of Russian philosophers that had not been issued for wide circles of readers, translations (including from eastern languages), publications of the archival materials and epistolary heritage of the philosophers. Notwithstanding, in cases of quality issues the process of publishing itself generally used to be accompanied by signiﬁ cant preparative work – research, philological, commentary and philosophically-interpretative work. Vast experience has been accumulated in this sphere. While at the same time, a number of signiﬁ cant philosophic-methodological problems have been revealed. At the center of this problem ﬁ eld lies the question – is there any speciﬁ city in the work of publishing preparation of archival philosophical texts? Is the publishing preparation of such a philosophical text differentiated from that of the preparation of any other translated or archival literary work that requires transcription or commentary? Or is this a sphere of exclusively philological work? What is the speciﬁ city of philosophical translation and can we represent the archival publication as a type of “translation”? And so on. Certain answers to these questions deﬁ ne not only the peculiarities of publishing projects and the choice of readership, but also the situation in the intellectual culture of Russia. Therefore it is often surrounded by quite distinct polemics. It is supposed, that an acute necessity of comprehensive discussion of correlated thematics has emerged today. Furthermore the accumulated experience allows the clariﬁcation of the practical requirements for publication.
Yōḥannān Bar Zō‘bī was an East-Syriac author of the late 12 th–early 13th c. His Explanation of the Mysteries is a metrical commentary on the liturgy. It is preceded by a prologue narrating the biblical history from the beginning of creation to the redemptive mission of Christ, and followed by a doctrinal part as well as a conclusion that describes symbolism of the church. The poem is presented in a critical edition which is based on nine manuscripts, including the oldest known one.
The paper describes a dynamic whereby new artistic forms can arise in traditional cultures and shows, that tradition has its own interior motor of innovation. It consists in the practices of commentary, often focused on sacral texts Or phenomena central to the given culture and ostensibly aimed at elucidating their true meaning. The task of interpreting an uncertainty increasing with time going generates a variety of new kinds of discourse. To make sense of the genesis of artistic forms one need therefore a historical poetics of commentary. On the broad survey of diverse kinds of ethnographic and literary evidence the author demonstrates that commentary, in different cultural environment, can give rise to genres of dramatic performance, philosophical inquiry, and fictional storytelling. The author points to the cross-cultural diffusion of the proto-dramatic form that combines an archaic and obscure core with colloquial and interpretive supplement. Commentary as an explanatory satelitte may develop new cultural phenomenon disguised as traditional.
The article offers some corrections to Vassily Adodurov’s Anfangs-Gründe der Russischen Sprache (1731), as edited by S. S. Volkov and K. A. Filippov in 2014. There is one thing to note regarding the quality of this edition. On page 7, the editors list the typographical errors they corrected when working with the original text. The list they present has four items and contains a total of six errors , which are actually misreadings by the editors themselves as well as typos they appear to have introduced during the production of the book (including that they cite pages 49 and 51 of the 48-page original). The work, produced by a team of ten, consists of different sections: four prefatory essays; a facsimile reprint of the 1731 original; a rendition into modern typeset with a Russian translation; two indexes; and three supplements. These multiple parts are poorly coordinated and, overall, can be evaluated as ranging from being somewhat acceptable to being defective. The editors knowingly and without any explicit polemics ignore the original conception of the history of Petersburg Academy’s Russian grammar in the 1720s and 1730s that was offered by Helmut Keipert (2002) and has been accepted by most scholars. Whereas Keipert’s fundamental work presents multiple Russian grammars created in St. Petersburg in this period as the product of collective work, conducted mostly by and for German speakers, the editors of the volume under review tend to see the Anfangs-Gründe as an individual work, an “original grammar produced by V. E. Adodurov.” Any extensive comparison of the Anfangs-Gründe with other early Petersburg grammars would demonstrate the dependence of this short essay on the more profound work of its predecessors. The present edition has almost no commentary; of the five commentaries included in the volume, two are erratic, one is obvious, one shows that the editors are new to the typographical term custos, and only one—dealing with Lomonosov’s use of examples from the Anfangs-Gründe for his Russian Grammar (1755)—makes any sense. The German text in modern typeset is extremely poorly prepared: in the first 23 (of 46) pages there are 34 significant typos and omissions that take the place of the 5 typos corrected from the original. This only underscores the observation that the 18th-century German Gothic typeface is obscure for the editors. The two indexes are partly unusable; not only are both full of omissions (the index of Russian examples omits almost 10% of the forms in the original, including more than half of the words starting with the letter Z as well as most of the examples for superlative and even the verb form bytʹ), but furthermore, the ‘Index of Grammar Terms’ is not what it says it is. The correct title would be ‘Index of Latin Grammar Terms,’ for it does not include German terms, with the result that there are no listings for terms relating to phonetics, normative style, etc. The text of the 1738‒1740 grammar of the St. Petersburg Academy Gymnasium in the final supplement, although carefully retyped from B. A. Uspensky’s book (1975), omits all of its commentaries—both explanatory and textological—which leads to presenting without comment letter sequences such as rereniiakhʺ, imennno, navodishishʹ, etc. The article also discusses principles for the study and publication of the entire body of works that present the St. Petersburg grammatical tradition of the period from the 1730s to the 1750s. Appendices to this article include publication of Adodurov’s note on er and erʹ (1737) and the major corrections to the text of Russian grammar (1738–1740) from the St. Petersburg Academy Gymnasium as published by Uspensky in 1975.