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Of all publications in the section: 24
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Working paper
Velizhev M. Literary Studies. WP BRP. Высшая школа экономики, 2017. No. WP BRP 19/LS/2017.
This paper is aimed at exploring the rhetorical conventions of political polemics in 19th century Russia. We will compare two texts published in the 1830s – a classic “First Philosophical Letter” by Petr Chaadaev and a less known reply to it written by young Andrej Krayevsky – “Thoughts on Russia”. First we plan to focus on their stated ideas, and then to consider the political language of the opponents. As we will see, if their ideas were completely different, Chaadaev and Krayevsky shared the same political idiom – the language of official national ideology. We will try to demonstrate that it was possible to use the language of the official ideology not only to establish that ideology but paradoxically also to start an open debate with it.
Added: Feb 18, 2017
Working paper
Panarina M. A. Literary Studies. WP BRP. Высшая школа экономики, 2015. No. WP BRP 11/LS/2015 .
Previous research in the stanzaic repertoire of Russian poetry has shown that Russian verse from the 1950s onwards is less standardized with looser patterns, compared to Russian classical verse. This article applies a new approach to statistical description which is more suitable for Russian contemporary verse. It also studies forms with minor deviations and their functions on the margins of regular verse, using statistical data from a full stanzaic description of Joseph Brodsky’s poetic texts. Existing studies of Brodsky’s poetics revealed examples of innovative versification and unique patterns, although his experiments in those areas have not yet been studied with a specific focus on forms with deviations.  The practical implications of this research not only suggest new interpretations of Brodsky’s poetry, but also enrich the traditional view of the stanzaic forms with deviations in meter, rhyme, graphics and syntax. The findings show how such forms reflect Brodsky’s ‘poetics of conflict’ and illustrate major changes in the development of Russian verse since the 1950s
Added: Nov 2, 2015
Working paper
Lyamina E. Literary Studies. WP BRP. Высшая школа экономики, 2015. No. 08/LS/2015.
The study is focused on an important stage in the process of shaping and functioning of Ivan Andreevich Krylov’s public image. A unique behavioral strategy created by the fabulist in the 1800s synthesized literary pattern with the everyday life. It not only provided Krylov with the most favorable life conditions during three decades (from 1812 till 1844, the year of his death). In virtue of a number of circumstances concerning the formation of the official ideology of the reign of Nicolas I, the named strategy, set upon Krylov’s fables, his opus magnum, resulted in a singular phenomenon of Krylov’s appropriation by the State (ogosudarstvlenie). The paper seeks to show how the idea of celebrating the 50th anniversary of Krylov’s literary activity on February 2nd, 1838, was born and performed in the described context. The light is also shed on the connection between the construct of Grandfather Krylov (“dedushka Krylov”) and further life of the fabulist and his works.
Added: Apr 15, 2015
Working paper
Dolgorukova N. Literary Studies. WP BRP. Высшая школа экономики, 2015. No. WP BRP 07/LS/2015 .
The paper explores how the authors of the first works of the so-called Arthurian cycle tried to raise the status of their narrative using the Latin rhetorical triad (‘historia’, ‘argumentum’, ‘fabula’). Macrobius, Isidore of Seville, Geoffrey Map were just a few of the authors who used these categories for the analysis of literary works. This reflection on the form and function of the text is also important for the literature written in the vernacular (Wace, Chrétien de Troyes, Guillaume de Lorris, etc.). The paper shows that this intention was one of the reasons for criticism form the so-called “professional historians”, e.g. William of Newburgh, the British historian of the 12th century. First works of Arthurian literature (e.g. The History of the Kings of England by Geoffrey of Monmouth, Le Roman de Brut by Wace) contained specific historiographic claims and downplayed the proportion of invented elements. They could vary depending on the language (Latin and Old French) and the audience for which the texts were written.  
Added: Mar 24, 2015
Working paper
Bodrova A. S., Зубков К. Ю. Literary Studies. WP BRP. Высшая школа экономики, 2017. No. 23.
The study explores the narrative structure of Alexandr Nikitenko’s diary, one of the core sources for the history of Russian censorship, and on the role of the genre of anecdote in particular. Through an analysis of the ‘anecdotal’ entries about censorship in Nikitenko’s diary and their evolution (their number peaks during the years of Nicholas I’s reign, and plummets in the parts of the account dealing with Alexander II, particularly in the period of 1860-ies), the authors demonstrate the peculiarities of the ‘anecdotal’ frame in picturing the interactions between literary circles and censorship. The literary form of anecdote, whose strength is in picturing singular oddities and excesses, fails to account for the everyday quality of routine practices, the day-to-day modes of interaction between authors and censors, so that the ‘anecdotal’ narrative can only work as a segment of a more complex and multidimensional vision of how literary agency and censoring authorities interacted.
Added: Apr 15, 2017
Working paper
Zemskova E. Literary Studies. WP BRP. Высшая школа экономики, 2014. No. 3.
This paper focuses on the history of the Translators Section in the Soviet Writers Union in the 1930s and demonstrates how, and under what circumstances, literary translation was constructed in the soviet culture of 1930s as a profession and as a separate type of writing activity. The author uses the conceptual framework invented by Sheila Fitzpatrick for the soviet social system to the soviet literary history, and concludes, that translators were ascribed to the writers stratum by the bureaucratic machine of the Soviet Writers Union.  
Added: Apr 25, 2014
Working paper
Lyamina E. Literary Studies. WP BRP. Высшая школа экономики, 2017. No. 25.
The topics explored in this essay include Ivan Andreevich Krylov’s reading practices in his young and mature years, reconstructed on the basis of various sources. The paper recontextualizes Krylov’s unique reading trajectory not always comprehensible for his contemporaries. It also highlights numerous links, not accentuated earlier, between Krylov’s strategies — in life, writing and publishing — and his service as a librarian in the Imperial Public Library of St. Petersburg. The analysis of several situations showing Krylov as a brilliant reciter of his own texts who smartly deals with expectations and obsessions of his audience allows to affirms the existence a special connection, of his personality, considerably mythologized due to his own efforts, the literary genre of fable and the status of classical writer obtained by Krylov by 1830. Sub specie of this connection the transformations of the circle of Krylov’s readers are represented, as well as different ways of perception of his fables by children.
Added: Dec 18, 2017
Working paper
Pavel Uspenskij. Literary Studies. WP BRP. Высшая школа экономики, 2017. No. 21/LS/2017.
This article suggests a literary analysis of “Renata’s End”, a memoir essay written by V. Khodasevich (1928), one of the key examples for understanding the particular nature of Russian symbolism. It is focused on the interpretation that Khodasevich gave to Petrovskaya’s life abroad. The author of the memoir looks at the life of his character through the prism of a symbolist life-creation (zhiznetvorcheskaya) model based on the concept of doppelgangers, or doubles. Simultaneously, the author’s commentary of Petrovskaya’a life abroad is related directly to his own arduous experience as an émigré.  
Added: Apr 4, 2017
Working paper
Linkova Y. Literary Studies. WP BRP. Высшая школа экономики, 2015. No. 12.
The paper deals with devices typical for the oeuvre of the French poet Stéphane Mallarmé. He belonged to that category of authors for whom the quest for a new poetic language was almost more vital than their own creations. As a result, his poetic texts present a certain structure wherein all elements, words, symbols and rhythms, serve a single purpose, i.e. to embody an absolute text, which goes to prove the everlasting beauty of Poetry. Mallarmé’s new approach to the nature of words has largely presaged the discoveries of 20th-century modernist poets.
Added: Oct 23, 2015
Working paper
Bodrova A. S. Literary Studies. WP BRP. Высшая школа экономики, 2016. No. WP BRP 18/LS/2016.
The study is focused on narrative specific of Baratynsky’s “unexplained” tale “Persten” (The Ring) in comparison to, on the one hand, the material assembled within the frameworks of HSE project Russkaja Povest 1825–1850, and, on the other, taking into consideration the material of previous period (the first third of the 19th century). Using the research facilities provided by poetics of expressiveness the author describes and defines the functions of different techniques concerning the plot, composition and narrative. The author demonstrates how Baratynsky combines the widespread plots (‘magic ring’, ‘devil in love’, ‘adultery’, etc.) in a very complicated narrative model that diminishes the power of every plotline and deceives readers’ expectations. Using the database of most frequent plots (“Russian Tale, 1825-1850”, 800 texts), the paper compares “Persten” with typical and very rare plot schemes and demonstrates that Baratynsky’s tale manifests the marginal line of Russian fiction which mainstream came to choose another direction.
Added: Dec 15, 2016
Working paper
Dolgorukova N. Literary Studies. WP BRP. Высшая школа экономики, 2014. No. 01.
The history of the Soviet reception of Mikhail Bakhtin’s heritage and ideas has not been written yet. The present working paper is a case study of works by Vladimir N. Turbin (1927—1993) who was one of the early Bakhtin’s followers in the USSR. The paper examines Turbin’s books (A Short While Before Aquarius, A Farewell to Epos) and his articles in different years (including published posthumously) related to Bakhtin, his life, theories, and ideas. The careful exploration of these works enables to explain why the proper reception of Bakhtin’s heritage in the USSR in the 1960-70s did not take place and why the book Turbin wanted to write about his teacher has not been written. Turbin’s case allows to argue that Bakhtin’s reception was not successful because of different nature as compared to all of his contemporaries and conversation partners.
Added: Sep 29, 2014
Working paper
Platt K., Polivanov K. M. Literary Studies. WP BRP. Высшая школа экономики, 2016. No. WP BRP 14/LS/2016.
The relationship between the individual and historical processes was one of Boris Pasternak’s persistent and central concerns, from his earliest lyrics, to his experiments with long-form poems and prose at mid-career, to his late masterwork, the novel Doktor Zhivago (Doctor Zhivago). Pasternak’s oeuvre poses the questions of what the lyric poet can say about history, and how to say it. Among his earliest, most complex and perhaps least critically understood attempts to answer these questions is the 1920-23 poetic cycle “Bolezn'” (“Illness”). In particular, the third poem of this cycle, “Mozhet stat'sia tak, mozhet inache” (“It can happen like that, or other¬wise”), is among Pasternak’s most dense and enigmatic works. To our mind, it also contains the central keys to reading the cycle “Bolezn'” and to Pasternak’s earliest attempts to make lyric sense of historical experience. The present article is an attempt to read this poem, the cycle that contains it, and through this, the counterintuitive potential of the lyric mode as an instrument for historical thought. Drawing on an examination of the construction of the poem and its web of allusions to Russian and world literature, as well as to the contexts of Pasternak’s biography, as well as recent work on lyric and avant-garde temporality, the article describes “Mozhet stat'sia tak, mozhet inache” as an evocation of the complex fabric of temporal linkages binding Russian culture together at a moment when the temporal sequence itself had been upended in what Pasternak envisioned as a “purga” (“blizzard”) of revolutionary transformation.
Added: Apr 1, 2016
Working paper
Sabashnikova A. Literary Studies. WP BRP. Высшая школа экономики, 2015. No. WP BRP 06/LS/2015.
The paper looks at the singular genre of Paul Claudel’s 1911 drama, which the author himself defined as a mystery play. This work is studied as a sort of genre experiment, which became possible in the early 20th century, owing to the blurring of borders typical for Symbolist theatre. One can define two specific levels in the subject matter of the piece: the dramatic one, the actual story and the one reminding us of a mystery play, which shows the events in a universal light, symbolically reflecting the principal episodes of sacred history. A detailed analysis of the interaction between these two planes covers the list of personages and their character, the symbolic meaning of different images and developments of the story, spatial and temporal relations, as well as the influence of liturgy. The author comes to the conclusion that Claudel in «L’Annonce faite à Marie» achieves a unique synthesis of genres, reanimating certain features of a Medieval mystery, and in this way continues with his Symbolist drama the centuries-old tradition of Catholic theatre
Added: Mar 27, 2015
Working paper
Vdovin A. Literary Studies. WP BRP. Высшая школа экономики, 2016. No. 16/LS/2016.
The working paper explores the plot repertoire of Russian literature about peasants before 1861 and its sociocultural role for emerging models of Russianness. The author investigates different types of plots in 212 texts (fiction and drama, 1789-1861) using the methodology of ‘elementary plots’ extraction (elaborated by Tatiana Kitanina) and classifying them into such clusters as ‘Prohibited Marriage’, ‘Adultery’, etc. On the basis of such clustering, the paper analyzes the frequency of each type of plot in Russian literature and the literary and sociocultural background underlying the changes. Visualized data allows to compare the main Russian writers’ preferences and innovations in emplotment. In conclusion, frequent and rare types of plots are considered in relation to the discourse of Russianness because by the educated elite and literari perceived Russian peasants as carriers of authentic Russian identity
Added: Apr 13, 2016
Working paper
Tuliakova N. A. Literary Studies. WP BRP. Высшая школа экономики, 2018. No.  26/LS/2018.
In the early 19th century the words predanie, legenda, and skazanie started to be used by Russian writers as a generic label. The present paper considers the texts with these labels in their titles or subtitles written by Vladimir Odoevsky. First, constituent features of the corpus of the texts labeled as predanie are identified. Then the same categories are explored in the texts marked as legenda and skazanie. The aim of the research is to ascertain whether these texts are built according to similar or different generic patterns. I argue that Odoevsky treated the notions differently, and the generically labelled texts reveal different genre strategies.
Added: Mar 22, 2018
Working paper
Al-Faradzh E. A. Literary Studies. WP BRP. Высшая школа экономики, 2015
This article features the correspondence of Antoine Arnauld, who lived close to the Port-Royal monastery, as a case study for the perception of solitude in the spiritual literature of the 17th century. For Arnauld the world is corrupt, as a man in it is prone to an excess of temptation. A truly virtuous life means retirement from the world, not monasticism, but a refusal to comply with a world ruled by passions since the original sin. In his letters, Arnauld speaks of seclusion not only from the world but also from human nature with its sinful inclinations. Denouncing the world and its temptations Arnauld sees it as a battlefield for truth and his own mission in the protection of the latter from profanation. Despite seeing the solitary life as the most dignified, he compares the life of a virtuous married woman to a nun’s. Thus, he does not exclude the chance of salvation for those who lead a virtuous secular life. By 1660s his views become more lenient; in one of the letters Arnauld comes up with an apology for the existing social order and its characteristic luxury, seeing it as a manifestation of God’s will. The heterogeneity of Arnauld’s views could be explained by the nature of our source, the letters, as his ideas there are in the process of development of which each letter only registers stages.
Added: Sep 15, 2015
Working paper
Zemskova E. Literary Studies. WP BRP. Высшая школа экономики, 2016. No. 15.
The article addresses a literary biography of Alexander Ilyich Romm (1893 – 1943), philologist, poet and translator, focusing on the last years of Romm’s life when he had been an active member of the Translators Section of the Union of Soviet Writers, involved in producing translations of politically committed poetry both from foreign languages and from national languages of the Soviet Union. Drawing upon Andre Lefevere’s idea of translation as rewriting and manipulation, the article takes a close look at the process of production and stylization of such translations. Surviving archival documents, including Romm’s diaries, offer a glimpse of how harrowing for him was an experience of depersonalization translators were subjected to in the Soviet literary system.
Added: Apr 13, 2016
Working paper
Polivanov K. M. Literary Studies. WP BRP. Высшая школа экономики, 2014. No. WP BRP 04/LS/2014.
The paper explores the tight relation between “art” and “immortality” in Boris Pasternak’s author’s ideology on the basis of his new discovered letter to his second wife Zinaida Nikolaevna Neigauz, written in the beginning of 1931. This letter, preserved only in a copy, sheds new light upon one of the most important point of author’s ideology. In this document, Pasternak explains his views on the unacceptability of suicide. The letter is closely related to his autobiographical work Safe Conduct, the final part of which was written soon after the suicide of Vladimir Mayakovsky. It is possible to stretch a line from the letter to the late Pasternak’s novel Doctor Zhivago. The life finals of two protagonists, Yuri Zhivago and his antipode Pavel Antipov-Strelnikov, are compared. The main protagonist dies, leaving behind his poetry. For Pasternak, it is the way of continuation, “life after death”, and the symbol of creative immortality of a poet. On the contrary, Antipov committed suicide, and it was consequential final of his life position.
Added: Dec 19, 2014
Working paper
Volkonskaya M. A. Literary Studies. WP BRP. Высшая школа экономики, 2017. No. WP BRP 22/LS/2017.
Laȝamon’s Brut is well-known for being a transitional stage between Old English and Middle English alliterative poetry. On the one hand, it preserves some traces of the Old English poetic tradition, such as, for instance, certain poetic words. On the other hand, even those traces that seem to be similar to Old English undergo significant, though subtle, changes. To trace these changes, this paper explores Middle English predominantly poetic lexemes for ‘man, warrior’ in the Caligula manuscript of the Brut, namely, Middle English simplexes hæleð, kempe, scalk, seg, rink, as well as their Old English counterparts hæleð, cempa, scealc, secg, rinc in the verse section of the DOE Corpus.
Added: Apr 13, 2017
Working paper
Tulyakov D. Literary Studies. WP BRP. Высшая школа экономики, 2016. No. 13/LS/2016.
This article considers Wyndham Lewis’s autobiography Blasting and Bombardiering (1937) as an instrument for reassessing modernism and representing it to the wider readership of popular literature. Lewis’s employment of autobiography to conceptualise modernism and position himself within/towards it is a marked step away from his criticism where modern subjectivity, historical approach to the self, and fictionalisation of autobiography are repudiated. Such change cannot be explained only by Lewis’s pragmatic motives of raising his profile in the recent literary history and making money by catering to the audience’s taste for autobiographies. This choice of genre also reflects Lewis’s disillusionment with transformative yet detached modernism, which the First World War proved to have been utopian, but with whose aesthetic standards Lewis wanted to maintain association. In this context, the populist intent of the autobiography can be seen as a means of rethinking the failed modernist attempt at objectivity. With the help of the form of popular autobiography, Lewis playfully subjects to detachment modernism itself, undermining the assumptions of its commitment to difficulty, elitism, and autonomy and highlighting the related tensions within his own aesthetics.
Added: Feb 16, 2016
Working paper
Avdonin V. Literary Studies. WP BRP. Высшая школа экономики, 2016. No. WP BRP 20/LS/2017.
The paper focuses on The Olive, collection of sonnets by Joachim Du Bellay, exploring the development of its poetics from first version (1549) to the second (1550), as well as parallel evolution of Du Bellay's self-definition as a poet.
Added: Mar 1, 2017
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