The twenty chapters of this volume are revised versions of essays published during the last twenty-five years in a variety of journals and collections. They are studies of works belonging to five different genres and written by fourteen Russian and Soviet writers, poets and dramatists ranging from Pushkin to Akhmatov. Most of the chapters are devoted to individual works; the problems discussed in others relate to groups or cycles of works or even to the entire oeuvre of the writer concerned. Nevertheless, they are connected by their common concern with the problem to which the volume's title refers. In each case the initial impetus to write came from some aspect of form -- a distinctive feature of style, language, narrative method or characterization, an unusual structural principle or genre characteristic, a recurrent image, a striking rythmic variant of a particular metre -- which raised at once the question of the reasons for its choice or presence and thus of its relation to the meaning and purpose of the work or works concerned. This relationship is examined in different ways, but the aim throughout is basically the same: to contribute to the understanding of some of the most notable works of Russian literature by suggesting answers to questions posed by their formal characteristics. The details of first publication are indicated in each case at the beginning of the Notes to the relevant chapter.

Contents: The "Principle of Contradictions" in Evgenii Onegin; The Enigmatic Development of Baratynskii's Art; Gogol's Mertvye dushi: the Epic as Analogue; Turgenev's Prizraki: a Reassessment; Turgenev's "New Manner" in His Novel Dym; The "Roman Theme" in Turgenev's Nov'; The Symbolism and Rhythmic Structure of Turgenev's `Italian Pastiche'; Overlapping Portraits in Dostoevskii's Idiot; "Transferred Speech" in Dostoevskii's Vechnyi muzh; Tolstoi's Khadzhi Murat: the Evolution of Its Theme and Structure; Leonid Andreev and "Conventionalism" in the Russian Theatre; The "Symphonic" Art of Ivan Bunin; Rhythmic Modulations in the dol'nikTrimeter of Blok; The Structure and Theme of Blok's Cycle Iamby; "The Idea of the Circle" in the Poetry of Blok; Semantic Parallelism in the Verse of Akhmatova; Rhythm and Meaning in the Alexandrines of Mandel'shtam; The "Dotted Line" of Iurii Trifonov's Last Novel; The "Cosmic" Vision of Iurii Dombrovskii: His Novel Fakul'tet nenuzhnykh veshchei; Chingiz Aitmatov's Second Novel.

"A very useful collection ... essays worthy of attention." (Choice) "It is an impressive collection... The collection is greater than the sum of its parts." (SEER)



Preface     5

I. Gogol's Symbolism     7

II. "Ivan Fyodorovich Shpon'ka and His Aunt" and Gogol's First Volume     17

III. "Old-World Landowners"     44

IV. "The Nose"     63

V. "The Overcoat"     88

VI. "The Carriage"     113

Conclusion     125

Select Bibliography.     129

An "Outstanding Academic Book" selection for 1982 by Choice. 74

Bronislava Volkova & Clarice Cloutier


Up the Devil's Back: An Anthology of 20th Century Czech Poetry presents 65 selected Czech poets in English translation, together with their biographies. Co-translated and edited by Bronislava Volková (Professor of Czech literature, Comparative literature and Jewish studies at Indiana University) and Clarice Cloutier (Professor of Central European literature and culture at New York University [Prague campus] and Lecturer at Charles University, Prague), this volume seeks to give a sense of the evolution undergone by Czech poetry throughout the decades. Beginning with the Symbolism and Decadence of the 1890s and ending with the most recent generations, this collection explores the remarkable breadth of literary approaches to the pervasive themes of the 20th century. Featuring renowned poets such as Seifert, Up the Devil's Back compiles female poets alongside males and exiled authors together with those who remained in the Czech Republic under the totalitarian regime. Whether used in the classroom, by travelers to the Czech Republic or as a coffee-table companion, this anthology serves as a resource for scholars in Slavic studies, an accompaniment to those in comparative literature and a guide for all into one of Central Europe's literary storehouses. "These poems are more than an expression of a series of individual talents: above all they bear witness to a culture whose survival in the calamitous twentieth century is nothing less than a miracle. The same might be said of the publication of this anthology." From the Afterword by Alfred Thomas, Professor of English, University of Illinois, Chicago

Edited by Walter N. Vickery




Avril Pyman:

Aleksander Blok: The Tragedy of Two Truths (guest lecture)     7

Robert Abernathy:

The Lonely Vision of Alexander Blok (Blok's Vowel Fugue Revisited)     9

Henryk Baran:

Some Reminiscences in Blok: Vampirism and Its Antecedents     25

John E. Bowlt:

Here and There: The Question of Space in Blok's Poetry     43

Anna Lisa Crone:

Blok's "Venecija" and Molnii iskusstva as Inspiration to Mandel'shtam: Parallels in the Italian Materials     61

Sam Driver:

Axmatova's Poema bez geroia and Blok's Vozmezdie     73

Thomas Eekman:

The Evolution of Blok's Poetical Syntax     89

Efim Etkind:

"Karmen" Aleksandra Bloka: Liricheskaia poema kak antiroman     101

Lawrence E. Feinberg:

Of Two Minds: Linear vs. Non-Linear in Blok     113

Joan Delaney Grossman:

Blok, Brjusov, and the Prekrasnaja Dama     141

Emily Klenin:

"O doblestjax, o podvigax, o slave..." and its status in the cycle Vozmezdie     159

Andrej Kodjak:

Alexandr Blok's Circular Structure     179

Irene Masing-Delic:

Zhivago's "Christmas Star" as Homage to Blok     201

Gerald Pirog:

The Language of Love and the Limits of Language     207

Avril Pyman:

Aleksandr Blok and the Merezhkovskijs     225

Bogdan B. Sagatolv:

Blok's Nochnaja Fialka: The Sef Through Dream     237

Marena Senderovich:

Nezavisimyi atribut, ili contradictio in adjecto, v Knige Vtoroj Bloka     237

Savely Senderovich:

Semioticheskii radikal blokovskoi semantiki     271

David Sloane:

The Cyclical Dynamics of Blok's "Zhizn' moego priiatelia"     287

Edward Stankiewicz:

The Polyphonic Structure of Blok's Dvenadcat'     305

Walter N. Vickery:

Blok's Solov'inyj sad: The Stuff of Tragedy     321

Lucy Vogel:

The Poet's Wife: Ljubov' Dmitrievna Mendeleeva.     345

"The twenty-one excellent papers ... in this collection suggest that the occasion was worthy of the great poet... Our overall knowledge of Blok's life, technique, preoccupations and spiritual torment is greatly advanced by this rewarding collection of essays." (ISS) "Future students of Blok will find the collection an indispensable source for information on specific topics as well as for guidance on fruitful approaches to the poetry." (SEEJ)


Yale Russian and East European Publications


O pansemantichnosti poeticheskogo teksta i sposobakh ego prochteniia

A. Mickevich

"Trzech Budrysow"/A. S. Pushkin: "Budrys i ego synov'ia"

N. A. Nekrasov

"Utrenniaia progulka"

A. A. Fet

"Moego tot bezumstva zhelal"

V. I. Ivanov


B. L. Pasternak

"Mchalis' zvezdy"

M. I. Cvetaeva


A. A. Akhmatova

"Iz tsikla `Tashkentskie stranitsy'"

I. A. Brodskii

"Litovskii divertisment"