An analysis of the lyrics and literary criticism of Innokentij Annenskij both as a means of understanding an important and insufficiently studied poet and as a vehicle for studying the impact of Annenskij's aesthetic theory and practice on the literary doctrine of the Acmeists. The discussion of Annenskij's work is supplemented by an exploration of the essays comprising the Acmeist doctrine and a brief treatment of several illustrative poems, with a concluding chapter linking the earlier poet with his illustrious pupils. "On the whole this book is a well-informed and valuable work on Annenskii, symbolism, and acmeism. It is a good addition to the critical literature on the period, can be used successfully in the classroom, and may be of interest to the general reader." (SR)
In the novel Envy Jurij Olesha addressed one of the most critical issues of his time -- the impact of the October Revolution on Soviet intellectuals. This issue is part of the larger cultural and literary paradigm which surfaced in the nineteenth century, namely, the isolation of intellectuals from both the autocracy and the lower classes. Since open condemnation of the system was unwise and difficult, Olesha resorted to an indirect critique of the underlying philosophical structure on which the new state was based. The complex images for which Envy is famous and respected have inspired incisive criticism, especially in the West, but these studies have, typically, ignored political and philosophical concerns central to the work. Political issues addressed in the novel were not lost, however, on critics. Olesha's contemporaries initially praised Envy but were subsequently uneasy about it, especially upset by what they perceived as his biased treatment of the main characters. Given that Russian literature has long been the arena where social and political conflicts are embodied in personae representing opposite arguments, their reaction was no surprise. No critics, however, looked for political or social judgments in the images or cultural references themselves, where Olesha concealed his most subtle and damning attack. By considering mythic archetypes of revolution, gender, and marriage, Olesha touched on the larger questions central to his work -- the perpetual flux of revolution and the connection between the family and revolt. The function of the writer relative to the Russian/Soviet state and his use of language, both tool and weapon, focus on the larger issue of revolution -- specifically on the role of literature -- as counterweight to the system. Olesha's use of intense visual images and his simultaneous admiration and castigation of experimental art and artists are central to the larger question of revolution as a universal phenomenon.
The purpose of the present collection is to underscore the vital role that parody, satire and intertextuality have played historically and continue to play in Russian literature and culture. Not intended as a comprehensive treatment, Against the Grain instead incorporates essays that treat specific writers and works and selected themes. For that reason and because of limitations of space, the collection starts with Ivan Goncharov, extending to the present. To maintain thematic and chronological consistency, Against the Grain encompasses Russian literature from approximately the 1850s, including such diverse writers as Ivan Goncharov and Fyodor Dostoevsky from the nineteenth century, and Evgenii Zamyatin and Andrei Sinyavsky (Abram Tertz) from the twentieth. While parody, satire and intertextuality can and often do function as political commentary in nineteenth-century belles-lettres as well as in the literature of the Soviet period and beyond, they also touch significantly on such important non-political concerns as aesthetics, societal foibles, human behavior, and metaphysical dilemmas, questions at once culturally specific and universal in scope. Parody, satire and intertextuality have special aesthetic interest beyond the scope of the particular culture in which they are embedded, making the essays contained in Against the Grain important not only intrinsically, but also generally, providing a deeper understanding of Russian culture in general.
Contents: Joachim T. Baer: Mixail Kuzmin's Lesok: A Rococo Work in the Twentieth Century 7 Robert L. Belknap: Memory in The Brothers Karamazov 24 G. Koolemans Beynen: The Slavic Animal Language Tales 42 Leon T. Blaszczyk: The Mickiewicz Generation and The Classical Heritage: A Contribution to the Study of Polish Neo-Humanism 48 Evelyn Bristol: Romanticism and Naturalism in the Works of the Russian Futurists 82 Kenneth N. Brostrom: Ethical Relativism and Absolutism in Anna Karenina 96 Paul Debreczeny: The Device of Conspicuous Silence in Tolstoj, Čexov, and Faulkner 125 William B. Edgerton: The Critical Reception Abroad of Tolstoj's What is Art? 146 Thomas Eekman: Walt Whitman's Role in Slavic Poetry (Late 19th - Early 20th Century) 166 Maurice Friedberg: Yiddish Folklore Motifs in Isaak Babel's Konarmija 192 Joan Grossman: Dostoevskij and Stendhal's Theory of Happiness 204 Kenneth E. Harper: Text Progression and Narrative Style 223 Jane Gary Harris: An Inquiry into the Use of Autobiography as a Stylistic Determinant of the Modernist Aspect of Osip Mandelshtam's Literary Prose 237 Michael Henry Heim: "Master and Man": "Three Deaths" Redivivus 260 James M. Holquist: Did Tolstoj Write Novels? 272 Robert Louis Jackson: Tolstoj's Kreutzer Sonata and Dostoevskij's Notes From the Underground 280 Ante Kadic: Kranjchevic's Jesus on the Barricades 292 Andrej Kodzhak: Skazka Pushkina - "Zolotoj petushok" 332 Willis Konick: The Shock of the Present: Levin's Role in Anna Karenina 375 Jerzy R. Krzyzanowski: A Paradise Lost?: The Image of Kresy in Contemporary Polish Literature 391 Nicholas Lee: Ecological Ethics in the Fiction of L. N. Tolstoj 422 Robert E. McMaster: No Peace Without War -- Tolstoj's War and Peace as Cultural Criticism 438 Vladimir Markov: K voprosu o granicax dekadansa v russkoj poezii (i o liricheskoj poeme) 485 John Mersereau, Jr.: Thackeray, Flaubert, Tolstoy and Psychological Realism 499 Barbara Heldt Monter: Tolstoj's Path Towards Feminism 523 Nadine Natov: Structural and Typological Ambivalence of Bulgakov's Novels Interpreted Against the Background of Baxtin's Theory of "Grotesque Realism" and Carnivalization 536 Marina T. Naumann: Tolstoyan Reflections in Hemingway: War and Peace and For Whom the Bell Tolls 550 Felix J. Oinas: The Transformation of Folklore into Literature 570 Tanya Page: A Radishchev Monstrology: The Journey from Petersburg to Moscow and Later Writings in the Light of French Sources 605 Riccardo Picchio: Principles of Comparative Slavic-Romance Literary History 630 Nikola Pribic: The Motif of Death in Vladan Desnica's Prose 644 James P. Scanlan: L. N. Tolstoj as Philosopher of Art Today 657 Walter Schamschula: The Place of the Old Czech Mastichkár-Fragments Within the Central European Easter Plays 678 Ewa Thompson: Russian Holy Fools and Shamanism 691 Ludmilla B. Turkevich: Tolstoj and Galdós: Affinities and Coincidences Reviewed 707 Wiktor Weintraub: Mikolaj Sep Szarzynski and the Beginning of Polish Baroque Literature 735 Genrika i Aleksej Jakushev: Struktura xudozhestvennogo obraza u Andreja Platonova 746 Zoja Jur'eva: Mif ob Orfee v tvorchestve Andreja Belogo, Aleksandra Bloka i Vjacheslava Ivanova. 779
I. The Un/Sayable
1. Renate Lachmann The Semantic Construction of the Void
2. Jurij Lotman The Truth as Lie in Gogol's Poetics
3. Mikhail N. Epshtein The Irony of Style: The Demonic Element in Gogol's Concept of Russia
4. Christopher Putney Gogol's Theology of Privation and the Devil in Ivan Fedorovič Špon'ka
5. Susi Frank Negativity Turns Positive: Mediations Upon the Divine Liturgy
6. Mixail Vajskopf Imperial Mythology and Negative Landscape in Dead Souls
7. Boris Gasparov Alienation and Negation: Gogol's View of Ukraine
8. Michael Holquist The Tyranny of Difference: Gogol and the Sacred
9. Boris Groys Who Killed the Dead Souls?
10. Sergej Gončarov The Metaphysics of Silence in Gogol's Early Fiction
11. Sven Spieker Esthesis and Anesthesia: The Sublime in Arabesques
12. Natascha Drubek-Meyer Gogol's Negation of Sense Perception and Memory
13. Mikhail Yampolsky Double Being: Laughter and the Sublime Works Cited Index