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Volume 20, Issue 2, 2014
Author Igor LoshchilovSource: Slavic Almanac : The South African Journal for Slavic, Central and Eastern European Studies 20, pp 105 –113 (2014)More Less
The article is devoted to the analysis of the poem 'Ossa' ('Óсса') by Danil Kharms. The poem is dated 6 August 1928 and was written under the influence of ether, the use of which, in the case of Kharms, was a single episode unlike it is believed was the case with Vvedensky. The analysis presented in this article identifies the source of a number of images connected with one of the names mentioned in the poem. It is a comedy-vaudeville 'Eccentric-Dearly Departed or A mysterious box' (Чудак-покойник, или Таинственный ящик) by Petr Andreevich Karatygin (1805-1879), which was written in 1841 and in the nineteenth century appeared in print twice (in 1841 and 1880). The source of this comedy, in turn, is a French vaudeville Les merluchons, ou Après deux cents ans (1840). Furthermore, the article puts forth a hypothesis in respect of certain idiosyncrasies to be found in the compositional arrangement of the poem, its images and its poetic devices typical of the OBERIU poetics. It also comments on the poem's title in its juxtaposition with the author's own life and the elements of his biography.
Author Kornelija IcinSource: Slavic Almanac : The South African Journal for Slavic, Central and Eastern European Studies 20, pp 114 –122 (2014)More Less
The article explores the relationship between the art of Kruchenykh and Malevich during their cooperation when working together on the Futuristic opera Victory over the sun which was staged in St Petersburg in 1913. The main focus remains on the philosophy that led to Malevich's theory of suprematism which underlies his set and costume designs. The artistic unity of the opera is achieved by Kruchenkh's libretto in a typical (for him) poetics of zaum.
Author Elena KulikovaSource: Slavic Almanac : The South African Journal for Slavic, Central and Eastern European Studies 20, pp 123 –136 (2014)More Less
The article analyzes Nikolai Gumilev's African Diary (1913) as a combination of poetry, prose and 'facts' whose interplay turns these 'travel notes' into both a work of fiction and a historical essay. The African Diary is a series of travel notes by the 'wandering poet'; its four chapters serve as a sort of introduction to the main part which abruptly stops before the actual African journey begins. Gumilev scholars have long struggled with the dilemma of whether to treat the African Diary as a purely historical document in an essayistic form or a fictional travelogue in the tradition of Nikolai Karamzin's Letters of a Russian Traveler or Alexander Pushkin's A Journey to Arzrum. This article portrays the African Diary as a fabula underlying the lyrical plot of Gumilev's poetry.
Author Grazyna BobilewiczSource: Slavic Almanac : The South African Journal for Slavic, Central and Eastern European Studies 20, pp 137 –155 (2014)More Less
The article analyses a number of paintings/graphics by contemporary Russian artists which are still-life representations of various objects and artifacts originating in African art. The analysis is based on the problematic determinants of interpretation and focuses on issues of theory, artistic practice and the poetics of reception of images inspired by African motifs and culture. The article deals with the following topics: 'Towards the theory', 'The dialogue with African aesthetics', and 'African Still Life'. The principles that define the essence of still life as an autonomous artistic genre in Russia (from its greatest flourishing at the turn of the nineteenth/twentieth century to this day) are briefly outlined. The model of African aesthetics as a source of inspiration for the formal and thematic innovation in 'object painting' is discussed in the framework of intercultural dialogue. The argument is illustrated with a selection of art featured on the Internet sites of Russian art galleries as well as the professional sites of individual artists. The examples are discussed in their juxtaposition with objects of African culture (on various levels - identification of the elements in the represented world and the relationship between them, the connection between the title of the painting and its visual embodiment as well as other generic indicators).
Author Elena BryzgalovaSource: Slavic Almanac : The South African Journal for Slavic, Central and Eastern European Studies 20, pp 156 –163 (2014)More Less
This article researches the feuilletons written by Don-Аминадо while in emigration. It subjects to a brief analysis a number of his works that represent different aspects of the life of Russian emigrants living in Paris; it also focuses on the specifics of the genre of feuilleton, assessing the author's skill as a publicist.
Author Yuri Shatin VassiljevichSource: Slavic Almanac : The South African Journal for Slavic, Central and Eastern European Studies 20, pp 164 –171 (2014)More Less
The article comments on the functions of the motive in a lyrical text. The author investigates the difference between narrative and non-narrative lyrical texts. Following an American researcher, A. Danges, the author outlines three levels of motivation in any text: motifema, motif and allomotif. The motifema is defined here as an abstract construct, which reflects one of the general oppositions: birth/death, love/faithlessness, meeting/parting, acquisition/loss, recollection/oblivion. The motif thus may be seen as a next stage in the concretisation of the construct, which includes the series of a personage's action. The allomotif is the concrete variation of the motif, which defines the peculiarity of fiction. As distinct from the epic text, where the motif plays the decisive role, the lyrical text is the direct link from the motifema to the allomotif. At the same time the narrativisation of the lyrical text permits the inclusion of the motif as the middle point of this triad. To illustrate this, the article presents a brief comparative study of two poems - 'My funeral' by Igor Severianin and 'August' by Boris Pasternak. In spite of the thematic and metric resemblance, the difference becomes evident when the separation of episodes in the narrative 'August' is accounted for and the absence of this separation in the non-narrative 'My funeral' indicated.
Author Oleg DmitrievSource: Slavic Almanac : The South African Journal for Slavic, Central and Eastern European Studies 20, pp 172 –195 (2014)More Less
To the best of our knowledge, Hugo von Hofmannsthal never went to Russia, but it is evident that he appreciated the creativity of Russian writers, especially that of Leo Tolstoy and Fyodor Dostoevsky. He also admired the leading figures of Russian theatre such as Stanislavsky, Diaghilev and Nizhinsky. The first translations of Hofmannsthal appeared in Russia in 1906 and interest in his work continued until the First World War and later, especially among the Russian emigration. The brief overview of Hofmannsthal's work in Russia is supplemented here by Peter Potemkin's translation of Hofmannsthal's play, A white fan (A musical play), which was prepared for a St-Petersburg theatre in its 1910 repertoire. However, its stage production never materialized due to a shortage of funds. The text of Potemkin's translation has never before appeared in print.
The [English] modern plough versus the wooden plough and The Squire's Daughter : the agrarian dispute on the pages of Pushkin's taleAuthor Valentin GolovinSource: Slavic Almanac : The South African Journal for Slavic, Central and Eastern European Studies 20, pp 196 –205 (2014)More Less
Author Tamara DayhinSource: Slavic Almanac : The South African Journal for Slavic, Central and Eastern European Studies 20, pp 206 –219 (2014)More Less
The article is devoted to the Problem of the development dynamics of cultural consciousness types, literary movements from early romanticism to realism. Early romanticism cultivated 'Absolute' as an object of the infinite aspiration of the knowing and creating subject. Romantic irony, 'smile of the spirit', has been shown as an answer to this process of infinite moving and returning and has been used to highlight inconsistencies that appear constantly during the act of producing. Constant returning of the subject to himself, his inability to construct a 'conscious himself' during the 'Golden Age' resulted in the rethinking both of the transcendental image and his own mission as producing subject. E. T. A. Hoffmann, H. de Balzac, I. A. Goncharov, all being fascinated by the creations of the early romanticists, rethought beautiful myth and found the inability of its realization in different cultural environments. That is how parody, the marker of dialectic cultural changes, entered the world of romanticism and realism.
Author Boris CzernySource: Slavic Almanac : The South African Journal for Slavic, Central and Eastern European Studies 20, pp 220 –239 (2014)More Less
Simon Markish, the son of prominent Yiddish poet, Peretz Markish, emigrated from the USSR at the beginning of the 1970s and, from this date onwards, he dedicated all his major works to the so-called 'Russian Jewish literature'. Thanks to his work, readers in the West could learn about the forgotten Russian (Soviet) writers of Jewish origin. In order to establish the association of the writer with Russian Jewish culture, Markish developed a theoretical framework, basing it on somewhat questionable (non-literary) considerations, such as 'personal insight' ('vnutrenni vzgliad'), 'origins by birth' ('proiskhozhdenie'), or 'the awareness of belonging to the Jewish peoples' ('soznatelnoe chuvstvo prinadlezhnosti k evreistvu').
This article is an attempt to define the factors Markish relied upon when working out his theoretical framework, by analysing consecutive stages of his life and his creative work before and after 1970. Particular attention is paid to both his work as a translator and as a scholar who wrote on Greek culture but also on the Renaissance philosopher Erasmus of Rotterdam. This makes apparent the connection between his 'Soviet' works and the essays and articles on Russian-Jewish literature he has written since 1970. It is not the dissimilarity but rather the unity that leads to an understanding of how and why Markish had to develop such specific criteria for defining 'Russian Jewish literature'. It becomes obvious that he needed them not as a scholar of literature but as a fighter for the 'Russian Jewish' identity.