Review: K.N. Grigor´ian, «Pushkinskaia elegiia» and V.E. Vatsuro, «Lirika pushkinskoi pory»

K.N. Grigor´ian. Pushkinskaia elegiia (natsional´nye istoki, predshestveniki, evoliutsiia). Leningrad: Nauka, 1990. 256 pp. Indexes.

V.E. Vatsuro. Lirika pushkinskoi pory: "Elegicheskaia shkola." Sankt-Peterburg: Nauka, 1994. 239 pp. Index.

 

Given that the two books here under review both carry forms of the words "Pushkin" and "elegy" in their titles, it is not surprising that they have similar aims: to trace the development of the Russian elegy from the middle of the eighteenth century through the first third or so of the nineteenth. In addition, both books, as products of the newly open cultural climate after glasnost´ and the fall of Soviet communism, strive to recuperate a central genre of Russian poetry that seemed to embarrass Marxist positivism as a pothole in the road to realism.

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Review: Efim Kurganov, «Literaturnyi anekdot pushkinskoi epokhi»

Efim Kurganov. Literaturnyi anekdot pushkinskoi epokhi. Helsinki: Helsinki University Press, 1995. 278 pp.

 

Efim Kurganov's monograph on the role of the anecdote in Russian literary culture at the end of the eighteenth and beginning of the nineteenth centuries is a welcome addition to Pushkin studies and to the study of Russian literature and culture in general.

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Review: Lauren G. Leighton, «The Esoteric Tradition in Russian Romantic Literature: Decembrism and Freemasonry»

Lauren G. Leighton. The Esoteric Tradition in Russian Romantic Literature: Decembrism and Freemasonry. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1994. viii, 224 pp. $39.50 (cloth).

 

The task that the author sets himself here is a doubly difficult if altogether intriguing one. Not only are the literary texts under study in some sense encoded, but they depend for their decoding on sources and traditions which can themselves be arcane, obscure, hermetic. The decoding here ranges over Masonic signs and rituals through calendarology, numerology, cardiology, the Cabala, etc. The whole area of research is a daunting one, especially for those researchers of an empirical turn of mind.

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Review: V.V. Musatov, «Pushkinskaia traditsiia v russkoi poezii pervoi poloviny XX veka: Ot Annenskogo do Pasternaka»

V.V. Musatov. Pushkinskaia traditsiia v russkoi poezii pervoi poloviny XX veka: Ot Annenskogo do Pasternaka.  Moscow: Prometei, 1992. 220 pp.

 

Musatov's book is a sequel to his earlier study, Pushkinskaia traditsiia v russkoi poezii pervoi poloviny XX veka: Aleksandr Blok, Sergei Esenin, Vladimir Maiakovsky (Moscow: Prometei, 1991), in which the author examined the Symbolist conception of myth- and life-creating potential of poetry. In his new book, Musatov investigates another trend in Russian twentieth-century lyric poetry, first manifested in Annesnky's verse at teh time of the Symbolist crisis and further developed by Mandel´shtam, Akhmatova, and Pasternak. These poets also shared a particular approach to Pushkin's legacy, and it is this common ground which forms the core of Musatov's book.

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Vol. 01 (1998)