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This collection of essays brings to the audience the papers delivered on Pushkin Bicentennial conference in Tartu, 18-20 September 1998. The book is dedicated to the memory of the late Vadim Vatsuro (1935-2000), the best Pushkin-scholar of our time.


Pushkin: literary and cultural context of his creative work

Pushkin's Ironical Epigraph
Marina Grishakova

The article presents epigraphs as a key element of Pushkin's poetics. An epigraph often organizes the whole textual game pointing to the hidden subtexts and connotations. Two epigraphs are considered more closely: one to Pushkin's early poem "To Natalia" and another to the chapter 4 of "Eugene Onegin". The first reveals an ambiguity of the whole poem through its connection with Choderlos de Laclos' "Epistle to Mme Dubarry". The second acquires its meaning through the opposition of two prominent figures of the French Revolution - Necker and Mirabeau - in the source text.

Zhukovsky in the Poetic Mind of Pushkin: 1818
Fyodor Fyodorov

This paper focuses on Pushkin's poems of the 1810s which contain so called "Zhukovsky's text". These are "Vospominaniya v Tsarskom Sele" (1814), "K Zhukovskomu" (1816), "Zhukovskomu" (1818), and "K portretu Zhukovskogo" (1818). They treated as the possible stages of Pushkin's studies of Zhukovsky's poetic mastery.

Zhukovsky's poetry in the 6th and the 7th chapters of "Evgeny Onegin"
Andrei Nemzer

The article analyzes the system of Pushkin's reminiscences connected with Zhukovsky's poetry in the 6th and the 7th chapters of "Evgeny Onegin". It brings to light a specific importance of the elegy "Selskoe kladbische" which seems to be echoed in Pushkin's meditations on Lensky's non-realized future, and also in two descriptions of the young poet's grave and in the episode related to Tatyana's visit to the abandoned house of Onegin. As far as the latter fragment is concerned, not only "Selskoe kladbische" but Zhukovsky's early ballad "Pustynnik" can be regarded as its praetext. Pushkin cites Zhukovsky ironically (in this respect the metatextual structure of the line "Zhuk zhuzhal" which alludes both to the 1802 elegy and to the amicable nickname of the older poet is characteristic) yet earnestly. Saying farewell to his elegiac youth he does not dismiss the values of Russian poetry which were established by Zhukovsky. Hidden reminiscences to Zhukovsky's elegies and ballads binds the 6th and the 7th chapters of "Evgeny Onegin" both with Tatyana's Dream and the 8th chapter which is literally embroidered with Zhukovsky's patterns and will be analyzed in a special essay by the same author.

"And she from whom is fashioned..."
Malle Salupere

The author of the article puts forward and examines the hypothesis about Maria Protasova as a possible prototype of Pushkin's Tatiana. Certain hints in the novel and in Pushkin's letters point to the woman who did not belong to poet's personal acquaintances, but was well-known to him through descriptions. V. Zhukovskii's unfortunate love to M. Protasova was a subject for discussion and admiration amongst their common friends. The article shows close parallels between Tatiana's features in the novel and certain descriptions of M. Protasova by Pushkin's contemporaries.

On the Literary Tutorship (Karamzin - Zhukovsky - Pushkin)
Tatyana Stepanishcheva

The paper focuses on Zhukovsky's attitude towards Pushkin and particularly on the importance of the image of Karamzin in the context of these relations. Karamzin, both as a man and as a writer, was an indisputable authority for Zhukovsky; this fact is testified by the numerous references to him in the articles, letters, and a number of poems of the latter.

In 1810s Zhukovsky becomes, in fact, the leader of a poetic school. After his artistic aims had changed, Zhukovsky reshapes his position in the literary process of the next decade. He destines Pushkin for "the first place on the Russian Parnassus" (see the letters of 1824-1825). In Zhukovsky's addresses to the younger poet, the image of Karamzin is always that of a perfect writer and a human being. Zhukovsky believed that following the example of Karamzin Pushkin may take a proper place both in Russian society and literature. If Karamzin was the 'glory' of Alexander I's reign, Pushkin may become the 'glory' of the reign of Nicholas I.

To the genealogy of the "caucasian captives"
Roman Leibov

The paper is devoted to the description of the background of certain romantic motives. Such background is formed, in particular, by the tradition of oral stories about the "children - captives", reflected in memoir sources (Oom, Tolstoy, Bludova). This tradition is going back to preromantic epoch, and its presence allows to re-formulate the problem of Russian romanticism's correlation with the literature of the previous period.

The year of 1830: Historical and Political Context of a Bet for a Bottle of Champagne
Vera Milchina

The articles presents a detailed commentary on Pushkin's dispute with Viazemskii about the fate which awaited the ministers of Charles X who was dethroned during the revolution of 1830. Pushkin believed that the ministers should be and will be executed; Viazemskii was against such measures. Up to December of 1830 when the ministers appeared before the jury, their fate was discussed by the whole Europe. But only a few members of "good society" in France or in Russia shared Pushkin's radical position in this question. The analysis of A. Turgenev's and P. Kozlovskii's points of view - both of them were Pushkin's contemporaries and "the enlightened cosmopolites"- shows that they believed that even though the ministers were guilty, they should not be sentenced to death. Pushkin, on the contrary, preferred "justice" to "mercy". It is possible to suggest that Pushkin's unexpected choice was produced by a double standard: French politics didn't touch him too closely and he could in cold blood support the letter of the law.

"I tvoi beznosyi Casti...": Some Comments on "K vel'mozhe" of Pushkin
Stefano Gardzonio

The paper is a detailed comment on "...i tvoi beznosyi Casti", the expression from Pushkin's epistle "K vel'mozhe" (1830). The author refutes the opinion of M. N. Rozanov, another commentator of this fragment, and argues that Pushkin used the attribute "beznosyi" not only in the figurative meaning. Pushkin was probably familiar with a satirist Parini's sonnet where the "absence of [the abbot Casti's] nose" is played up in many ways. Moreover, the author maintains that in his works Casti himself develops a mythical and humorous image of nose.

Fragments of letters, thoughts, and notes (the Pushkin-scholar's margins)
Georgy A. Levinton

Under this Pushkin's title (which originally comes from one of his journalistic pieces) are gathered several notes (I) on his fairy tales and (II) on his bilingual puns. I.1. A rhyme in "The Tale of Tsar Saltan" hides an allusion to the contemporary political epigram. 2. In "The Tale of the Priest and his Servant Balda" one can find a hidden reference to a folk belief also reflected as in "The Scene from "Faust" (here are some subtle links to another tale "Tsar Nikita", pertaining to the phallic associations with the devil-figure). 3. The main story in "The Tale of the Golden Cockerel" is reconsidered, and it is shown that according to typical tale motifs the Astrologer should be understood not as a foe but as a helper. 4. It is suggested that a source for a line in Onegin's Journey is located in Zhukovsky's work. II. 1. The formula "the grave wait for us all yawning" in "The Scene from "Faust"" and elsewhere is explained as a translation of an English expression "the grave is yawning for (us)". 2. The abandoned variant in the poem "Arion" where the hero is saved by the dolphin is explained as a pun on the French word "dauphin" (and perhaps it was abandoned because of this unwanted association). 3. The invented name of an innkeeper Coglioni is the Italian word "cogliony testiculi". 4. The combination "stogny (squares) stood like lakes" is explained as a pun on Latin "stagnum".

"Speech in praise of Peter the Great" by Lomonosov among the historical sources of Pushkin's "The Feast of Peter I"
Jelena Pogosjan

The basic plot of Pushkin's poem "The Feast of Peter I" originated from the "Speech in praise of Peter the Great" by Lomonosov. In this speech Lomonosov mentioned Peter's mercy to some lawbreakers and described the celebration held on this occasion in St.-Petersburg. But Lomonosov didn't present more precise factual information. Ivan Golikov interpreted this plot as a story of Menshikov's (and Peter's other collaborates') thievery from the treasury followed by monarch's mercy. Those two works are regarded by the scholars as the main historical sources for Pushkin's poem.

However Pushkin used not only Lomonosov's and Golikov's works but a number of other historical sources as well. One of the most disputed topics of Petirne historiography was Peter's natural disposition to cruelty and mercy. Therefore Pushkin had in his disposal a wide selection of examples of Peter's mercy. In this discussion Pushkin followed Lomonosov's "Speech": he didn't oppose mercy to cruelty, but understood mercy as a part of the distinctive concept in which an extraordinary event (such as mercy) was the manifestation of God's Will. Pushkin also adapted a number of images and idioms which represented this concept in Lomonosov's speech.

"The Queen of Spades" by Pushkin and Shakhovskoi
Lyubov Kiseleva

The article studies a theatrical version of Pushkin's famous story made by Alexander Shakhovskoi, a Russian playwright of the first half of the 19th century. The play was entitled "Chrisomania, or the passion for money" and was continuously performed on the Russian stage till the 1890s. The aim of the research is to analyze the ways of translation from the language of prose to the language of drama, as well as the genre transformation from the novel to the comedy. The author comes to the conclusion that the most difficult problem was to preserve the ambivalent character of Pushkin's text and that Shakhovskoi tried to achieve this goal by a very complicated composition of his play but did not quite succeed.

"Justice" / "Mercy": French Context of Pushkin's Theme
Maria Neklyudova

The article presents a study of concepts of "justice" and "mercy" and their function in the legal language of 17th and 18th century France. First designed to describe the system of mutual obligations which binds together the monarch and the nobility, the idea of "justice" and "mercy" is shaped by Montesquieu in order to limit the absolute power of the ruler. The second part of the study is devoted to the possible reflection of Montesquieu's theory in Pushkin's historical novel "The Captain's Daughter" and his poem "Angelo".

When was Petrusha Grinev registered in the Guards?
Aleksandr Ospovat

The article is focused on one of controversial points of "The Captain's Daughter", namely when was the main hero registered in the Guards. A detailed study proves that Petrusha Grinev who was born during the reign of Elisabeth I could not have been possibly registered in the Guards "still being in his mother's womb".

Implications of Horace in "Ya pamyatnik sebe vozdvig nerukotvornii..."
Roman Voitekhovich

Pushkin's poem "Ya pamyatnik sebe vozdvig nerukotvornii..." echoes not only Horace's "Ad Melpomenen" (Carm. III, 30) but a number of his other odes and epistles. Therefore, it is possible to view the "new" elements in Pushkin's poem as traditional in relation to Horace's aesthetics, only "refreshed" by Pushkin.


Reception of Pushkin's creative work in the literary and scholar tradition

"The guests gathered at the dacha..." - Tolstoy's reading of Pushkin and its influence on "Anna Karenina"
Barbara Lo-umlnnqvist

Tolstoy's letters and the diary notes of his wife have demonstrate that the impulse to write a "society novel" came from the writer's reading of a volume of Pushkin's prose. Among these texts were "Tales by Belkin" and some unfinished prose fragments. Boris Eikhenbaum has made a textual comparison of "Anna Karenina" and these fragments. The present article expands on the links between Pushkin's texts and Tolstoy's novel. The main focus is on the image of "cousin Betsy" (Tverskaia) and its connection to Betsy Muromskaia from "The Peasant Gentlewoman". These two are related through their "Englishness". But if "Englishness" in Pushkin connotes play and masquerade, it takes on more menacing tones in Tolstoy's novel, especially in the description of count Vronsky's (who is Betsy's cousin) estate. The "modernity" of life there is contrasted to more traditional life at Levin's estate. Thus Tolstoy develops and deepens the opposition between "the ways of living in Russian estates" found already in Pushkin's tale (Muromskii versus Berestov).

On the subtext of D. Charms' "Anecdotes on Pushkin life"
Oleg Lekmanov

The article presents the key subtext of D. Charms' anecdotes about Pushkin which is the famous book by V. V. Veresaev "Pushkin in life".

Pushkin's Imprint on the Canon of Estonian Poetry. The "Arbujad" Group
Sirye Olesk

The canon of Estonian poetry (as a commonly accepted list of the best works) has been centered on the Arbujad group in 20th century. The Arbujad group consisted of poets, who had published their first books in the 1930s, and who were all included in the anthology Arbujad (1938). They mostly were people with the humanities' background. Following the work of their teacher, a poet and a university professor Gustav Suits, they tried to unite the European and the Estonian; they valued the spiritual culture and the ethical standpoint of a poet the most. The language of their poetry was elaborate, and their works were true to the form.

In Estonian context, Pushkin has been received as one of the most European-like Russian poets. The members of the Arbujad (B. Alver, H. Talvik, A. Sang, P. Viiding), and a literary critic A.Oras, who shared their views, were the best introducers and translators of Pushkin's work. A representative collection of Pushkin's verse works, including his plays and fragments from "Evgeny Onegin", was published in Estonian in 1936. In 1937, a festive memorial meeting was held in Tartu, where Prof. Suits emphasized the European outlook of Pushkin's work and the classical clarity and harmony of his poetry. The Soviet power suppressed the works of the Arbujad, but encouraged the publishing of Pushkin's works. The group's ideal of a poet was transported to the 1960s also via Pushkin's poetry - the uniting connection being the Romantic cult of freedom and discipline of the form. During that period, another poet, P.-E. Rummo, who developed further the spirit and poetical culture of the Arbujad, began to translate Pushkin's poetry.

The Story of the Great Writers: Pushkin - Gogol - Bulgakov
Irina Belobrovtseva & Svetlana Kulyus

The authors try to prove that Bulgakov in his prose, drama, and letters draws the similar portraits of three great writers - Pushkin, Gogol, and himself.

Ariadna Tyrkova's "Life of Pushkin" as an Attempt at Shaping of the Literary Canon
Alexandra Smith

This paper examines Tyrkova's biography of Pushkin in the light of the theory of literary evolution and of the canon as expressed in Harold Bloom's "The Western Canon" (1996). It is argued that in her approach to Pushkin Tyrkova was free from the myth-making common for her contemporaries' writings on Pushkin. Unlike Tynianov, Tsvetaeva and many others, Tyrkova did not make any analogies between Pushkin and herself. Her book is in the tradition of Russian e-acutemigre-acute literature conveying nostalgic overtones towards the culture destroyed by the October 1917 revolution. Tyrkova's study may be defined as an ethnographic biography that helped the author to overcome the sense of displacement and to reconstruct the life of Russian society in the 19th. century. Tyrkova displays strong interest in Russian folk culture and in 'mythos' in general, and poses important questions on the literary canon's role in literary evolution. In Tyrkova's view, Pushkin's talent is full of paradoxes and its uniqueness lends itself to becoming canonized. This opinion is consistent with Bloom's definition of the literary canon, in which an author is likely to be proclaimed as canonical if his originality and strangeness cannot be absorbed in the literary evolution of the existing cultural framework.

To the problem of literary commentaries (commentaries to "Evgeni Onegin" by P. Viskovatov, N. Brodsky, J. Lotman)
Tatyana Shor

Commentaries to Pushkin's novel developed into an independent literary genre. On the one side such genre allows to satisfy practical needs of literature teaching and on the other side simulates the further development of Pushkin studies. The article reviews commentaries to "Evgeni Onegin" created by the representatives of three generations of Russian philologists: the professors of the University of Tartu P. Viskovatov (1842-1905), Yu. Lotman (1922-1993) and a professor of the Moscow University N. Brodsky (1881-1951). If Viskovatov's book (Dorpat, 1887) presents a free, intuitive and even an arbitrary approach to Pushkin's text, Brodsky who was working in the spirit of Russian academic studies and later in the spirit of soviet vulgar sociologic school, tried to build his comments into a definite system. Lotman's work "Novel of A. S. Pushkin "Eugeni Onegin"" written in the 1980-s is a harmonic aspiration to panoramic and system-analytic description of Pushkin's novel that followed the best traditions of Russian Pushkinists of several generations.


Pushkin's myth in culture

Every Nation Has its Own Pushkin
Jaan Kaplinsky

The paper focuses on social functioning of Pushkin as a cultural hero of Russian and the neighboring cultures. There are many various 'Pushkins' in different countries, and just a few of them in Russia. 'Pushkin', in some sense, is a social function of a given nation. However, Estonia has not got its own 'Pushkin'.

Pushkin in "Melky Bes" of Fyodor Sologub
Lea Pild

The paper focuses on the functions of Pushkin reminiscences in "Melky Bes", the novel by Fyodor Sologub, and on the author's attitude towards A. S. Pushkin. In contrast to the majority of Russian symbolists, F. Sologub considered the image of Pushkin as a national poet to be a literary and ideological myth.

How V. Rozanov read and understood Pushkin
Genrietta Mondri

In this paper Vasilii Rozanov's two essays on A. Pushkin are examined. Rozanov's subjectivist thought was expressed in his interpretation of the writer's life and literary characters. The topics which Rozanov chose to address in Pushkin correspond to the two main themes of his own writing: philosophy of sexuality and Judaism/Jewishness as a religion - he called it "the phallic religion of semen" and juxtaposed it with the asceticism of Christianity. Pushkin is judged by Rozanov from the point of view of his fitness in his role of husband as an Old Testament patriarch. Rozanov's subjectivism is theorized as his conscious attempt at presenting a subjectivist and phenomenological world view.

Pushkin's myth of Ivan Lukash
Ludmila Sproge

L. Sproge's report deals with the problems of study of Russian Emigration in Latvia.

Russian writer Ivan Lukash collaborated in several Latvian newspapers and magazines in the middle of 1920s. His activity was fruitful in Latvia as well as in Berlin and later in Paris. In his writings Pushkin's thematic was accented among enormous quantities of other narratives. It was usually connected with jubilee dates, which were celebrated by Russian e-acutemigre-acutes.

The Pushkin's myth of Ivan Lukash is related to a global theme of the Russian way and destiny.

The works of other writers - e-acutemigre-acutes about Pushkin are also presented in the report.

"Young Aleksandr Sergejevitch"
Galina Ponomariova

The Diaspora of Russian emigrants always considered Pushkin as a symbol of Russian literature. In 1924-1926 there was an international effort to help the teenager named Alexander Pushkin, who was the great-grandson of Lev Pushkin, the poet's brother. With financial help of the Russian emigrants the mother of young Pushkin has ransomed the boy from the Soviet Russia. In 1926 he has moved to Estonia where his family has lived.

Celebrating Pushkin
Rein Veidemann

The paper focuses on the reception of Pushkin in Estonia from the viewpoint of Pushkin's celebrations in 1899, 1937, 1949, and 1987. Those are the crucial points of Russian - Estonian literary dialogue.

Pushkin deconstructed (Pushkin in the postmodernist poetry)
Lyudmila Zubova

Postmodernism develops and often pushes to the limits the phenomena founded or explored by Pushkin. Among them are parody or serious intertextual play, mocking of the hackneyed literary stereotypes, anti-romance, genre and stylistic inconsistency of texts, mixture of different points of view, cataloguization of details, incorporation of the information about textual structure into the text. For many authors Pushkin's poetry itself became an object of deconstruction. The paper analyzes the texts of Brodsky, Sosnora, Krivulin, Gavrilchik, Loseff, Yeremenko, Vishnevski, Gandelsman, Kedrov, Irtenev, Strochkov, Kibirov, Leikin, Birukov, Zelchenko and others. Quotations in postmodernist texts are mainly travesty, not parody . Mockery is made not of Pushkin, but of the world contemporary to the author. The reminiscence is often not a quotation at all; rather, structural elements of Pushkin's poetry may be echoed. The contemporary poets shift words and reconsider grammatical forms in Pushkin's verses. The manipulation of Pushkin's texts is now more popular than the acknowledgement his authority, image or ideas. The tradition of the language challenge continues. The modern poets are criticized now for the same things that Pushkin was criticized for in the XIX century.



"God-Daughters, or the Amicable Deal" by A. A. Shakhovskoias an epilogue to "The Queen of Spades"
Published by Lyubov Kiseleva

This publication brings to the audience a comic sketch by Alexander Shakhovskoi, a Russian playwright of the first half of the 19th century. The play is a continuation of his comedy "Chrisomania, or the passion for money" based on Pushkin's novel "The Queen of Spades". So the sketch "God-Daughters..." is an epilogue to the Shakhovskoi's version of "The Queen of Spades". The text is preserved in the Theatrical Library in St. Petersburg.


In memoriam

In Memory of Yefim Grigoryevich Etkind
Larisa Volpert

The obituary of Y. G. Etkind (1918-1999).

In Memory of Georgy Alexandrovich Lesskis
Vladimir Toporov

The obituary of G. A. Lesskis (1917-2000), and a bibliography of his works of (1948-1999).

* Пушкинские чтения в Тарту 2 . Тарту, 2000. С. 438-448.Назад
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