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Full-Text Articles in Modern Literature

Eugene Onegin The Cold War Monument: How Edmund Wilson Quarreled With Vladimir Nabokov, Tim Conley Jan 2014

Eugene Onegin The Cold War Monument: How Edmund Wilson Quarreled With Vladimir Nabokov, Tim Conley

Studies in 20th & 21st Century Literature

The tale of how Edmund Wilson quarreled with Vladimir Nabokov over the latter’s 1964 translation of Eugene Onegin can be instructively read as a politically charged event, specifically a “high culture” allegory of the Cold War. Dissemination of anti-Communist ideals (often in liberal and literary guises) was the mandate of the Congress for Cultural Freedom, whose funding and editorial initiatives included the publication of both pre-Revolution Russian literature and, more notoriously, the journal Encounter (1953-1990), where Nabokov’s fiery “Reply” to Wilson appeared. This essay outlines the propaganda value of the Onegin debate within and to Cold War mythology.


From Exile To Affirmation: The Poetry Of Joseph Brodsky, David Patterson Jun 1993

From Exile To Affirmation: The Poetry Of Joseph Brodsky, David Patterson

Studies in 20th & 21st Century Literature

This article examines the relation between the exile of the poet from his homeland and the "exile of the word." The notion of the exile of the word pertains to the poet's problem of re-introducing meaning to the word—an excess of meaning that conveys more than the word can normally convey—through his poetry. Showing how the poet in exile becomes a poet of exile, the article examines what poetry has to do with a larger difficulty of exile and homelessness in human life. Brodsky's poetry, the article argues, addresses this very difficulty. The article concludes that ...


In Search Of A Synthesis: Reflections On Two Interpretations Of Edvard Radzinskii's Lunin Or The Death Of Jacques, Recorded In The Presence Of The Master, Maia Kipp Aug 1989

In Search Of A Synthesis: Reflections On Two Interpretations Of Edvard Radzinskii's Lunin Or The Death Of Jacques, Recorded In The Presence Of The Master, Maia Kipp

Studies in 20th & 21st Century Literature

This article examines the contemporary Soviet dramatist Edward Radzinskii's Lunin, the second play in the author's "historical-philosophical trilogy" [Conversations with Socrates (1969), Lunin (1979), and Theater at the Time of Nero and Seneca (1981)]. All three dramas address the relationship between the intellectual and authority. As a philosophical play and as part of the trilogy, Lunin raises universal ethical questions: the banality of power, the paranoia of ideological dogmatists, the fate of the individual who refuses to compromise in the face of a system which will not tolerate any denial of its authority. As an historical play, Lunin ...


Nabokov's "Torpid Smoke", Leona Toker Jun 1988

Nabokov's "Torpid Smoke", Leona Toker

Studies in 20th & 21st Century Literature

Nabokov's short stories are polished self-contained works of art. However, like his novels and poems, they can be profitably read in the light of their place in his general canon. This place is determined by the time when each story was written and by the way in which other works enrich and elucidate the significance of its images.

The short fiction of Nabokov's Berlin period has been regarded largely as akin to studies that a painter makes in preparation for a big picture. In some cases, however, the stories seem to serve as safety valves for the urgent ...


Nabokov's Amphiphorical Gestures , S. E. Sweeney Jan 1987

Nabokov's Amphiphorical Gestures , S. E. Sweeney

Studies in 20th & 21st Century Literature

In addition to using two primary kinds of metaphors (those that clarify descriptions, and those that develop into leitmotifs), Nabokov's fiction demonstrates a third kind that is characterized by extended analogies, baroque, seemingly uncontrolled imagery and rhetoric, and, most importantly, fundamental ambiguity. Although this inherent ambiguity is developed throughout the comparison, it is never resolved. Because of this distinguishing characteristic, I have named such metaphors "amphiphors," after one of Nabokov's own neologisms. Nabokov's comments in Nikolai Gogol and Lectures on Russian Literature, as well as direct allusions to Gogol embedded in a few amphiphors, suggest that this ...


Practicing Nostalgia: Time And Memory In Nabokov's Early Russian Fiction , Philip Sicker Jan 1987

Practicing Nostalgia: Time And Memory In Nabokov's Early Russian Fiction , Philip Sicker

Studies in 20th & 21st Century Literature

Nabokov's earliest Russian fiction reveals his lifelong preoccupation with time and his complex strategies for preserving heightened moments of experience. Dissatisfied with the brevity of involuntary (Proustian) recall, his émigré protagonists strive to inhabit their Russian past more fully through a painstaking process of aesthetic re-creation. Beginning with a handful of vivid recollections, the hero of Mary gradually fabricates a past that is more intensely real than the original. Nabokov's most mature characters, however, recognize the solipsistic danger and utility of living in a vanished mental paradise. Turning to the present, they find unexpected beauty in the arrangement ...


Paul Celan's Linguistic Mysticism, Shira Wolosky Jan 1986

Paul Celan's Linguistic Mysticism, Shira Wolosky

Studies in 20th & 21st Century Literature

Paul Celan's works often seem to grant to language an autonomy that isolates poetic from extra-poetic concerns, including religious ones. The status of language in Celan, however, should be assessed in the context of its status within Judaic mysticism. While the importance of mysticism for Celan has been recognized, the degree to which Judaic mysticism differs from other mystical traditions has been less so. This is especially true with regard to the place given to language in the Kabbalah, and the structures and assumptions that its conception of language implies. Of importance to Celan, for example, is the Kabbalistic ...


The Order Of Bourgeois Protest, Geoffey Waite Jan 1986

The Order Of Bourgeois Protest, Geoffey Waite

Studies in 20th & 21st Century Literature

Relatively little theoretical work is currently being produced by Western "Leftists" on committed protest culture. Simultaneously and not by chance, Western Marxism has drifted increasingly away from solidarity with the concept and practice of the vanguard party and toward a more or less easy compact with the problematic of poststructuralism and postmodernity. This relative paucity of discussion of commitment and protest stands in significant relationship to two critical moments: first, a powerful, overtheorized tradition of Western Marxist debate about commitment and protest (Benjamin, Sartre, Barthes, Marcuse, Adorno, among others); second, a wide-spread, undertheorized work-a-day practice of "traditional" liberal ...


Besmirching "Bezhin Meadow": Ivan Bunin's "Night Conversation.", Thomas Gaiton Marullo Jan 1985

Besmirching "Bezhin Meadow": Ivan Bunin's "Night Conversation.", Thomas Gaiton Marullo

Studies in 20th & 21st Century Literature

Bunin's "Night Conversation" (1912) counters two conceptions of Russian cultural life that he considered erroneous: the intelligentsia's idealization of the narod or "folk" and their reputed adherence to the realist tradition of Russian literature. Bunin does this by fashioning "Night Conversation" as a polemic with Turgenev's "Bezhin Meadow" and by carrying his argument into three facets of his work: portrait, conversation, and setting. "Night Conversation" can thus be seen as marking a crucial transition in the portrayal of the folk in Russian literature as well as in Bunin's own evolution as a writer. It signals a ...


Introduction, Michael Holquist Sep 1984

Introduction, Michael Holquist

Studies in 20th & 21st Century Literature

Introduction to the special issue on Mikhail Bakhtin


Bakhtin And Buber: Problems Of Dialogic Imagination, Nina Perlina Sep 1984

Bakhtin And Buber: Problems Of Dialogic Imagination, Nina Perlina

Studies in 20th & 21st Century Literature

Recent publications of biographical materials on Mikhail Bakhtin demonstrate that he was familiar with the writings of Martin Buber. The philosophical and aesthetic verbal expression of Buber's ideas within the time-spatial universe of Bakhtin's own awareness allows us to discuss this obvious biographical evidence in a wider cultural context. The central opposition of Buber's and Bakhtin's systems is the dialogic dichotomous pair: "Ich und Du" (I and Thou), or "myself and another." Bakhtin's dialogic imagination is rooted in the binaries of the subject-object relations which he initially formulated as "responsibility" and "addressivity," that is to ...


Bakhtin's "Theory" Of Genre, Clive Thomson Sep 1984

Bakhtin's "Theory" Of Genre, Clive Thomson

Studies in 20th & 21st Century Literature

The originality of Bakhtin's fragmentary and partial theory of literary genre is underlined in this article. Bakhtin's reflexion on genre is very different from that of his Formalist contemporaries. Instead of proposing elaborate typologies or generic categories, Bakhtin more often devotes his attention to showing that a meaningful approach to the topic must be diachronic. From an epistemological point of view, the possibility of exact duplication or repetition of the same generic device from text to text is denied. Each text (or reading of a text) is a new performance in which generic material is reworked and re-presented ...


Characters In Bakhtin's Theory, Anthony Wall Sep 1984

Characters In Bakhtin's Theory, Anthony Wall

Studies in 20th & 21st Century Literature

A common focus in many modern theories of literature is a reassessment of the traditional view of the character in a narrative text. The position that this article defends is that a revised conception is necessary for an understanding of the means by which dialogism is said to function in novelistic discourse. Revising the notion does not, however, involve discarding it outright as recent theories of the subject would have us do. Nor can we simply void it of all "psychological" content as suggested by many structuralist proposals. To retain Bakhtin's concept of the notion of character, we must ...


Bakhtin And Tolstoy, Ann Shukman Sep 1984

Bakhtin And Tolstoy, Ann Shukman

Studies in 20th & 21st Century Literature

This article is a study of the way Bakhtin compared and contrasted Dostoevsky and Tolstoy throughout his career. Special attention is given to Bakhtin's two "Prefaces" of 1929 and 1930 to Resurrection and to the dramas in the Collected Literary Works edition of Tolstoy. Bakhtin's view of Tolstoy is not as narrow as is generally thought. Tolstoy is seen as one of many figures of European literature that make up Bakhtin's literary consciousness. He serves as a point of contrast with Dostoevsky and is described as belonging to an older, more rigid, monologic tradition. Bakhtin's prefaces ...


Polyphonic Theory And Contemporary Literary Practices, M.-Pierrette Malcuzynski Sep 1984

Polyphonic Theory And Contemporary Literary Practices, M.-Pierrette Malcuzynski

Studies in 20th & 21st Century Literature

This paper briefly explores some of the ways in which Mikhail Bakhtin reaffirms the principle of the non-identity yet inseparability of theory and practice in literary criticism. The lesson is one which stresses the need to disentangle the critical discourse from idealistic theoretical issues and engage in a materialist practice of criticism. If polyphonical dialogism (especially with respect to contemporary polyphony) is not to be confused with dialectics, then the most urgent and perhaps the most difficult task for the critic facing a polyphonic narrative is to negotiate the text in terms of the socio-historical actuality of the transformation which ...


Narrative Discourse As A Multi-Level System Of Communication: Some Theoretical Proposals Concerning Bakhtin's Dialogic Principle, Paul Thibault Sep 1984

Narrative Discourse As A Multi-Level System Of Communication: Some Theoretical Proposals Concerning Bakhtin's Dialogic Principle, Paul Thibault

Studies in 20th & 21st Century Literature

This article attempts to show that the dialogizing of narrative discourse is a way of de-naturalizing the fictional process and its associated textual activities by reconstituting the material interplay of voices (in Bakhtin's pioneering sense). It is this interplay which is suppressed by the convention of a single, univocal narrative position. This corresponds to Bakhtin's notion of monologic discourse, which implies an already given, objectified identity lying behind the text. Dialogic discourse restores to textual practice the material interplay of frequently opposing and contradictory semantic and ideological positions which actively constitute the formation of discourse. These voices which ...


The Relevance Of The Carnivalesque In The Québec Novel, Maroussia Ahmed Sep 1984

The Relevance Of The Carnivalesque In The Québec Novel, Maroussia Ahmed

Studies in 20th & 21st Century Literature

The Bakhtinian concept of space is topological rather than topographic, and encompasses the cosmic, the social and the corporeal; its function in the Québec novel consists in debasing the hierarchical verticality of Lent and of the "official feast." As Carnival is an anti-law,"law" in the Québec novel will be defined as the chronotope of the sacred space (the land or "terre" of Québec) in the genre known as the "novel of the land" ("le roman de Ia terre"). Until the Second World War, this chronotope transforms an Augustinian political view of the civitas dei into literary proselytism, via the ...


Dialogic Imagination In The Book Of Deuteronomy, Robert Polzin Sep 1984

Dialogic Imagination In The Book Of Deuteronomy, Robert Polzin

Studies in 20th & 21st Century Literature

One of the profoundest insights into the syntax of narrative is the complex system of relationships between reporting and reported speech worked out in programmatic form by Voloshinov-Bakhtin in a number of groundbreaking studies (for example, in English translation, Marxism and the Philosophy of Language by V.N. Voloshinov and The Dialogic Imagination by Bakhtin). Interesting literary insights into texts that have been studied and interpreted over centuries and even milennia now await the application by present-day scholars of Bakhtin's theories. The Book of Deuteronomy offers a unique opportunity within the Bible of applying the reported/reporting speech approach ...


Bakhtin And Intergeneric Shift: The Case Of Boris Godunov, Caryl Emerson Sep 1984

Bakhtin And Intergeneric Shift: The Case Of Boris Godunov, Caryl Emerson

Studies in 20th & 21st Century Literature

This essay draws on the historical and artistic image of Boris Godunov to illustrate Bakhtin's concept of "re-accentuation," or the transfer of literary images to new contexts. Russia of the 19th century was particularly well served by the Boris Tale. It inspired her first great popular historian, her greatest poet, and one of her greatest composers. Nikolai Karamzin's History of the Russian State (1816-29) ended with the Time of Troubles, and Karamzin's treatment of Boris Godunov became a model for biography in this new "romantic-national" type of history. Out of Karamzin's portrait Alexander Pushkin created his ...


M. M. Bakhtin In Russian Culture Of The Twentieth Century (Translated By Ann Shukman), M. L. Gasparov Sep 1984

M. M. Bakhtin In Russian Culture Of The Twentieth Century (Translated By Ann Shukman), M. L. Gasparov

Studies in 20th & 21st Century Literature

This article by M.L.Gasparov was first published at Tartu in the Soviet Union in 1979 and has been translated and edited here with notes by Ann Shukman. Gasparov emphasizes four aspects of Bakhtin's thought: "his zeal for expropriating 'the other's word' "; "his zeal for dialogue"; "a nihilistic selection of values"; "the opposition of the novel to poetry." Ann Shukman's commentary places Gasparov's article in context.


Inverted Reality In Nabokov's Look At The Harlequins!, D. Barton Johnson Jan 1984

Inverted Reality In Nabokov's Look At The Harlequins!, D. Barton Johnson

Studies in 20th & 21st Century Literature

Look at the Harlequins! presents itself as the autobiography of a famed Anglo-Russian writer who suffers from bouts of insanity that are connected with his feeling that he is the inferior copy of another, much better writer. The autobiography is devoted mainly to his four great loves and to his books. Close analysis suggests that the narrator's account is false and is essentially a record of his delusive life during periods of insanity. LATH is seen as an example of those of Nabokov's novels that have schizoid narrators, such as The Eye, Despair, and Pale Fire, and is ...


Introduction, James K. Lyon Sep 1983

Introduction, James K. Lyon

Studies in 20th & 21st Century Literature

Introduction to the special issue on Paul Celan


The Gulag Archipelago: From Inferno To Paradiso, David Matual Sep 1982

The Gulag Archipelago: From Inferno To Paradiso, David Matual

Studies in 20th & 21st Century Literature

It is apparent from the title of his novel The First Circle and from various details there and in other works that Alexander Solzhenitsyn is familiar with at least the imagery of Dante's Divine Comedy. One direct and several indirect references to it also suggest a Dantean subtext in his longest and most ambitious project, The Gulag Archipelago. Indeed, the loci of the ComedyInferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso—are transformed in the Gulag into metaphorical representations of the various stages in the development of man's consciousness—and especially Solzhenitsyn's consciousness—during the ordeals of arrest, inquest, imprisonment ...


Zamyatin's We And The Idea Of The Dystopie, Margaret Lael Mikesell, Jon Christian Suggs Sep 1982

Zamyatin's We And The Idea Of The Dystopie, Margaret Lael Mikesell, Jon Christian Suggs

Studies in 20th & 21st Century Literature

An examination of We clarifies conventions for the dystopic novel even as it reveals that We transcends those conventions. Under the surface text, which presents a narrative of political and "romantic" struggle, lie subtexts exploring the personal and ideological implications of the conflict between reason and emotion. Analysis of these texts, seen in a New Comedy framework informed by elements of irony and romance, demonstrates that on every level the novel fails to reach comic resolution. Moreover, it is this very failure that marks the departure of We from the conventions of the dystopic novel. Like Brave New World and ...


The Function Of Love In Solzhenitsyn's The First Circle, John Schillinger Jan 1977

The Function Of Love In Solzhenitsyn's The First Circle, John Schillinger

Studies in 20th & 21st Century Literature

Aleksander Solzhenitsyn, like Boris Pasternak before him, insists upon the primacy of life over any socio-political system. To lead truly meaningful lives, his characters must comprehend that they are responsible for their own actions; that they are engaged in an existential struggle which pits individual freedom against the will of authority.

In The First Circle, this struggle is clearly reflected in the theme of love which, when analyzed in terms of the suppression or triumph of its four basic elements (sex, eros, philia, and agape), offers a convincing allegory of man's existential self-definition by free choice.