Slavic & East European Studies

Michigan Academician, Spring 2001 | Go to article overview

Slavic & East European Studies


Karamzin's Notes. Edward A. Cole, Grand Valley State University, History Department, Allendale, MI 49401; 616/895-3185; colee@gvsu.edu

In An Obsession with History, Andrew Baruch Wachtel sees the famous History of the Russian State by N. M. Karamzin as two works in one: a narrative text and its endnotes. Wachtel holds that these two sustain a dialogue about the Russian past, a startling assertion begging to be put to the test. Karamzin wrote his History for the public, but he also intended that it should stand up to critical scrutiny. True to the scholarly practices of the early nineteenth century, his famous notes were long (twice the length of the narrative they support), detailed, and discursive. Much of the material they contain would not appeal to a general reader. An examination of the first, highly controversial volume, reveals that the narrative and the documentation are indeed different, and were probably intended for different readerships, but casts doubt upon the theory that they communicate with each other.

Post-Communist Transitions: Party Reform and Infrastructure in the Hungarian Socialist Party (HSP). Barnabas A. Racz, Eastern Michigan University, 1205 Roosevelt Blvd., Ypsilanti, MI 48197

The Hungarian Socialist Parry (HSP) is the largest force on the political map in the late nineties, yet it lost the elections and the governmental power to a right of center coalition in 1998. While social democratic in nature, in the post-election trauma the party began to search for new operational methods and as a first step undertook a serious infrastructural reform. The By-Laws Committee finished its work late in 1999, and the new document was approved by the party congress. The new By-Laws broadened decision making and attempt to provide a wider outreach in society, especially in the younger and female voting groups. The By-Laws appear to be forerunners of the party program to be adopted at a later time. The analysis addresses the question of intra-party reform, its positive/negative features, and looks into the future perspectives of party policy geared to the expected sharp electoral contest in 2002.

Commentary on the Third Book of A. Korablev's Novel, Master. Marina LeGrand, Department of Linguistics, Germanic, Slavic, Asian and African Languages, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824

A. Korablev, a professor of Russian Literature from Donetsk State University, Ukraine, began work on M. Bulgakov in 1975, after reading M. Bulgakov's novel Master and Margarita. Korablev, a literary scholar whose publications number four books, including the Master and eighteen articles (thirteen on Master and Margarita) takes a new and bold approach to literary interpretation. Creativity has always intrigued literary critics. In their attempts to locate the source of inspiration, researchers often turn to primary and sometimes secondary sources such as biographical materials and memoirs. Korablev goes a step further in his experiment: he enlists the help of a psychic. In annotations on the first book of his novel Master, scholars note that his unusual approach has yielded interesting results, including the popularization of M. Bulgakov's works and biography. A. Korablev begins the third book of Master with the words, "first of all let us unfold the mystery the Master did not want to reveal..." (ciiii). In my commentary, I would like to discuss the mystery of the creation of Master and Margarita, as it is revealed by A. Korablev in his Master.

Scriabin and Art Nouveau. Dmitri Tarakhovsky, Wayne State University, Department of Music; home address: 220 Kinross, Clawson, MI 48017

Art Nouveau, an artistic movement that evolved at the end of the nineteenth century in many European countries including Russia, offered a fresh and universal "modern" style and aspired to integrate all the arts. It made itself felt in architecture, painting, applied arts, and, as the author believes, in music. …

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