The Avant-Garde Tradition in Literature

By Richard Kostelanetz | Go to book overview

Russian Formalism

René Wellek

Russian literary criticism is of particular relevance for every student of criticism, for it provides far more than commentary on the history of Russian literature. Nowhere else have major critical positions been formulated so sharply and even extremely as in the Russia of the first quarter of this century. Nowhere else was the critical debate so lively, so acrimonious, so much a life-and-death matter (even literally so) as in the Russia of the second and third decade of our age.

Nineteenth-century Russian criticism was largely didactic, primarily a weapon of the liberal and, later, Revolutionary opposition to the tsarist regime. Even politically conservative critics, such as Apollon Grigoriev, were concerned with an interpretation of literature in the service of an ideal "nationality." In Tolstoy, who went his own way rejecting both the Utilitarianism of the radical democrats and the conservative ideology, we have a moralistic critic of the purest water and the boldest sincerity.

The change came in the 1890s: with the rise of Symbolism, with Dmitrii Merezhkovsky and Valerii Briusov.For the first time, criticism became partly aesthetic, even l'art pour l'art in the French manner, exalting the "music" of verse, the "suggestion" of words, the personal mood of poetic themes. Another strand of criticism or rather literary theory became "mystical," claiming supernatural knowledge for poetry, "miracle-working," "theurgia." The most coherent spokesman for this second view was Viacheslav Ivanov, who stated emphatically that art becomes religion by the magic of the symbol, that art is a revelation

____________________
Reprinted from George Gibian and H. W. Tjalsma, eds., Russian Modernism (Cornell Univ., 1976) by permission of the author and the University of North Carolina Press.Copyright © 1982 by the University of North Carolina Press.

-155-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Avant-Garde Tradition in Literature
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 424

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.