Article: PDF
DOI: 10.26710/fk-04-04
Abstract: The article pinpoints allusions to important texts of Russian Romantics and to work of later authors who put the Romantic heritage to their own uses. Émigré literature was written in depressive atmosphere of Europe between the wars offering no prospects to Russian exiles. It was created beyond the sphere of live Russian, far from the Russian readers. It tried to make up for the distance from the native audience by turning to Russia’s spiritual sources so as to draw life-giving support in native cultural heritage. For Nabokov it was first of all the achievements of the Golden Age, or the Age of Pushkin and Gogol that he knew expertly as a translator and commentator of Pushkin’s «Eugene Onegin» and author of an important study of Gogol. Nabokov’s novels of mid — and late 1930s are seen as a developed implementation of plots and motivic patterns of Russian Romanticism described in Michael Weisskopf’s book «Vliublennyi demiurg: Metafizika I erotica russkogo romantizma» («A Demurge in Love: Metaphysic and Erotic Aspects of Russian Romanticism»). In the first place direct markers of such literary continuity are discovered that are verbal, motivic or phraseological allusions to Russian Romantic literary monuments as well as to writing of later epochs based on the Romantic heritage (Nekrasov, Blok). One can cite here reminiscences from great Russian Romantics in ‘An Invitation to a Beheading’: the image of Premature Baby from Boratynsky’s famous poem, the motif of ‘a tired world’ from Fet, or the symbolic picture of аn upside down vision in ‘The Gift’s final chapter prompted by Gogol’s «Vii» and also by Fet. Multiple convergences with the Golden Age are found in the treatment of characters and key scenes in «Despair» and «An Invitation to the Beheading», and very often in the very «style». The Gnostic tendencies most definitely manifested in the latter novel, as well as polemic use of some Biblical paradigms are also traced back to Romantic tradition.

For citation

Weisskopf, М. Prolongation of Romanticism: Intertextual Plots in Nabokov’s Pre-War Period (an Introduction into the Theme) / M. Weisskopf. In Philological Class. 2018. №4 (54). P. 29-33. DOI 10.26710/fk-04-04 .