“The Conqueror! Cyrus! Napoleon!”: the Image of Napoleon in the Art World of Joseph Brodsky
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DOI: 10.26170/ FK20-02-05
Abstract: The article is devoted to the problem of Brodsky’s perception and interpretation of such an important historical era as the era of the Napoleonic campaigns, and in it – the image of Napoleon, who in culture was traditionally interpreted as a genius, villain, superman, etc. Brodsky did not comment extensively on the events associated with this time. French culture as a whole was not close to him. The material of the study was the entire corps of Brodsky’s poetic and prose works, which highlighted the lexeme “Napoleon” and the vocabulary of the thematic group “Napoleonic campaigns” and considered the context of its use. Neither the Napoleonic campaigns, nor the Patriotic War of 1812 as historical events entered the center of the poetic world of Brodsky. They do not build either a historical or a historiosophical concept. Brodsky’s lyrical intention remains dominant. In his poems and essays, the writer mentions only three historical figures associated with the campaigns of Napoleon: Napoleon, the Marshal of his army Ney and the German military theorist and historian General Clausewitz. The name of Napoleon appears in Brodsky mainly as part of the image of comparison. The meanings of this image are mostly traditional – a great man, a winner, etc. The grounds for comparison in such images are unconventional – from the more familiar and grounded artist to the unexpected – a sexually anxious teenager, snow, and even a chair. In the image of Napoleon, Brodsky tends to the ironic pole, thus fighting the romantic tradition.
Key words: THE ART WORLD; RUSSIAN POETRY; RUSSIAN POETS; POETRY HISTORICAL FIGURES; HISTORICAL IMAGES; FRENCH EMPERORS; LITERARY TOPICS.
Romanova, I. R. (2020). “The Conqueror! Cyrus! Napoleon!”: the Image of Napoleon in the Art World of Joseph Brodsky. In Philological Class. 2020. Vol. 25 ⋅ №2. P. 58-67. DOI 10.26170/ FK20-02-05.