Identify the passionate lover

Lectures of Alexander Zholkovsky, in which literary studies become an exact science and reveal the secrets of Pushkin, Pasternak, Mandelstam, Tolstoy, Chekhov – and artistic creativity in general


Perceiving a work of art, we feel its unity and persuasiveness, but, of course, we cannot say what they are. According to Tolstoy’s formulation, very simple, but fundamental and, by the way, quite semiotic even before any semiotics, “art is a human activity, consisting in that one person deliberately conveys his feelings to others through consciously known signs, and other people become infected with these feelings and experiencing them. “

The task of the literary critic is to show exactly what feelings and thoughts and with what signs are transmitted in the work. And the task of literary theory, poetics, is to find out how all this sign activity is organized, providing “contamination” with feelings, and thus provide the literary critic with appropriate concepts, tools of literary analysis.

The most important among them are related to each other concepts and themes of expression. Speaking for a start is extremely simple, we will try to outline these concepts. Let’s take the familiar text of “I loved you” by Pushkin:

I loved you: love still, perhaps, In my soul, not quite faded; But don’t let her worry you anymore; I do not want to sadden you with anything. I loved you silently, hopelessly, We are weary with timidity, then with jealousy; I loved you so sincerely, so tenderly, As God grant you to be loved to be different.

Of course, it is immediately clear that this is about love. These are poems in the genre of love elegy. But what makes this elegy and very characteristic of its genre, and specifically Pushkin? From the very first lines, the characteristic reservations, semi-negative tone are noteworthy:

I loved you: love perhaps still In my soul not quite extinct; But let she has more of you not disturbs; I not want sadden you nothing. I loved you withoutthey say withoutreliably Thats with shyness that jealousy weary; I loved you so sincerely, so tenderly, As God grant you to be loved to be different.

Noticing and revealing this series of words and summarizing it as a kind of special negativity, we, in essence, performed a typical analytical operation of extracting a topic from a set of its incarnations. Of course, the wording of the topic may be inadequate, approximate. But the principal sense of this operation consists precisely in identifying similar fragments of the text and stating what they have in common, in extracting their invariant From lat. invarians – “unchanged.” .

This operation will then need to be applied to other recurring pieces. And there are always a lot of such sets, and all sorts, in the text. These can be characters, plot situations or, as in our case, emotional states: love, timidity, jealousy, hope, sincerity, tenderness — something must be learned from them.

I loved you: love still, perhaps, In my soul, not quite extinct; But don’t let her worry you anymore; I do not want to sadden you with anything. I loved you silently, hopelessly, Thats with shyness that jealousy Tomim; I loved you so much sincerely So gently, How may God give you a loved one to be different.

Further, the same operations will have to be applied to the results of all such operations of the first level, gradually moving away from the actual text in an attempt to formulate the general that all components of the text, that is, the text as a whole, have. The process is multistage, with the revision of intermediate results, with feedback and the introduction of amendments and clarifications. But its essence is to obtain – ideally, in the case of scientific success – a clear hierarchy of what is expressed at every step and through what. Or, speaking terminologically, which topics, or rather thematic elements, are transformed into which more specific motives and by what transformations (or expressiveness techniques) they are transformed into them.

The main axiom behind this is: “The text is a theme plus expressiveness techniques.” And, accordingly, back: “The theme is the text minus the methods of expressiveness.” In this formula, the topic is responsible for the content, and the content is completely not expressive, pure, not artistic. But the techniques are responsible for expressiveness, but completely empty, purely “infectious.” The common feature of all techniques is to increase expressiveness, to make the abstract theme more visual, “infectious”.

The simplest method is to specify: to deploy, for example, negativity to the negation of “not”, to the clause “still”, to the half-denial “not quite”, to the design “that … that”. A more complex technique – variation – consists in carrying out the theme through clearly different concretizations, up to contrasting ones. Such, for example, is a pair of “timidity – jealousy.” By the way, in this pair you can see the action of one more method – coordination. Words denoting two negative states sound very similar due to sound similarity, alliteration. Elementary techniques (specification, variation, contrast, and some others) form the basis of composite constructions, for example, the “contrasting turn” construct, which Pushkin’s poem ends with: from “loved” and “faded”, the situation comes to “loved to be different.” Of course, this scheme is deliberately simplified, but it provides a method for identifying those that are different in each original text, rather specific.

Consider one more eighth, this time Mandelstam:

I drink for military asters, for everything that they have accused me, For the lord’s fur coat, for asthma, for the bile of the St. Petersburg day.

For the music of the Savoy pines, the Fields of the Champs-Elysées, for the rose in the cabin of the Roles-Royce and the oil of Parisian paintings.

I drink for the Biscay waves, for the cream of the Alpine jug, For the redhead arrogance of Englishwomen and distant colonies of quinine.

I drink, but I have not yet invented – I choose one of the two: The merry asti-spumante or the papal castle wine.

There are many repetitive components that are striking – first of all the anaphoric repetitions “I drink for … for … for …” – and the enumeration construction itself. But pay attention to the list of objects for which the poet drinks. What do they have in common? What is the general theme expressed by this persistent variation of concretization? Almost all of these are objects that are beyond a certain inaccessible edge of historical (military asters of 1914, St. Petersburg, the nobility) or geopolitical border (foreign values: European nature and culture), and if we summarize again, these are not Soviet values ​​for which the poet and reproach its developers. Receiving the enhancement of the contrast with the tones, the contrast, at first only dissolved in this list, is responsible for the author’s defiant pose. And the reception of combining the list with this open call is responsible for the motive of the toast raised for these values: “I drink for something.”

Other methods, one combination and one agreement, give the construction “I drink this and that for this and that”, where Western values ​​are again substituted for the role of what is being drunk: spumante and papal castle wine. Further – more: these repetitions, combinations and coordination are squeezed to the construction of a “contrasting turn”: the poet admits that he has not yet figured out what to drink. By this the situation of the toast is undermined, and the toast remains only on paper as a purely literary challenge. A challenge, but semi-hopeless, for the poet does not have such wines, just as there is no Rolls-Royce and distant colonies. However, many of these values ​​were also partly undermined by their pain and, so to speak, poisonousness: these are a series of “asthma,” “bile,” “gasoline,” “quinine.”

The themes “love under the sign of renunciation of claims” in Pushkin and “inaccessible extra-Soviet values” in Mandelstam (and these are variations on his well-known definition of acmeism as longing for world culture) are subject, ideological themes, the most familiar type. But this is not the only type of topic. The word “theme” is used by us in a strictly terminological sense as that invariant, the variants of which are all in the text. This common invariant, this dominant text setting may not be ideological, but, say, stylistic. For example, to write an entire poem exclusively in a certain manner, for example, in the form of a sonnet, and moreover with exclusively one-stop strings, as in the case of Khodasevich’s “Burial”:

Or write a poem using only one part of speech, we say only adjectives, as in Zinaida Hippius’s poem “Everything around”:

Terrible, rude, sticky, dirty, Hard-blunt, always ugly, Slowly tearing, petty-dishonest, Slippery, shameful, low, close …

Moreover, such tasks do not necessarily have a purely experimental nature, for example, the task to invent a new stanza and to write with it a whole long poem – a novel in verse “Eugene Onegin”. Russian formalists insisted on the centrality for the literature of such stylistic themes.

Identify the passionate lover

Thus, literary critic Boris Eikhenbaum in his famous article “How the Gogol’s Overcoat was made,” wrote that the key to the theme of the Overcoat should not be seen in its humane place (“I am your brother” ”… One young man, recently determined, who , following the example of others, he allowed himself to laugh at him [Bashmachkin], suddenly stopped, as if pierced … And for a long time, amid the most cheerful moments, a low official seemed to him with a bald spot on his forehead, with his penetrating words: “Leave me, why do you insult me? “- and in these pr other words rang with words: “I am your brother” “(Nikolai Gogol,” The Overcoat “).), not in the idea of ​​sympathy for the little man, but in that game with different style registers — pathetic, ironic, realistic, sentimental, etc. which makes the “Overcoat” such a masterpiece of literature. The passage “I am your brother” is only one of the variations on this theme (as the formalists say – the dominant). And the formalists generally believed that it was not the subject topics that are important in the literature (let’s call them themes of the first kind), but purely formal ones (let’s call them themes of the second kind).

What kind of topics are more important in the text – a specific question of each analysis, often very difficult. For the “Overcoat” were offered other convincing interpretations, quite substantive, in particular Freudian. But the general theoretical moral consists, perhaps, in the fact that themes of the first and second kind usually coexist in a work and, more importantly, interact in an interesting way. So, in “The Overcoat”, the author’s ambivalence towards the little man Akaky Akakiyevich, who is both pitiful, human, and ridiculed, and arouses sympathy, is naturally associated with exactly that game with different style registers that only the formalist Eichenbaum prefers to see. On the other hand, in Gogol’s Nose, the subject-specific themes clearly dominated by the stylistic game, in particular, the parody stylization of the German romanticist Hoffmann, are very specific subjects. Not without reason at the end of the storyteller wonders purely of the second kind: why do the authors take such strange plots – that is, meaningless in the sense of the first kind?

Having mentioned the parodying of Hoffmann, we, in essence, started talking about the themes of the third kind – intertextual, closely related to the stylistic themes of the second kind. Actually, it is intertextual in a broad sense and the very orientation to ready-made stylistic forms (sentimental, ironic) and to genres, for example, the sonnet genre, as in the case of Khodasevich. But while it’s just a matter of the general linguistic and rhetorical preferences of the author, it’s worth talking about topics of the second kind, leaving for those of the third kind, intertextual, explicit authorial attitudes towards appropriation or undermining themes, motifs and styles of other authors and schools. In general, one should always keep in mind the inevitable borderness and interweaving of themes of all three genera.


Similarities thematic and expressive, similar to those that in the last lecture we found inside a separate poetic text, are often found between different texts of the same author. Intuitively, this is not surprising. We sometimes unmistakably recognize the author by his spirit and, so to speak, handwriting. Does this mean that all the texts of this author form, as it were, a single text with a single theme, built on the basis of a single set of expressiveness techniques? The classic formulation of this problem belongs to the linguist Roman Jacobson:

“In the diverse symbolism of a poetic work there are some permanent organizing principles … being carriers of unity in the diversity of numerous works by one author, principles imposing a single personality on these scattered fragments … introducing coherence of a certain mythology … Principles making Pushkin’s works Pushler’s, Baudelaire … “

And, we add, the Mandelstam texts of Mandelstam, the Zoshchenko texts of Zoshchenko and so on.

Let us turn to Mandelstam and proceed from the poem considered in the first lecture, “I drink to military asters.” There we established an ambivalent, undermined by a certain painful instability, the poet’s craving for everything desired, but inaccessible, from which he was cut off:

I received a blissful inheritance – Alien singers wandering dreams; Kinship and boring neighborhood We obviously despise freedom to despise.

And not one treasure, perhaps, Passing the grandchildren, go to the great-grandchildren, And again the skald someone else’s song fold And as its its utter.

… Like an apple tree in the winter, in a bastard to starve, Reach out with tenderness meaningless to stranger And fumble in the void, and wait patiently.

Do not tempt other people’s tongues but try them forget: The head all the same you can’t manage glass teeth bite.

Sweeter than the voice of the Italian language. For me, the native language, For it mysteriously babbles in it Alien harp spring.

BUT could life whizzing starling, Jamming a nut cake, Yes, apparently, it can not be …

Oh, I see nothing and poor ear deaf All I have left of flowers minium and hoarse ocher.

The Greeks beat Elena down the waves, Well, and me – salted foam On the lips.

Lips me on the lips Emptiness, Strict the cookie will show Poverty.

Near to Smyrna and Baghdad, But hard swim, and the stars are the same everywhere.

Racine Theater! A powerful veil separates Us from another world; Deep wrinkles agitating, Between him and us the curtain lies.

We passed the ranks of insects With filling glasses of eyes. He said: nature is all in the rifts, No view – you see the last time.

He said: pretty full sound, You in vain loved Mozart: It comes deafness spider here failure is stronger than our strength.

… Monasteries of snails and flaps, Flickering cilia talks.

Unreachable like this close – neither untie can’t nor see …

Thus, the thematic invariance of different texts of the author is evident. If you look at its expressive implementations, then they will find a unity similar to what we saw in a separate text. So, in the same Mandelstam, the whole construction is repeated several times, expressing the inaccessibility of the desired: “I + not + contact verb with the desired value”. “I did not hear the stories of Ossian, / I did not try the old wine”, “I will not see the famous Fedra”, “I’m not going to keep up with the youth / At the lined stadiums”. The same themes and the same construction, obviously invariants.

In the contemporary Mandelstam Boris Pasternak, we will also find an intense repetition of motifs and effects, indicating the unity of his system of invariants, but the system is completely different from that of Mandelstam. In the subject area (in the field of themes and motifs of the first kind) these will be various types of physical contacts between people, household items, and natural phenomena; all sorts of touches, touches, hugs:

When more stars so low And midnight in the weeds dipped Flamed and frightened by the wet muslin, Flapped, huddled and longed for the finale?

But unexpectedly on portiere Run invasion shiver. Silence steps merya, You, as a future, come in.

… Like an ointment, thick blue Lays down bunnies to the ground and stains us sleeves.

Examples of mass; you yourself remember them easily. In the same sense, the same thing happens in the sphere of themes and motifs of the second kind – the sphere of metaphorics and metonymy, where everything is likened to everything in the neighborhood and in the distance, everything is superimposed on everything. And besides, it often comes close and phonetically: metaphors-paronomasii such as “louvre shutters” appear.

Who needled the needle poured through the poles On the notes to the bookcase Through the gateway shutters.

Metaphors willingly overlap the physical contacts themselves and, so to speak, double and strengthen them.

The same people and worries are the same, And the fire of sunset has not cooled, As it is then to the wall of the Manege. Evening of death hastily nailed it.

The light of sunset, once in the past, plus the memory of it, plus the similarity of the same people and the same sunsets, gives a powerfully exaggerated metaphorical “nailing”, and “hastily. And “hastily” is another Pasternak invariant, its characteristic improvisation (we compare the famous line “And the more accidental, the more true” ! ”.).

Through the concept of invariants in different poets, you can define the concept of the poetic world of the author. The poetic world of the author is a system, more precisely, the hierarchy of its invariants: from the most general, its central theme or set of central themes, through all the motifs of different levels expressing this theme, and up to specific objects, speech turns and other details that implement this invariant pyramid in his texts. Roughly speaking, the poetic world is a complete system of invariants from the topmost to the bottommost, concrete.

It is essential to emphasize that in view of the common language vocabulary and the motivational repertoire of literature and in general our entire database, poets inevitably work with the same words, constructions, motives, and images. But they do it in different ways. In terms of the concept of the poetic worlds and invariants, this gets a very clear explanation.

Take two similar passages in which both our authors, Pasternak and Mandelstam, use the same word. But this is not just a word: it embodies invariants characteristic of poets – each has its own.

… like ivy pesky, clinging all, He courageously lies, with Orland play hard.

I remember a German officer, and for his ephesus clinging roses, And on his lips was Ceres …

He began to descend. The wild chalicean thundered with a ladle, and foam ran over the edge. Euphorbia, wormwood and gorse for knob Clung to making it difficult to step, And the whirlwind of the steppe whistled in the ears.

All three texts are about poets: Ariosto and Ewald Christians von Kleiste at Mandelstam and about Pushkin at Pasternak. And in both cases, clinging is given with a clearly positive sign. Moreover, both Mandelstam and Pasternak clinging is one of the small invariants, but different. In Mandel’shtam, this is one of the variations on the subject of quirkiness (remember the word “Kuroles” from the same poem), capriciousness, curls, patterns, complex feelings and states. And for Pasternak, this clinging is another variant of physical contact, which makes existence difficult, intensely intense, and in this difficulty, magnificent.

Let’s finish on a linguistic note and return to Jacobson, from whom we started and who was one of the first deep interpreters of Pasternak’s poetics. In his incarnation as a linguist, Jacobson wrote an important article about the concept of grammatical meanings as obligatory for expression in a given language: such are the gender, number, case, time, and so on in Russian. Of particular interest to us are those that are full-valued, semantically filled. The grammatical gender is purely formal, it means nothing. Why is the wall feminine and the table masculine? No way, that means nothing. But the number and time are semantically filled, and, speaking in Russian, we must decide each time: one or many? in the past, in the present or in the future? In classical Chinese, there is neither one nor the other, it is not necessary to distinguish between number and time, that is, if you wish, it is possible, but not necessary, but in English it is necessary to distinguish whether a predicate is meant – and therefore, the article is necessary or definite. vague. That is, in each language there is a certain set of meanings, messages, obligatory to expression. You can say everything, but something must be said.

I would consider the situation with the poetic worlds to be a literary parallel to this: in the world, in the language of each author, he can talk about everything, but always speaks about something of his own, about his invariants.


Literature, in particular, poetry, is generally constructed according to the principle of visualization, visualization: “what we did — not say what we did — will show”. But for some aspects of the literary text this is especially true, so to speak, literally. I’ll start with a bit of a risky, but very transparent example – with a link to English limerick Limerick – British comic genre, a poem, as a rule, of five lines with an absurd plot. about the Spanish lady:

Once again, there was a lady of Spain, a literal translation: there was a lady from spain who said : “Let’s do it again, And another, and another, And another, and another, And another, and another, and another.” .

The word again (“again”, “again”) – like any symbolic sign – is conditional. Exclusively by language convention, convention, it means what it means – namely, repetition. But its repetition in the text is no longer conditional, but really expresses the same idea of ​​repetition (“again”). Moreover, this word not only repeats itself, but also occupies all positions from a certain point, including all the rhyming positions of Limichik – and thus, by its repetition and position itself, expresses the idea of ​​”everything.” Thereby iconically Icon – likening the form of the text to its content. , by the direct similarity of what is happening in the text and what it says, the theme “Let’s do it many times and do just that” is expressed.

But the question that is most important for talking about iconics is: which subject topics of the first kind can be expanded into iconic material of the second kind, formal material, and which are not. In the case of the Spanish lady, sex is not named – well, except perhaps through the rhythm and repetition of the desired repetitions. Here, the iconic concretization of the theme is completely obvious: it is naked, and given as a joke. But often it is hidden or half-hidden in the text – and therefore it is even more advantageous. The text speaks for itself. Do you notice the iconic focus in the Pushkin line?

I loved you silently, hopelessly, with shyness that jealousy Tomim; I loved you so sincerely, so tenderly, As God grant you to be loved to be different.

Identify the passionate lover

Something striking – we talked about this, the similarities and the contrast between timidity and jealousy as negative emotions, projected into their phonetics. Almost the same phonetic set, but with a difference in one place – in the stressed vowel “o”, “e”. And this effect is typically iconic and fairly obvious. But behind him, as in the famous Pushkin’s “frosts … rhymes of the rose” And now the frosts pop up And silver in the middle of the fields … (The reader is waiting for the rhymes of the rose; On, take it soon!) (From chapter IV of Eugene Onegin) one more:

I loved you silently, hopelessly, That roban awn, then rein mind thatmim; I loved you so sincerely, so tenderly, As God grant you to be loved to be different.

The series “that ro”, “that re”, “Tomi” literally unfolds a triple oscillation between states marked with different vowels, conveys the very essence of languor, at the same time interpreting the syllable “that” in the word “Tom”. So there’s not two – “then with shyness, now with jealousy,” but three alternative moments: “then ro”, “now re”, “tomi”.

On the game with the iconization of the number built Mandelstam quatrain:

I love the appearance of the fabric, When after two or three And then four gasps will come rectifying sigh.

The account is open – two, three, four. The initial unit, however, is not named, but it is naturally implied as referring to the first line. But there is also some glitch necessary for delaying the subsequent straightening. In the second line, the troika appears already – “two or three,” and in the third, the four. But in general, the four breaths fit into four lines, and the rectifying sigh in the fourth iconically dramatizes as quite successfully coming:

I love the appearance of the fabric, When after two or three, And then four gasps Will come rectifier sigh.

The topic of breathing was very personal for Mandelstam, who suffered from asthma. And this theme itself is also iconized in these lines by an intense repetition of the most choking, throat consonant [x]: “twox“,” Trex“, “fourx backsxyanx“. Recall from Pasternak:

About lawlessnessx, about sinx, Running, chasingx, Iniquityx in a hurryx, Elbowx, palmx

“In everything I want to walk …”

In the word “in a hurry,” breath is already called. In addition to the objective tediousness of running and chasing and the breathing difficulty iconized by the syntax, with a long enumeration in the culmination of the third line, a grammatically almost impossible construction arises – “inadvertently in a hurry”. Here both the dubious plural “inadvertences” and the adverb “in a hurry” in the role of definition to the noun are almost impossible, so difficulty, aspiration is transmitted by a number of means.

Along with the number, they willingly give in to iconization of every kind of quantitative reduction and stretching. So, in the famous lines from “Clouds in the pants” of Mayakovsky:

Entered you, sharp as “Here you are!” paining gloves suede said: “You know – I’m out get married“.

Rhyming requires to reduce the three-syllable “know” to two-syllable “here”, and the two-syllable “marry” – to one-syllable “sue”. That is, the sharpness of the heroine’s speeches directly named at the beginning of this passage is iconically transmitted.

The subject of stretching, delaying the end is well conveyed, for example, by stretching a stanza, adding extra lines in comparison with adjacent ones or with a certain norm. Here is Pasternak:

The train rushes in all pairs, the wheels are turned by a locomotive. And the forest around resinous and tailwood,

And there is still something ahead, And the slope of birch trees.

Instead of the usual alternation of AbAb rhymes, we have AbAAb. Moreover, the extra, the penultimate line, which says just about the presence of something else in front, ends with a composite rhyme “there is still”, that is, a rhyme that draws attention to itself and thus to the very iconic delay effect corresponding to the words “and something there is still ahead. “

The theme of stretching the moment is sophisticatedly iconized in Pasternak’s poem “A Thunderstorm Instant Forever”:

And then the summer was forgiven With the station. Having taken off his cap, A hundred blinding photos At night, he took a thunder from memory.

Merkla brush lilac. At this time, he, having picked up an armful of Lightnings, trafil from the field with them Inspect the administration house.

The central theme, already set in the title, is iconically projected into the stanza. The lines rhyme on the principle of maximum postponement: the first – from the fifth, the second – from the sixth, the third – from the seventh, the fourth – from the eighth. That is, four unrhymed lines come first, and we are ready to accept the verses as white, when the drawn rhyme finally enters. Thus, not just the moment stopping by the poets, but also the length of the photographing process, is symbolized: on the one hand, instantaneous, and on the other – requiring manifestation and only then already showing the eternal safety of the moment.

Iconization lends itself to not only quantitative elements like numbers or sizes, but also qualitative ones — for example, the idea of ​​“other.” The whole poem “I loved you”, about which we spoke in the first lecture, is built on the movement from “I” to another: from “I loved you” – to “loved to be different”. In addition to the usual methods of expressiveness, in the finale, the iconic tour de fors From Fr. tour de force – “demonstration of strength or skill.” :

I loved you silently, hopelessly, We are weary with timidity, then with jealousy; I loved you so sincerely, so dearly …

Such quatrains would traditionally have to end with a rhyme “love” (or “not love”), which would crown the construction that prepares it: “I loved you” – “we torment with jealousy” – “ta-ta-ta-ta-ta love” . And the word “love” in the form of “beloved” really appears in this line, but not under the rhyme, but in front of it, yielding a spectacular final rhyme position to another rhyme – the word “other”, denoting a potential other in this elegiac triangle. That is, another rhyme expresses the theme “other” iconically.

We focused on examples from poetry, where iconics are particularly vivid and common. For a snack – one example from the narrative prose: Leskov’s story “The Man on the Clock” about how, in the Nikolaev time, the sentinel who saved the drowned man is not rewarded, but punished with whips for leaving his post. The focus of the composition is that the plot moves as it were, along the steps of the service ladder – from below, from the ordinary soldier through the captain to the colonel, and further upwards, almost to the emperor himself, and then God. In this case, it is not the hero himself who is arrested and immobile who is moving, but, so to speak, his dossier, the version of his act, which gradually changes as he ascends. Thus, the two most important components of the theme are iconic – the service hierarchy and the fictitiousness of the bureaucratic procedure, which deals not with the person, but with his file, besides, distorted.


As we remember from the first lecture, the embodiment of the theme with the help of expressiveness techniques is a repetition of the corresponding specific, visual, convincing images, that is, covering exactly the set of properties or functions that are defined by the theme and the techniques applied to it. Particularly convincing is the deployment of such a set of functions into an object, which in advance combines all the necessary properties and is thus, as it were, a ready and stable exponent of these topics, conventionally a “finished object”. In the poetic world of each author, such items are often found that are “ready” not even for one text, but for many texts, since they carry a set of functions demanded by several invariant motives of the author.

One of these finished objects in the world of Pasternak is a window lying at the intersection of a number of invariant motifs he loves. First of all – the theme of the unity of the world, the contact between everything and everyone. It connects the house and the outside world, in particular the room with the garden or the street, the person inside the room or on the windowsill with the fact that outside the window. Pasternak is characterized by looking up, sticking out of the window, hanging out of the window, shouting “to the children fortress” In a muffler, shielding himself with a palm, Through the fortress, shouting to children: What kind of millennials do we have in the yard? (From the poem “About these verses.”). From the street the light of the sun or street lights penetrates the room. Snow is molded to the windows and a trace of rain is left on them. Sometimes even the fireball flies in, the wind breaks in and dances with a curtain. The window is also convenient for expressing the second main theme of Pasternak – the themes of magnificent being, magnificence. Glass can statically tremble, knock, sweat, tears, and so on. So, the window is an ideal ready-made object for the embodiment of both central themes of Pasternak’s poetic world.

As I have already said, writers turn to common linguistic and motivic material, but use it differently. This also applies to finished items. Different authors may have the same subject even with an invariant motive, but they will be used, respectively, for different purposes, although within their original, so to speak, vocabulary properties. So, the window is an invariant component of the apartment of Sherlock Holmes. But there its function is different from Pasternak: Conan Doyle’s window primarily separates the comfort of the apartment from the cold, from the rain, in general, from the criminal life outside the window, on the street. The apartment on Baker Street is a refuge from the outside world, while the Pasternak house is joyfully open to the whole world and everything is very permeable. Of course, his ability to connect a house with a street is not ignored in the Conan-Doyle window. But it is used exclusively along the line of transparency, which allows you to see what is happening outside the window without a risk – in particular, to see the client rushing to Holmes and carrying with him a new business, new adventures. This connection function is ambivalent. On the one hand, it is contact with something alarming, criminal. On the other hand, Holmes is anticipating a new adventure. Yes, and looking at the new character through the glass and making assumptions about who it is and what it will be, is also a form of pleasant safe pastime. Thus, the windows of Conan Doyle and Pasternak are both similar and different, but in both cases these are typical windows: their typical, so to say, dictionary properties are used.

Tolstoy’s children’s stories, such as “Kitten”, “Shark”, “Jump”, “Girl and Mushrooms”, “Two Comrades”, are built according to a very simple and strong invariant storyline scheme. It all begins with a peaceful life, followed by a disaster, inadequate rescue activities, then a dramatic and successful rescue action and, finally, peace returned. At the climax during the rescue campaign, the hero and the victim (boy, girl, kitten) are exposed to maximum danger from the carrier of danger: sharks, dogs, a bear, a train – and even shielded from viewers and readers, so that the successful outcome is served very dramatically, after dimming “, after” zero information “. Sometimes a blackout weapon becomes something indirectly associated with danger or salvation, say the smoke from a cannon shot. In other cases, blackout creates the carrier itself of danger, covering and hiding the victim. Water in a jump (the boy could have drowned and was not visible); a bear sniffing a man pretending to be dead (or could slash a knife); and in “The Girl and the Mushrooms”, the danger carrier and the blackout weapon are fully combined in one finished object — the train, under which lies on the rails and thus the girl is unharmed: she is threatened to be hit by a train and is saved by the same train. Moreover, the train also participates in inadequate rescue activities: the driver whistles the whistle and tries to stop the train, but these standard methods do not work – Tolstoy is saved only by an extraordinary action like throwing a train or a Moscow fire. However, in Anna Karenina the train does not save.

In “Anne on the Neck” of Chekhov, a turning point comes at the ball, where everyone, especially influential men, highly appreciates the beauty of the heroine and her dress. A dress made not under the guidance of friends of an unloved husband who keeps her locked up and in a black body, but made under the sign of independence and orientation to the image of a kind fairy – her deceased very secular mother. So this ball appears in the story as a finished item. But Chekhov’s find is not a simple solution to this. The ball, as noted in the story, is a charity. This detail, which seemed to be a passing one, is very significant, since it covers another important motive of the story – the motive of money, which her marriage did not bring to the heroine of marriage. Thus, the charity ball serves as a ready embodiment for several central motives – beauty, sexuality, fashion, publicity and money. But Chekhov is not limited to this either. Within the framework of this finished item, he finds a place for his more specific option – the hut of a charity bazaar, where the beautiful heroine, men, including her future lover, throw huge money for wine and sweets. Moreover, as it turns out, the ball was organized to sponsor cheap canteens for the poor. Thus, to the cluster of motives expressed by this charitable hut, the motive of food is added, which the heroine in her marriage and systematically in the story was also practically deprived and ran to eat at the house to the poor father and brothers. This expressive construction, partly finished, partly completed by Chekhov to the full effect, crowns the story with a secondary, but this time successful, situation of selling itself as a heroine – sales are no longer to her husband, but to two “beautiful” princes, Artynov and his Excellency, the prince, her husband’s boss.

Using the example of another story by Chekhov, “Sweethearts,” we consider a finished object not from the subject sphere, as in the case of a window, train, or a charity buffet, but from the sphere of language, a finished object of the second kind. The heroine who copies the views and opinions of her partners in everything likes to talk about her husbands “Vanya and I”, “Vasechka and I”. This is not an accidental turn, but a finished object, clearly and concisely expressing the dissolution of the heroine’s personality in some collective “we”. And Chekhov repeats it several times and even makes him the nickname of the heroine. It is curious that this turnover is idiomatically Russian, not translatable into many European languages. It is translated into English only very roughly: “Vanechka and I”, so that an inappropriate “me” slips into the text, which the heroine lacks. Such untranslatability, idiomaticity is a typical sign of a genuine finished object, rarely combining the entire cluster of desired properties.

But, as in “Anne on the Neck”, Chekhov is not content with the find and completes it on the basis of the available properties of the finished object to an even more expressive design. The third partner Darling does not allow her to connect to his professional conversations with colleagues – and thus connect to his opinions and his personality, to suck his personality, so to speak. He says: “When we, veterinarians, talk amongst ourselves, please do not interfere.” The inclusive “we” Darling is rejected by the exclusive, excluding the Darling “we” of her boyfriend – not the husband, but the boyfriend, who thanks to this possession of the pronoun “we” is saved, leaves and, unlike both husbands, does not die in the story.

Last we will look at a detail from the second stanza of Mandelstam’s poem “It is still far from me to the patriarch” of 1931:

When you think about what is connected with the world, You yourself do not believe: nonsense! Midnight key from someone else’s apartment, Yes dime a silver in his pocket, Yes celluloid films of thieves.

It will be about the silver dime Griven – a coin of 10 kopecks, minted from silver from 1701 to 1930. . At the first reading, this dime is well placed in the text about the ambivalent, bitter-sweet, beggarly, but spiritually rich way of life and state of the poet in the early 1930s. The money is small, but brilliant, not yet spent, in a pocket, promising any benefits; a finished object for a number of Mandelstam motifs – deprivation, fragile hopes, playful, albeit unstable brilliance. As it turns out with a biased, closer examination, these properties are really inherent to the dime, and not only as a real object, but also as an object recognized and institutionalized literature, otrefleksirovannom literary. In Russian poetry and prose, the dime appears regularly, sometimes appearing in the titles, as a standard fee for small services – a cab ride, a tram, a bathhouse and a cinema, a pay phone call, alms given by the poor and accepted by the poor. And his presence or absence in his pocket can embody both greed and safety, as well as the possibility of waste and even waste.

But that’s not all. It turns out that in 1908, when Mandelstam was 17 years old, a translation of the French novel by Paul d’Ivois entitled “Around the World with a Dime in Your Pocket” was published in Russia. There, the condition of the plot was to go around the world without spending money, and thus earn a rich inheritance. This verbal image also penetrated Russian prose — it is mentioned, for example, in Gaidar’s prose. For Mandelstam, this is a ready-made object, covering not only a cluster of poverty, wealth, brilliance, but also an eternally welcome way to go abroad, his longing for world culture.

This is almost everything, but not all. The last relevant feature is the silver luster of a dime, which makes it a dime of the past, going back to the 1920s and beyond, in pre-revolutionary times. The fact is that since 1931, the dimes were already minted from a copper-nickel alloy. Mandelstam’s dime is not just silver – he is silver as before, so the twinkling of this dime brings the poet to geographical and historical boundaries, as in the poem I Drink for Military Asters, which we talked about in the first lecture.


Literature seems to be talking about life – but loves to talk about itself. In terms of terminology, among its themes, along with themes of the first kind, substantive, the honorable place is occupied by themes and motifs of the second and third kind – metal literature, meta and intertextual Themes of the first kind – “What did the author want to tell?”; topics of the second kind – “How did the author want to write this text?”; themes of the third kind – “How is this text related to other texts?”. .

Let’s start with the metatextuality and take it in one of its most obvious options – the text creation texts; often the same one that is being written. A rather frank formulation, testifying to the universality of such a subject, belongs to Pasternak, who said that every poetic work, in essence, tells about the miracle of his birth. Well, maybe, not everyone – but many verses of Pasternak himself are devoted to this very thing. So, for example, begins a rather early poem “February. Get ink and cry ”:

February. Get ink and cry! To write about February sobbing, While the thundering slush In the spring black burns.

And this is how it ends:

Under it the thawed patches turn black, And the wind is dug with cries, And the more accidental, the more faithfully the verses are wept.

However, the poem “Wind” from the novel “Doctor Zhivago”, the poem written by Yuri Zhivago, which begins with something completely different – with death, loneliness, and wind, ends about four decades later as well:

I’m over, and you’re alive. And the wind, complaining and crying, Rocking the forest and the country.

It ends like this:

And this is not from boldness Or from the rage of aimless, And so that in anguish to find the words to You for a lullaby song.

Of course, this is not Pasternak. Poetry about poetry, poems about poems – this is a whole layer of poetic creativity. Let us recall at least such genres as “the art of poetry,” in particular, the famous Verlavenian poem. Or the genre of “monument”, dating back to Horace. Or the typical Russian genre of the “death of a poet.”

Examples are a dime a dozen. Pushkin in the Little House in Kolomna refuses iambic tetrameter, saying that he was tired of him, so the poem was written in iambic pentameter:

I am tired of iambic tetrapod: Everyone writes to them. Boys in fun It’s time to leave it. I wanted A long time ago to tackle the octave.

This is characteristic not only of poetry, but also of prose. So, Gogol, as we remember from the first lecture, in Nose directly asks the question why the authors choose such strange topics — this is a metal literary statement, a metatext. Many characters behave in metal literary: even if they are not literary men themselves, they live as if in literature and are guided by it. Such, in particular, is the title character of the fundamental text of European prose – Don Quixote, a reader of chivalric novels and an imitator of their heroes. Yes, and his narrator is always concerned about his authorship, the origin of the text, plagiarism from it, and so on.

But how Karamzin in “Poor Lisa” explains the plot of the love drama of his story:

“The beauty of Lisa at the first meeting made an impression in his heart. He read novels, idylls, had a rather vivid imagination and often moved mentally in those times (former or not), in which, according to the poets, all people blithely walked around the meadows, bathed in clean springs, kissed, like turtle doves, rested under in roses and myrtlets and in happy idleness all my days were spent. It seemed to him that he had found in Liza what his heart had long sought. “Nature calls me into his arms, to his pure joys,” he thought, and he decided, at least temporarily, to leave the big light.

The author seems to be a sentimentalist himself, but delivers the literary sentimentalistic springs of the hero’s behavior with obvious irony, the crown of which is a phrase about nature, calling him into his arms – nature is not just natural (“beauty made an impression”), but also deeply cultivated. What attracts him most is the image of the ideal cowgirl, and not Lisa herself.

By the way, we thus imperceptibly moved from our first topic — auto-descriptive texts, that is, texts about ourselves — to texts about other texts, to topics of the third kind — intertextual.

From “Poor Liza” it is natural to go to Pushkin’s “Stationary Supervisor”, which is all written as if on top of “Poor Liza”: she deliberately repeats it in order to turn it inside out. At the same time, another text is being undermined – the Gospel parable of the prodigal son. Prodigal is, on the contrary, father Dunya. He dies, like poor Lisa, and like poor Lisa Dunya (and in fact, on the contrary, absolutely not poor) remains to live happily ever after.

In general, the whole story is metaliterated in its essence. He teaches us to read with open eyes, not allowing clichéd texts and ideas to brainwash us. The text is not so much about Dunya and her love, but about how to read.

In Gogol’s The Overcoat, intertextuality may not be so important. But in the character of his main character, Gogol makes a distinctly auto-descriptive note. His Akaky Akakievich is represented by a caricature writer. He is a passionate copyist, for whom there is nothing else in life except writing, at least not at first. And he, even walking through the city, imagines himself, as Gogol writes, in the middle of the line, and not in the middle of the street — that is, as an absolutely true poet.

And in Dostoevsky’s Poor People, Pushkin and his Station Warden, Gogol and his Bashmachkin, all agree on critical arguments about the main character’s literature, Makar Devushkin, who finds Gogol too arrogant with respect to the characters. Pushkin’s tone is much closer to him. And the love affair with the heroine (albeit unfortunate) develops in Devushkin precisely on such a literary background, as if exaggeratedly Karamzinsky.

Meta- and intertextuality can be a completely integral feature of the text, but lie in it at such a depth that remains outside the dialogues of the characters and the author’s confessions. Thus, the genre of the historical novel was invented by Walter Scott at the intersection of a love affair from the lives of fictional people and historical chronicles and dramas, where mainly kings and courtiers act, historical figures. The intertextual salt of a new genre is in the intersection of two old genres and, accordingly, in the meeting and interaction of a fictional ordinary character from one genre with a textbook historical one from another. As Pushkin very successfully said about this, this is a story filed in a “home manner”.

Pushkin himself, realizing all this, takes the next step, also distinctly intertextual. He is repelled by the successful Russian superpatriotic imitator Walter Scott – the writer Mikhail Zagoskin (the author of the novel “Yuri Miloslavsky”) – restoring the Scottish ambivalence, compromise, complexity. And at the same time he pushes away from Scott himself, too, creating a sort of deliberately brief, in many ways ironic, ridiculous summary of the Walter-Scottish novel, which is “superbly long”: The Captain’s Daughter is about three times shorter than the normal Walter Scott novel.

Further, the historical novel falls into the hands of Tolstoy, for whom “The Captain’s Daughter” was written “somehow naked” (these are his own words). And he writes “War and Peace” in a completely different way – not only much longer, but also completely changing the view on the interaction of rank-and-file and historical characters. He has these meetings either impossible, or fruitless, or even ridiculous. Yes, the historical figures themselves, by definition, do not make history for Tolstoy.

The questions that arise when talking about intertexts usually concern several of the most important parameters of this phenomenon. Referring to another text – explicit or not explicit? Maybe latent? Maybe unconscious? Is the connection to intertext direct (such as borrowing, such as roll call, polemics — even if it is hidden)? Or purely typological, arising, possibly, in hindsight, and only in the literary study of the problem, since literature forms a whole and interactions in its field are inevitable? Is the reference thematically important, central, or peripheral, service, superficial? What, finally, is the function of such a reference? Simple reliance on authority? Literary repulsion? Controversy? Overcoming the influence of a classic?

In the fifth chapter of “Eugene Onegin,” a memorable Monsieur Triquet appears:

With family Panfila Kharlikova Monsieur Triquet, Ostryak, recently from Tambov, wearing glasses and wearing a red wig, also arrived. Like a true Frenchman, Triquet brought a couplet to Tatyana in his pocket. To a voice known by children: Réveillez-vous, belle endormie. Between the old songs of the almanac This verse was printed; Triquet, a quick-witted poet, He was born from the dust, And boldly instead of belle Nina Put belle Tatiana.

The ending of this, of course, everyone remembers. The commentators of Onegin found much about the origin of this image, but I was fortunate enough to stumble upon that place in Rossini’s The Barber of Seville by Beaumarchais (both authors were loved by Pushkin), where Bartolo, the old guardian, who dreams of becoming a fiancé and Rosina’s husband, interrupts Count Almaviva, who made her way into the house under the guise of a singing teacher, and sings Rosina kupletets in the old style, changing the name of the addressee in it, and thus slightly approving him: “Rosinette, my friend, / Will you buy a hubby for fame? / True, I am not a shepherd boy … ”- and so on. And then he comments: “In the song, Fanchonetta, well, I replaced her with Rosinetta to give her pleasure and to make it more appropriate for the occasion. Ha ha ha. Great, right? ”Pushkin’s borrowing is pretty obvious.

Moreover, Pushkin himself practiced in such alterations-appropriations. Such, for example, is his famous epigram of 1815 for archaists, converted from French, belonging to the same Beaumarchais. Well, I will not quote Beaumarchais, and Pushkin does this:

The sullen troika has singers – Shikhmatov, Shakhovskoy, Shishkov, Umu have a trio of foes – Shishkov is ours, Shakhovskoy, Shikhmatov, But who is the stupidest of the three bad? Shishkov, Shikhmatov, Shakhovskoy!

Everything here is like Beaumarchais; only names are replaced. Including standing under rhymes. So ricochets Trike beats on Pushkin himself. This is irony, of course, quite characteristic of Pushkin.

Some answers to some typical intertext questions in this case are obvious. Others are likely. Still others are hypothetical and even disgusting. Borrowing or typological similarity? Most likely, borrowing. Conscious or involuntary? Most likely, conscious. Calculated on the identification of the reader or not? Hard to say. But for some reason his contemporaries did not recognize him – in any case, no evidence was found. However, this could not concern Pushkin: he liked to think about “secret poems”, as he wrote On the sea of ​​life, where the storms are so cruelly My sail is haunted in the mist, lonely, As he, without any consolation, I sing And I like to think about secret poems. , and cultivated the mysterious layering of his constructions. Does this little intertextual thematic matter? Perhaps yes. Since the general theme of the second and third births in Pushkin is an installation on a certain free enlightened, seemingly easy, but very informatively demanding and instructive chatter about literature and life against the background of European culture.

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