In this section we publish the “Raree show on closing the European University” — the text of a satirical performance co-written by a group of students after a temporary shut-down of the European University in St. Petersburg (February—March 2008); this play was performed during the street protests. This specimen of modern socially and politically charged student folklore can be treated as an appendix to the section devoted to the Russian student subculture of the early 20th century.
VALUES vs. “LIFE FORMS”: THE RUSSIAN STUDENTS’ BODY
IN THE FIRST THIRD OF THE 20th CENTURY
This section opens with the paper by Otto Boele (University of Leiden, Netherlands) “The Thews in Exchange for Money: Students and Wrestlers between two Revolutions (1907—1917)”. This article explores the debate on student destitution at the eve of WW I and the ensuing emergence of an alternative behavioral paradigm that favored economic self-reliance and physical strength over the more traditional values of group solidarity and self-abnegation. Examining, amongst others, the work of Mikhail Artsybashev and Nikolai Breshko-Breshkovsii, particularly the way in which these authors treated the problem of daily sustenance, I argue that the notion of “struggle for life” (bor’ba za sushchestvovanije) and the growing popularity of bodybuilding, particularly wrestling as a martial art (bor’ba), blended into an alternative role model, namely that of the student-wrestler (student-borets) who can earn his own keep.
Anatoly E. Ivanov (Institute of Russian History RAS, Moscow) “More than leisure: theatre and the everyday culture of the pre-revolutionary student body”. The author analyses theatrical interests of Russian students at the beginning of the 20th century as indicators of changes in the social life and cultural orientation of the Russian “pre-intelligencia”. The theatre served as basis for its collective self-identification as a social group with a special cultural horizon. After the First Russian Revolution it was theatre (classical, modern and entertaining) in its guise as the most widespread type of cultural consumption within the student milieu that allowed to remove the tension between the old revolutionary values and the new “normal” practices and at the same time preserve its orientation towards high culture and maintain continuity with the previous student cultural tradition.
Dmitry Andreev’s article (European University, St. Petersburg) ““Red student” and a policy of proletarisation higher education” studies an attempt to construct a new student body both ideologically and culturally in Soviet Russia after 1917. A radical improvement in accessibility of higher education and the growing education network implied a change in the social image of the students. Activities of the Bolsheviks’ Party and the Young Communists’ Union (Comsomol) cells were supposed to counterweight the professorate’s drive for autonomy and the threat of bourgeoisification with the values of serving the new state and the policy of purging “non-labour” and “enemy” elements. The author analyses chops and changes and “waves” that policy of proletarisation went through and studies ideologically correct prescriptive cultural examples, that were not only handed in from outside or from above, but were also based on aspirations and practices of the new student masses themselves.
STALINISM AS AN OBJECT OF STUDY:
A MOBILISATION OF HISTORY
The article of Kevin M.F. Platt (University of Pennsylvania) “Reproduction of Trauma: The Scenarios of Russian National History in 1930s” presents an analysis of Stalinist historiography in terms of its debts to the historiography of the 1920s (with emphasis on the works of Mikhail Pokrovskii, on one hand, and Nickolai Ustrialov, on the other) and, through them, to pre-revolutionary Russian historiographical traditions. Furthermore, it is argued that this dynamic of concealed debts to past interpretative positions was a central mechanism shaping the significance of Stalinist historiography in general, which paradoxically combined the drive towards an authoritative “final” analysis of history with a seemingly endless process of internal dissent and modification of officially suupported analytical standpoints. Ultimately, rather than actually achieving any “final” vision of history, this dynamic enacted the social discipline of repeated, enforced forgetfulness.
This section also includes Anton Sveshnikov’s (Omsk State University, Omsk, Russia) article “Soviet Medieval scholarship in the ideological conflicts of the late 1930—1940s”. The author concentrates on studying a compromise of the academic “professionals” with the Stalinist system using an example of one historical sub-branch. Anti-Fascism and research into the relationship between Germans and Slavic peoples in the Baltic area and in the Eastern Europe in the Middle Ages proved to be a saving ideological factor in rebuilding professional Medieval Studies after the reign of “vulgar sociology” in the 1920s. However studying the works by noted scientists with a pre-revolutionary background — E. Kosminsky, N. Gratsiansky and A. Neusykhin — Sveshnikov demonstrates that this ideological commission not only established the values of the Enlightenment in the discipline but also badly deformed Soviet medieval studies in the name of fighting German historiography — to the point where it began to tun into a functional analog of the Nazi historical sciences. After the war this “anti-Fascist” discourse was turned against the older generation of medievalists under the flag of struggle against cosmopolitism.
VLADISLAV KHODASEVICH IN LITERARY AND SOCIAL
POLEMICS OF THE RUSSIAN E ´ MIGRE ´ MILIEU
Nikolay Bogomolov (Moscow State University) who compiled this section defined its purpose in his preface: personal letters of a poet and literary critic Vladislav Khodasevich (1887—1939) first published in this issue allow us to see a connection between concepts of literature, political appraisals and attitudes towards events taking place in the USSR in the Russian émigré press of the 1920s. In a separate preface to Khodasevich’s correspondence with Dmitry Merezhkovsky and Zinaida Gippius Nikolay Bogomolov specifies which issues were among those most important to Khodasevich in the mid 1920s: primarily the calls to return to the USSR issued by the pro-Soviet émigrés (and often inspired by the Soviet intelligence service) and a schism within the Russian Orthodox Church that had for all purposes divided it into an émigré and intra-Russian parts. In this section we also publish Khodasevich’s letters to a prose writer Viktor Iretsky (Glikman) (1882—1936) where he had disclosed the inner history of his longstanding literary and political argument with a poet Georgy Ivanov; this material was prepared by Ksenia Yakovleva (Moscow State University).
DISCUSSING A NEW THEORY OF RHYMING
The central part of this section is represented by Grigory Vekshin’s article (Moscow State University of Printing Arts) “Metaphony in sound repetition (on poetical morphology of a word)” and a corresponding discussion. Vekshin suggests we should treat sound repetition as a mean of syntagmatic organisation of poetic text. The article introduces the concept of phonosyllabema as a main repeating segment in the compositional structure of a poem. The author contraposes echo-like (eqiurythmic and equiphonic) and inverted (metaphonic) elements in within the structure of a repetition. On the basis of that dichotomy the article reviews the concept of rhyme. The author treats a direct sound repetition as a mean of establishing a metonymic link, and a reverse (metaphoric) repetition as a mean of metaphorisation and symbolisation. Vekshin provides grounds for his concept by performing a detailed analysis of poetry by Boris Pasternak, Fedor Tiutchev and Edgar Poe.
Yuri Orlitsky (Russian State University for the Humanities, Moscow) writes that Vekshin does not take into consideration the role metaphonic repetitions play in prose. In his opinion Vekshin is using too rigorous an approach when determining which repetition can be seen as a rhyme and which cannot. Ludmila Zubova (St. Petersburg State University) while agreeing with Vekshin’s observations and conclusions voices several additional considerations: poetic metaphony corresponds to “reverse perspective” during speech perception and production and emphasizes the non-linear nature of text and at the same time establishes a connection between its fragments. As a conclusion she provides an analysis of Linor Goralik’s poem where an apparently traditional structure is compounded by metaphonic repetitions that accentuate the meaning of the text. Dmitry Kuzmin (ARGO-Risk publishing house, Moscow) invokes methodological concepts of Yuri Tynyanov and Maksim Shapir to argue against
G. Vekshin’s contraposition of sound repetition with a metathesis and other sound repetitions. The author suggests one should return to an understanding rooted in Osip Brik’s study where sound repetition is seen as an individual manifestation of a sound structure of a poem as a whole, with that sound structure in turn being an individual manifestation of a rhythmic structure. Turning to the diachronous aspect of the issue D. Kusmin treats intensification of sound repetitions in the most recent Russian poetry as, on one hand, a mean of defamiliarising a rhyme, and, on the other hand, as a manifestation of a more general tendency to rhythmise the metric structure and to replace conventional manifestations of rhythm with non-conventional ones. The ways that pattern was implemented are shown on the basis of examples derived from Russian poetry of the last decade (Nikolay Baitov, Vladimir Gandelsman, Stanislav Lvovsky, etc.).
In his reply to his opponents “When shall we start counting?” — Georgy Vekshin analyses methodological problems of studying phonics of poetry that were discovered in the process of this discussion.
This section also contains Daria Sukhovey’s (St. Petersburg State University) article devoted to analysing a special form of rhyming used in Genrikh Sapgir’s poem “MKH — a trace of a fly” (1997) — “elliptic rhyme”. In that work by a contemporary poet the verses imitate a text destroyed by a catastrophe (nuclear war or a computer virus), and a catastrophe is also the subject of that poem. Many words in that text by Sapgir are present as fragments or gaps and a reader quite often is unable to guess which word had been standing there originally. However those fragments of ruined words rhyme. This poem became a consequence of conscious fragmentation of a more semantically definite long poem of Sapgir’s “May — be!” written in the early 1980s. Sukhovey compares the original text with “MKH” and analyses changes in the role played by rhyme. The rhyming method used in the “ruinbased” poem by Sapgir surprisingly proves to be akin to a specific type of rhyming characteristic of Russian bawdy folklore that had not yet been looked into by prosody scholars despite being quite familiar to those engaged in folklore studies.