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The Legacy of Difficulty in Russian Poetic Tradition: Contemporary Critical Responses to Ivanov's Cor Ardens

Davidson, P; (1994) The Legacy of Difficulty in Russian Poetic Tradition: Contemporary Critical Responses to Ivanov's Cor Ardens. Cahiers du Monde Russe , 35 (1-2) pp. 249-268.

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Abstract

In reviewing the responses of Ivanov's fellow-poets to his collection of verse 'Cor Ardens' (1911-1912), the paper focuses on one particular issue: the difficulty of Ivanov's poetry and the legacy of this aspect of his poetics. The paper falls into three parts. The first provides an introduction to the concept of difficulty in poetry, considered in relation to the development of the Russian poetic tradition and to Ivanov's place within this tradition. The central and most extensive part analyses the responses to the difficulty of Ivanov's poetry reflected in the reviews of 'Cor Ardens' written by Valerii Briusov, Mikhail Kuzmin, Georgii Chulkov, and three younger poets of the next generation, Nikolai Gumilev, Sergei Gorodetskii and Vladislav Khodasevich. The final part considers Ivanov's innovatory role and legacy as a 'difficult' poet, and concludes that it had a two-fold impact - both directly, on the level of formal difficulty, as Briusov and Kuzmin underline, but also indirectly, as a stimulus to reaction and self-definition, as is particularly clear from Gumilev's response to Ivanov's ideological complexity. / En analysant les comptes rendus du recueil poétique 'Cor Ardens' (1911-1912) publiés par les poètes de l'entourage d'Ivanov, cet article est centré sur une question particulière: la difficulté de la poésie d'Ivanov et le legs de cet aspect de sa poétique. L'article comprend trois parties. La première introduit la notion de difficulté en poésie, dans le contexte de l'évolution de la tradition poétique russe, et situe Ivanov dans cette tradition. La partie centrale, la plus développée, analyse les réactions suscitées par la difficulté de la poésie d'Ivanov à travers les comptes rendus de 'Cor Ardens' de Valerij Brjusov, Mihail Kuzmin, Georgij Culkov et de trois poètes plus jeunes, appartenant à la génération suivante, Nikolaj Gumilev, Sergej Gorodeckij et Vladislav Hodasevic̆. La troisième partie examine le rôle novateur d'Ivanov et son héritage en qualité de poète 'difficile' et conclut qu'il a eu un double impact: à la fois directement au niveau de la difficulté formelle, comme le soulignent Brjusov et Kuzmin, mais aussi indirectement, dans la mesure où il provoque une réaction et oblige à s'autodéfinir, ainsi qu'il ressort clairement de la réaction de Gumilev à la complexité idéologique d'Ivanov.

Type: Article
Title: The Legacy of Difficulty in Russian Poetic Tradition: Contemporary Critical Responses to Ivanov's Cor Ardens
Keywords: Russian literature, 1900-1999, Ivanov, Viacheslav Ivanovich, Cor Ardens, poetry, criticism
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > SSEES
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1564397
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