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Tsvetaeva's interpretation of Pushkin's life and work

Smith, Alexandra; (1993) Tsvetaeva's interpretation of Pushkin's life and work. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

The research examines how Tsvetaeva translated Pushkin's work into the language of the avant-garde and created a Pushkin myth, modelling her own creative biography on his life and writings. Chapter 1 analyses seven of Tsvetaeva's translations into French of Pushkin's poems, containing vivid examples of Tsvetaeva's poetics and revealing her perception of them as the "open work". Chapter 2 focuses on Tsvetaeva's mythopoetical model of a poet's life which, in her view, always repeats the Orpheus tragedy. Her 1913 poem "Vstrecha s Pushkinym" and 1931 cycle "Stikhi k Pushkinu" provide the insight into her artistic methods and views of the period. This chapter argues that Tsvetaeva's poetic outlook strongly resembled that of European Baroque culture and was partly influenced by the Eurasian movement. Chapter 3 discusses Tsvetaeva's treatment of the Cnidus myth (based on the belief in the interference of evil force into human relationships; often as a statue or being statue-like). It appeared in several of Pushkin's works and in Tsvetaeva's play "Kamennyi angel", shaping her interpretation of Pushkin's love for NataKla Goncharova. Chapter 4 examines the essays "Iskusstvo pri svete sovesti" and "Nezdeshnii vecher". New ground is broken with a clear demonstration of the existentialistic aspects of Tsvetaeva's outlook. Chapter 5 outlines the Baroque-style rhetorical figures in "Mol Pushkin" and demonstrates how Tsvetaeva treats Pushkin's "K moriu" as an open work re-enacting the situation therein. Chapter 6 investigates Tsvetaeva's preoccupation with myth-making in the essay "Pushkin 1 Pugachev" in the light of its biographical background. The research produces new methods for the treatment of Tsvetaeva's texts which promote better understanding of avant-garde poetics in general. It opens a new path for investigation into further links between avant-garde writings and Baroque culture, and into the shape of the Pushkin myth in twentieth century Russian literature

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Tsvetaeva's interpretation of Pushkin's life and work
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Language, literature and linguistics
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10101612
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