Petersburg text of Russian literature

The concept of “Petersburg text” was introduced by V. N. Toporov. He wrote that the St. Petersburg text created by the “collection of texts of Russian literature” possesses all those specific features that are characteristic of texts in general and, above all, of semantic coherence, although it was written (and will be written) by many authors. ” Classical works of the “Petersburg theme” are perceived “new art” as a single text. In a sense, it can be said that it was symbolism that transformed (painterly “imposing” this sensation on the reader, and then on the researchers), a fairly motley legacy of the 19th century. in the “Petersburg text”, which becomes the bearer of a single artistic language. The main idea of ​​the “Petersburg text” – through symbolic dying, death to redemption and resurrection. The city in the “Petersburg text” is a higher reality, symbolic-mythological


VN Toporov identifies a number of essential features of the St. Petersburg text. Noting the perception of Petersburg as “cheerful” and “glorious”, preserved mainly in the “folk” word about the new capital – in songs, jokes, etc. – the researcher focuses on the other side of the city and the supertext created by him – on the metaphysics that permeated and in many respects formed this segment of Russian literature. “None of the cities in Russia,” VN Toporov writes, “has been converted so many curses, blasphemy, reproofs, reproaches, resentments, regrets, lamentations, disappointments, as much to Petersburg, and the St. Petersburg text is exceptionally rich in the widest circle representatives of this “negative” attitude toward the city, which by no means excludes (and often implies) devotion and love “(Toporov 1995, 263).

The core of the symbolized 1900’s. “St. Petersburg text” of the XIX century. – “The Bronze Horseman” and “The Queen of Spades” by Pushkin, Gogol’s

Petersburg Stories, The Poor People, The Double, The Mistress, Notes from the Underground, Crime and Punishment, The Idiot and Teenager “Dostoevsky (and” nucleus core “here will be the first and last three works). On the border of the “Petersburg text” are “The Lodge in Kolomna,” Urbanistic lyrics of Nekrasov, some works by A. Grigoriev, the journalism of Chaadaev, the Slavophiles and “pochvennikov.” On the other hand, the “Petersburg text” often comes into contact with works not about Petersburg. The condition of “connecting” them to the ” St. Petersburg text “- the presence of themes and motifs that in some ways intersect with the symbolist interpretation of either the core of the” St. Petersburg text “of the nineteenth century or of St. Petersburg itself. These are the themes and motifs of the city (” The History of a City “by Saltykov-Shchedrin,” Cities-octopuses “Verharn”), the city of Petra (“Poltava”), the city of the bureaucratic (“Inspector”), and also the city of “fantastic”, ghostly (the tradition of “Hoffmannians”), cities of mystical evil (“demonological” texts, “terrible revenge”), city ​​mechanical “machine” (“Stone Guest”), doomed to death (Apocal psis). In these cases we can speak either of the intersection of “the myth of St. Petersburg” to other symbolist “myths” ( “the myth of Peter”), or about its entry into more general “cultural myths” (about the big city, its eschatology), or about the specifics of some subgroup of the “Petersburg text” (the “myth about the copyist” from Gogol, Dostoevsky, etc., perhaps goes back to ” Gold pot “by Hoffmann). The “Petersburg text” includes, occupying an important place in it, and works of other arts, mainly, of course, the monument to Falcone and other sculptural and architectural monuments and ensembles of the city.

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Petersburg text of Russian literature