The Superstitious Muse: Thinking Russian Literature by David Bethea

By David Bethea

For a number of a long time David Bethea has written authoritatively at the “mythopoetic pondering” that lies on the middle of classical Russian literature, specifically Russian poetry. His theoretically expert essays and books have made some extent of turning again to problems with intentionality and biography at a time while authorial enterprise turns out less than probability of “erasure” and the query of the way writers, and poets particularly, stay their lives via their artwork is more and more moot. The lichnost’ (personhood, psychic totality) of the given author is all-important, argues Bethea, because it is that which mixes the particularly biographical and the capaciously legendary in verbal devices that talk at the same time to diversified planes of being. Pushkin’s Evgeny might be one incarnation of the poet himself and an Everyman emerging as much as problem Peter’s new global order; Brodsky will be, without warning, Dante and Mandelstam and himself, the exile paying an Orphic stopover at to Florence (and, via ghostly organization, Leningrad). this kind of metempsychosis, the place the tales that represent the Ur-texts of Russian literature are continually remodeled within the biographical myths shaping person writers’ lives, is Bethea’s basic concentration. This assortment incorporates a liberal sampling of Bethea’s so much memorable formerly released essays besides new experiences ready for this occasion.

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