Comparative history of Slavic literatures by Dmitrij Čiževskij

By Dmitrij Čiževskij

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Additional resources for Comparative history of Slavic literatures

Sample text

But the instances of affinities between Slavic literatures are so numerous that one could not be a Slavist if one ignored them. 6. One should not overlook what is called, for want of anything better, "the Slavic consciousness," that is, the fact that there is a consciousness among Slavic peoples of a communality of language, culture, and even political interests. It would be quite unhistorical, however, to assign a common denominator to this "Slavic consciousness" for different peoples at different times.

Page 18 not generally recognized, such as sensibility, impressionism, or Literary Empirea useless term in my opinion. " It did produce a certain style of its own (R. Jakobson) that we must take into account. Most of the styles mentioned above, however, can be fitted into our patternand not merely in order to vindicate the patternquite naturally as transitional periods. Mannerism represents a transition from Renaissance to baroque style, rococo a courtly form of late baroque; Biedermeier was also called postromanticism; impressionism is an aspect of late realism or a forerunner of modern literature, as, for instance, symbolism; Literary Empire is an arbitrary and dispensable designation for a group of Russian romantics.

This "Slavophile'' spirit has been objectively conditioned and subjectively motivated in different ways; it has assumed various forms and led to various results. It has often been a confessional consciousnessCatholic, Greek-Orthodox, or Protestantand has had the missionary aim of excluding Slavs of a different faith from the unity of Slavs. Many Russian Slavophiles objected for a time to including Poles Page 14 in the unity of Slavs and saw in their dependence on Catholicism a betrayal of the Slavsthey had forgotten that Czechs, Slovaks, Croats, and Slovenes are also Catholic.

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