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Title:The metaphysical and poetical universe of A. A. Fet
Author(s):Shenshin, Veronica
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Pachmuss, Temira A.
Department / Program:Slavic Languages and Literatures
Discipline:Slavic Languages and Literatures
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Literature, Comparative
Literature, Slavic and East European
Abstract:The previously-neglected metaphysical aspect of Fet's poetry discussed in this thesis mainly concerns itself with the philosophical, ontological and aesthetical basis of his lyrics. Fet's Memoirs (1890) and correspondence with friends, such as L. Tolstoi, Iakov Polonskii, and I. Turgenev, his critical articles, in particular, "On the Poetry of F.I. Tiutchev" (1859) as well as "Afterword of A.A. Fet to his translation of Schopenhauer" published posthumously in 1901 in the journal Russian Review (Russkoe Obozrenie) have served as additional material to substantiate this point or view.
There emerged a whole new corpus of Fet poems, that have been overlooked by critics. It can be stated that Fet's Christian belief in the immortality of the soul is ever-present throughout his poetical writings, beginning with his lyrics of the 1840's, in the collection The Lyrical Pantheon and ending with the four editions of his Evening Lights 1883-1891. These poems also clearly refute the allegations of Fet's atheism, and indicate his participation in the Feasts of the Russian Orthodox Church and culture, in poems such as "To P. P. Botkin" (P. P. Botkinu) of 1879, or "The Holy Banner Having Been Raised in My Hand" (Horugv' sviashchennuiu pod"iav svoei desnoi), of 1889. Such poems also give glimpses of intense prayer, as in the poem "Again I will Light the Wick of the Iconlamp" (Op'iat' ia zatepliu lampadu) of 1847, "When the deceitful mind" (Kogda kichlivyi um) of 1842 and "The longer I live" (Chem dolee ia zhivu) written between 1874-1886. Fet found beauty in contemplation of the eternal, in prayer, untainted by the evil of this world.
Fet created a metaphysical and poetical universe of his own, without the horrors of death and the terrors of night, typical of the Metaphysical Romanticists such as M. Lermontov, F. Tiutchev or A. Boratynskii. For Fet the night was light and he even named his last collection Evening Lights. Fet developed in Russian poetry a concept of time, erasing the gaps between past, present and future, his lyrical "I" being capable of moving through time, unconfined by physical limitations, both in the visible and the invisible, other-worldly realm. Fet's lyrical personae are not bound to earth and do not yield to the physical laws of this planet, as they often are portrayed ascending to other realms, in such poems as "Now" (Teper') of 1883, "Never" (Nikogda), of 1879 and "The May Night" (Maiskaia Noch), of 1870.
Fet's metaphysical poetry was acknowledged by the Symbolist poets Vl. Solov'ev and A. Blok, V. Briusov and K. Bal'mont and the melodiousness of Fet's lyrics with their symbols of the sun and the moon, had a major impact on the development of Russian Symbolist poetry.
Issue Date:1994
Rights Information:Copyright 1994 Shenshin, Veronica
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9503317
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9503317

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