Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools

Navigation

Memory and Literature

Intertextuality in Russian Modernism

1997
Author:

Renate Lachmann
Translated by Roy Sellars and Anthony Wall
Foreword by Wolfgang Iser

Book Default Image

Combines literary theory with textual analysis in a consideration of some of the major works of Russian modernism. Reflecting on both better- and lesser-known Russian writers, Lachmann goes beyond formalist approaches to literature by developing insights from structuralist and poststructuralist theory.

Combines literary theory with textual analysis in a consideration of some of the major works of Russian modernism. Reflecting on both better- and lesser-known Russian writers, Lachmann goes beyond formalist approaches to literature by developing insights from structuralist and poststructuralist theory.

“Memory and Literature is a stylistically brilliant encyclopedia of memory, intertextuality, and dialogism. The author is one of the most distinguished scholars in the field of Slavic literatures and her study is as useful for sporadic consultation as it is for systematic reading. Lachmann’s grasp of literary theory, the problem of rhetoric and literature, and the aesthetics of Russian modernism is outstanding.” Sven Spieker, University of California, Santa Barbara

In Memory and Literature, Renate Lachmann combines literary theory with textual analysis in a consideration of some of the major texts of Russian modernism. Reflecting on works by Pushkin, Dostoevsky, Gogol, Bely, Mandelstam, Akhmatova, Mayakovsky, Nabokov, and lesser-known Russian writers, Lachmann goes beyond formalist approaches to literature by developing insights from structuralist and poststructuralist theory.

Lachmann argues that memory is crucial for a full understanding of the way literary writing functions, and explores memory as an essential concern in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Russian prose and poetry. Lachmann examines the idea of intertextuality in Bakhtin and lesser-known European theorists through considerations of dialogism, mnemotechnics, syncretism, and carnivalization, as well as memory and imitatio.

Throughout, Memory and Literature is rigorously formal, culturally astute, and stylistically brilliant, and is essential reading for those who enjoy Russian literature and literary criticism.


Contents

I. Mnemotechnics and Simulacra
II. Intertextuality and Dialogism
1. Defining Intertextuality
2. Literature Made from Literature: Writing as Continuation, Writing as Rejoinder, Rewriting
3. Intertextuality and the Constitution of Meaning: Bely’s Petersburg and “Other” Texts
4. Concepts of the Dialogic
III. Syncretism and Carnivalization
1. Boundary Transgression and Mixing: The Stylistic Provocation of Dostoevsky, Bely, and Mayakovsky
2. Bakhtin’s Carnivalesque Utopia
3. The Carnivalesque Mode of Writing: Dostoevsky’s Counterfestivals
IV. Memory and Imitatio
1. The Ambivalence of Classical Literature: Pushkin and the Russian Culture of Memory
2. Intertextuality as an Act of Memory: Pushkin’s Transposition of Horace
3. The Past as Deferral: The Culturosophy of the Acmeists
4. An Unfinalizable Dialogue with Culture: Mandelstam and Akhmatova as Memory- Writers
V. Cryptogrammar and Doubling
1. A ‘Cryptoprogrammatic “Paper Chase”: Dostoevsky’s “A Faint Heart”
2. Myth or Parody: The Play of the Letter in Nabokov’s Invitation to a Beheading
3. The Doppelgänger as a Simulacrum: Gogol, Dostoevsky, and Nabokov
4. Splitting and Doubling: Anagrammatical Play in Vladimir Kazakov’s Mistake of the Living
VI. Decomposition-Recomposition

Book Default Image

Renate Lachmann is professor of Slavic and comparative literatures at the University of Konstanz, Germany.

Roy Sellars is a Fellow of the Society for the Humanities, Cornell University.

Anthony Wall is professor of French and comparative literature at the University of Calgary.

Book Default Image

“Memory and Literature is a stylistically brilliant encyclopedia of memory, intertextuality, and dialogism. The author is one of the most distinguished scholars in the field of Slavic literatures and her study is as useful for sporadic consultation as it is for systematic reading. Lachmann’s grasp of literary theory, the problem of rhetoric and literature, and the aesthetics of Russian modernism is outstanding.” Sven Spieker, University of California, Santa Barbara

“A work of enormous erudition, this highly sophisticated and complex theoretical study draws fruitfuly on the insights of the Russian formalists, among others. It seeks to demonstrate that creative novelty and originality stem from conscious adaptation of previous works. Lachmann applies her theoretical discussion to major Russian literary figures: Pushkin, Gogol, Dostoevsky, Bely, Nabokov, Akhmatova, Mandelstam, Mayakovsky, Kazakov, Bakhtin, Jakobson. Reading Lachmann is both daunting and rewarding.” Choice

An elegant consideration of ideas on intertextuality that will be of interest to anyone who cares about the multiplicity of ways in which texts interact with other texts to form the palimpsest of culture.

Modern Philology