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Yoon, Saera
Division of General Studies
Research Interests
  • Russian Literature
  • Comparative Literature


러시아 문학에 나타난 노브고로드 테마: 바딤 형상의 변주

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러시아 문학에 나타난 노브고로드 테마: 바딤 형상의 변주
Yoon, Saera
Issue Date
노어노문학 , v.23, no.3, pp.149 - 176
Novgorod occupies a special position in Russian culture. The city boasts of its colorful history adorned with its mercantile ties with Western Europe in the medieval age. Yet the most unique element of its history lies in its experience of the "republicanism," a political system Russia eradicated since the downfall of Novgorod. While Novgorod succumbed to Moscow in the fifteenth century and never regained its glory, it was reborn as a viable literary theme in Russian literature in the late eighteenth century. This paper overviews the theme of Novgorod, looking into the individual manifestations from a play written by Catherine the Great to a poema by Lermontov. In particular, so-called "Vadim Novgorodskii," a character caught between history and myth, looms large as he serves as the representative of Novgorod"s freedom against the oppression under a foreign ruler. The treatment of Vadim Novgorodskii undergoes noteworthy changes from the eighteenth century to the nineteenth century. Despite major differences in the interpretation Of vadim, both Catherine the Great and Kniazhnin created Vadim as, first and foremost, a political animal. Placed in the middle of power struggle, Vadim"s actions are motivated by political cause to reclaim liberty. This political dimension remains intact in the works produced in the nineteenth century. Yet Pushkin and Lermontov added another significant dimension to the rebel: personal history steeped with Romantic traits. At the hands of two great Russian writers, Vadim is created as a thoroughly unfortunate hero who suffers from failures in multiple aspects: his noble ideals and personal happiness are both cruelly crushed by fate. Consequently, Vadim is endowed with more sophisticated personality and Pushkin as well as Lermontov attempted to transform Vadim from a one-dimensional political rebel to a multi-faceted Romantic hero.
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