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Mandelstam, Blok, and the Boundaries of Mythopoetic Symbolism
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“Mandelstam had no teacher,” marveled Anna Akhmatova, reflecting on his early maturity and singularity. But Mandelstam himself spoke of the need and even duty to study a poet’s literary roots. So how did this consummately complex, compelling, multi-resonant poet navigate and exploit the burden of the Russian Symbolist movement from which he emerged? How did this process change and augment his poetry? Through a series of illuminating readings, Stuart Goldberg explores the ongoing role that the poetry of Russian Symbolism played in Osip Mandelstam’s creative life, laying bare the poet’s productive play with distance and immediacy in his assimilation of the Symbolist heritage. At the same time, Mandelstam, Blok, and the Boundaries of Mythopoetic Symbolism presents the first coherent narrative of the poet’s fraught relationship with Alexander Blok, the most powerful poetic voice among the Symbolists. This dialogue, which was largely one-sided, extended beyond poetic intertext into the realms of poetics, charisma, and personality. Goldberg’s study pushes theoretical boundaries, exploring the juncture between pragmatics and intertext, adapting and challenging Bloom’s anxiety of influence theory, and, ultimately, tracing a shift in the nature of sincerity and authenticity that divided poetic generations.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. pp. 1-1
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  1. Title Page, Copyright
  2. pp. 2-7
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. ix-xii
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  1. Note on Transliteration
  2. pp. xiii-xiv
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  1. Part I
  2. pp. 1-2
  1. 1. Introduction
  2. pp. 3-20
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  1. 2. Prescient Evasions of Bloom
  2. pp. 21-32
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  1. Part II
  2. pp. 33-34
  1. 3. Departure
  2. pp. 35-48
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  1. 4. The Pendulum at the Heart of Stone
  2. pp. 49-55
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  1. 5. Struggling with the Faith
  2. pp. 56-82
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  1. Part III
  2. pp. 83-84
  1. 6. Bedside with the Symbolist Hero
  2. pp. 85-99
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  1. 7. The Superficial and the Profound
  2. pp. 100-129
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  1. 8. Blok’s Theater Poems
  2. pp. 130-146
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  1. 9. Boundaries Erected, Boundaries Effaced
  2. pp. 147-164
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  1. PART IV
  2. pp. 165-166
  1. 10. “To Anaxagoras” in the Velvet Night
  2. pp. 167-184
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  1. 11. From Theatricality to Tragedy
  2. pp. 185-196
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  1. 12. Of Badgers and Barstvennost’
  2. pp. 197-210
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  1. 13. Conclusion: Whence (and Whither) Authenticity?
  2. pp. 211-216
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  1. Appendix
  2. pp. 217-220
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 221-276
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  1. Selected Bibliography
  2. pp. 277-290
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  1. Index of Works by Mandelstam and Blok
  2. pp. 291-296
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  1. Subject Index
  2. pp. 297-306
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