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Pushkin's Lyric Intelligence$
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Andrew Kahn

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199234745

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199234745.001.0001

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Tradition and Originality

Tradition and Originality

(p.13) 1 Tradition and Originality
Pushkin's Lyric Intelligence

Andrew Kahn (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

During the first decade of his career, Pushkin often represented poetic composition as a matter of craft and imitation rather than visionary inspiration. By addressing other writers, including prominent figures with whom he discussed the meaning of a poetic career, and by means of imaginary conversations with dead poets in which he debunked predecessors while imitating them, Pushkin subsumed numerous voices in his work. The result is that at times Pushkin cultivated an anonymous lyric, and intermittently wrote his poetic persona out of the centre of his creative text. The chapter addresses questions about Pushkin's view of originality and poetic identity. It argues that he read his predecessors with a sense of superiority free from anxiety about literary influence and informed by aspiration.

Keywords:   Pushkin, lyric poetry, classicism, Arzamas, dialogues with the dead, literary influence, tradition, originality, poetic identity

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