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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Baroque elements in the poetry of M.V. Lomonosov Yancey, John Vernon


Mixail Vasil'evič Lomonosov (1711-1765) is probably the most significant figure in the history of modern Russian literature before Puškin, yet few scholars outside the realm of Slavic studies are familiar with his accomplishments. Lomonosov lived during a dynamic and formative period in Russian history, and without doubt, his work on the reform of the Russian literary language, his interest in syllabotonic versification and his poetic genius helped to lay the groundwork for the marvellous poetical creations of Puskin. Lomonosov is a poet whose work reflects the influences of many different styles. With his education and training, he was exposed to several literary trends, the most prominent being the Baroque. It is the purpose of this study to examine the stylistic features in Lomonosov's poetry that can be linked with the Baroque. It will focus the attention on his panegyric odes, although it also incorporates several examples from his translations of the Psalms, Anacreontic poems, and the unfinished epic "Peter the Great." The organization of this study is as follows. The first chapter is devoted to a brief survey of European literary Baroque and to a review of the critical works, both pre-revolutionary and Soviet, which examine the Baroque trend in Russian culture. The second chapter discusses Loraonosov's literary predecessors who exhibit Baroque features in their works. This survey looks briefly at the works of Simeon Polockij, Avvakum, Feofan Prokopovič and Vasilij Trediakovskij. The second part of the chapter focuses on the periods in Lomonosov's education and training which must have influenced his poetical style. The next three chapters are a discussion of the Baroque elements in Lomonosov's work, based on. a detailed analysis of the stylistic features of his poems. The last chapter is a summary and conclusion of the material that is presented in the study. The Appendix comprises four odes translated by the author. The purpose of the translations is to acquaint the non-Russian reader with Lomonosov's poetry and, at the same time, to present examples of those works which reveal the stylistic features pertinent to the study. To accomplish the purpose of the study, Imbrie Buffurn's Agrippa d'Aubigne's 'Les Tragiques,' A Study of the Baroque Style in Poetry is used as a point of departure. Buffum has shown that a detailed analysis of the stylistic and thematic elements in d'Aubigne's poetry reveals his style as indicative of the Baroque in general. Moreover, in his examination, Buffum has tried to show d'Aubigne as a representative of the Baroque man. The present study does not try to present the stylistic features of Lomonosov's odes as representative of his Weltanschauung. Its purpose is to show that Loraonosov was a poet who was greatly influenced by Baroque poetry yet was one who was not a poet of the Baroque Age.

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