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Nikolay Gumilev as a literary critic

Student: Aleksandr Gubanov

Supervisor: Maya A. Kucherskaya

Faculty: Faculty of Media Communications

Educational Programme: Bachelor

Year of Graduation: 2014

<p>This research is dedicated to the literary criticism performed by Nikolay Gumilev, Russian poet, publisher and traveller, between 1908 and 1921 in Russian magazines <em>Apollo</em>n and <em>Hyperboreus </em>and the newspaper <em>Speech</em>. Before his demise in 1921, Gumilev managed to create a book composed of his critical revies which where published earlier and his theoretical articles on Russian poetry - this book was published by the name &quot;The Letters on Russian poetry&quot; and is the main object of this research. The main subject of the research is the phenomenon of Gumilev&#39;s criticism as something independend of his poetic works and existing in the context of the literary life of Russia at the dawn of XX century.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>The hypothesis of this research claims that Gumilev based his poetic theory on his experience of criticism - and while his theory about poetry remains mysterious and unclear, in his critical reviews this theory becomes more potent, more mature and transforms into the fully-developed system of criteria a poem should follow in order to be recognised as a true artwork of high quality. In a sense, Gumilev&#39;s poetic theory became a &quot;critical theory&quot;, the explanation of some reasons why a poem should be marked &quot;good&quot; or &quot;bad&quot;.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>In order to research Gumilev&#39;s literary criticism properly, one must conduct a careful analysis of texts of his reviews - as well as the texts of his theoretic articles due to their strong link with his literary criticism. The analysis of reviews is more complex and provides the answers to two questions - the first one being about the actual similarities of his theory with his reviews. Special attention is directed on the criteria of judging a poem and some signs of Gumilev&#39;s views on the poetry in general: its history, its purpose, etc. The second question to be answered in this research is about the variety of poems he reviewd and some patterns which can be noted inside that spectrum. The sub-question about some distortions which appeared in Gumilev&#39;s vision about the situation inside Russian literature of the time also rises: how severe were these distortions and what were the reasons behind them? To compare the theoretic articles by Gumilev with his reviews the comparative analisys was conducted - with the main focus of attention belonging to the system of criteria of judgment Gumilev created while also comparing some of his views on poetry expressed both in his revies and his theoretic articles.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>The final aim of the research is to fully understand the phenomenon of Gumilev&#39;s literarry criticism as it&#39;s own thing created mostly without any ties with his own poetry, but strongly tied to the acmeism poetic school, which was created inside the literary situation of 1908 - 1921 in Russia. &nbsp; &nbsp;</p>

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