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Reception of Guy de Maupassant's Oeuvre in Russia (1880-ies-1930-ies)

Student: Maria Krasovitskaya

Supervisor: Yana Linkova

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities

Educational Programme: Comparative Studies: Russian Literature in Cross-cultural Perspective (Master)

Final Grade: 8

Year of Graduation: 2017

The history of reception of Guy de Maupassant’s oeuvre in Russia dates back to the 80s of the XIX century and continues to this day. For decades, literary and philosophical trends, as well as political regimes have changed, but Maupassant invariably draws the attention of Russian readers and critics. Over time, in addition to traditional types of reception (translations, criticism, theatrical productions), Maupassant's works and art techniques receive new coverage in the cinema, which is of particular interest for the study. This paper deals with the reception of Maupassant's oeuvre in the period from the end of the 19th century to the 30th years of the 20th century. During this time, Russian criticism underwent significant ideological influences. At the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, researchers objectively and conscientiously, though not always convincingly, tried to find Maupassant's place in the world literature, defining his artistic and philosophical essence. Then, in the second decade of the twentieth century, the interest of critics towards the French writer faded, and the reception, which revived already in the second half of the 1920s, had to meet the requirements of the Soviet regime and invariably adapted Maupassant’s work to the requirements of the ideology. The image of Maupassant in the 20s and 30s of the 20th century was therefore considerably distorted. The first part of the paper contains a description of Maupassant’s reception in Russia in the 1880-1930ies, which allows us to trace its evolution, stages and features of development, the degree of popularity of the writer in different decades, the reaction to his work of contemporaries and followers. The second part is devoted to translations of Maupassant's texts into Russian: their features and changes can be traced to the example of the novel Two Friends. The third part deals with theatrical productions and feature films based on the oeuvre of Maupassant.

Full text (added May 27, 2017)

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