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The Poetics of Metamorphosis in the Cyclus "The Trout Breaking through the Ice" by Mikhail Kuzmin

Student: Victoria Buyanovskaya

Supervisor: Mikhail Sverdlov

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities

Educational Programme: Philology (Bachelor)

Final Grade: 10

Year of Graduation: 2018

This research paper is focused on M.A.Kuzmin’s magnum opus, one of the most complicated and enigmatic texts of the Russian modernism, – the poetic cycle «The Trout Is Breaking through the Ice» (1927). The starting point of this «rereading» is the Conclusion of the cycle – there Kuzmin states the change of his conception which is, as a matter of fact, the change of his artistic principles, the shift from the poetics of nature-imitation to the poetics of unnaturalness (they are considered in two chapters of the research paper correspondingly). The comparison of these two poetics is conducted in diachrony – on the example of Kuzmin’s early love cycles (mostly from the poetry collection «Nets») and the «Trout...», and in synchrony – in application to the «natural» and «unnatural» plots of the cycle. Kuzmin’s conception of nature-imitation is embodied in the nature calendar and the logic of constant changes, which harmonized the love stories in the early cycles but are completely discredited in the «Trout...» as leading to degradation, reduction, death. Nevertheless, this regular logic is magically overcome by a series of metamorphoses – the active interventions in the course of nature which have negative «symptoms» and may be frightening, but solve all oppositions in the cycle and lead it to the «happy end». The poetics of metamorphoses is considered from several points of view: in the context of Kuzmin’s metaphysics of homosexuality, the overcoming of his artistic «inertia» in favor of the «ultramodernism» and finally the overcoming of his own biography.

Full text (added June 4, 2018)

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