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Persistent FormsExplorations in Historical Poetics$
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Ilya Kliger and Boris Maslov

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780823264858

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823264858.001.0001

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date: 25 May 2022

A Remnant Poetics

A Remnant Poetics

Excavating the Chronotope of the Kurgan

(p.209) Chapter 7 A Remnant Poetics
Persistent Forms

Michael Kunichika

Fordham University Press

This chapter theorizes formal persistence as an aporia, a predicament, and the reality of (late) Romantic lyric. Focusing on the history of the image of the kurgan, Kunichika shows that it enters into a complex relation with the quintessential Romantic topos of the oak, allowing for various poetic figurations of the interpenetration of the historical past and the organic processes that obliterate it. Even as they participate in a closely-knit literary tradition, the poems by A. K. Tolstoy, Afanasy Fet, and Fyodor Tiutchev thematize oblivion as a paradoxically productive space within which an antiquity retains or assumes an ability to speak to the modern viewer. By drawing on contemporary visual representations emerging from archaeological work on medieval Russian burial mounds, the chapter clarifies the historical meaning of these evocations of the past that, even as they stage their own inadequacy, reveal the urgency with which this past was being reclaimed from oblivion.

Keywords:   antiquity, chronotope, kurgan, nature, oblivion

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