Efimov Mikhail

Literary Criticism in «Contemporary Annals» (Assessing Some New Materials)

Efimov Mikhail (2014) "Literary Criticism in «Contemporary Annals» (Assessing Some New Materials) ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia III : Filologiia, 2014, vol. 38, pp. 7-19 (in Russian).

DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturIII201438.7-19


«Contemporary Annals» is considered to be one of the most signifi cant monuments of Russian émigré cultural history. The recent publication of four volumes of materials from the editorial archive constitutes one of the most important events in the study of the journal. The publication consists of correspondence between the editors (Vol. 1), and between authors and editors (Vols. 2–4). These newly published archival materials clarify and augment the context of the origin and publication of some of the most famous literary and critical texts that the journal carried. They off er researchers new opportunities to clarify and expand the source base in several major fi elds: – Editorial policy in commissioning reviews, surveys, and literary-critical articles; – Authorial initiatives in literary criticism; – Criteria for the editorial selection of literary-critical materials; – Unrealized publications of literary criticism; – The ideological context of literary-critical materials; – Contributions by «Contemporary Annals» authors to other periodicals of Russia Abroad. Literary criticism in «Contemporary Annals» was represented by such fi rst-rate names as Vladislav Khodasevich, Zinaida Gippius, Vladimir Vejdle, Dmitrij Svyatopolk-Mirskij , Petr Bitsilli, Georgij Adamovich, Konstantin Mochul’skij , and Fedor Stepun. However, during all the years of the journal’s existence (1920–1940) there was no unifi ed editorial policy concerning literary-critical articles and reviews, though dozens and dozens of them were published. The editors — Vadim Rudnev, Il’ia Fondaminskij , and Mark Vishnyak — recognized the importance of certain literary-critical texts in terms of ideology, and in respect of attracting subscribers and readers, but did not develop any distinct ideas about the function of literary criticism. They were much more concerned about the subject matter and quantity of materials on religious and philosophical topics (the so-called «diocesan quota»). Literary criticism in «Contemporary Annals» was largely motivated by the political and ideological preferences and antipathies of the editors. Quite often there was no agreement between the editors on ideological topics. This thesis is illustrated and confi rmed by the most striking contributions by major literary critics — Gippius, Khodasevich, Svyatopolk-Mirskij — to «Contemporary Annals».


«Contemporary Annals», Russian émigrés, Russia Abroad, literary criticism, editorial archive, periodicals, Shruba, Korostelev, Gippius, Khodasevich, Svyatopolk-Mirskij


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Efimov Mikhail