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Hanukai Lecture – “Anxious Visions: Pushkin’s ‘The Bronze Horseman’ and the Poetics of Late Romanticism”
Pushkin’s ‘The Bronze Horseman’ and the Poetics of Late Romanticism
By Dr. Maksim Hanukai
Visiting Assistant Professor
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Friday, February 09, 2018
03:30pm – 05:00pm
348 Kaplan Hall, UCLA
Few works have fired up the tragic imagination of Russian readers as much as Pushkin’s narrative poem The Bronze Horseman. The tale of a Petersburg clerk who challenges a monument to Peter the Great after losing his fiancée (and his wits) in a devastating flood, The Bronze Horseman has haunted the pages of Russian literature for almost two centuries, inspiring not just a myriad new “Petersburg texts” but also a shift in the cultural mythology of Russia’s northern capital. Critics have long read The Bronze Horseman through the prism of tragic theory, focusing primarily on Pushkin’s portrayal of conflict. This talk will take a different approach. Setting the poem in the context of Romantic theories of symbol and allegory, I will focus on the problem of representation, locating the philosophical and emotional basis for a new tragic vision in the unstable nature of Pushkin’s images.