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Title: A stowaway on the steamship of modernity : Pushkin and the Futurists
Author: Rann, J.
Awarding Body: University College London (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2013
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The declared intention of the Russian Futurist poets to ‘throw Pushkin from the steamship of Modernity’, expressed in their manifesto Poshchechina obshchestvennomu vkusu, has come to define their attitude to Russia’s pre-eminent poet and the literature of the past in general. However, its ubiquity has led to a reductive approach to Futurism in the scholarship of Pushkin reception and Russian Modernism. This thesis will contribute to both fields, and to our understanding of Futurism, by showing how, contrary to their reputation, three signatories of Poshchechina—Velimir Khlebnikov, Vladimir Maiakovskii and Aleksei Kruchenykh—engaged with Pushkin and his legacy in complex ways throughout their careers. Pushkin will be shown to play an essential role in the strategies adopted by the Futurists to articulate their identities, both collectively and as individuals, and in the related project of the presentation of a radical new model of literary evolution. Close reading of specific works and broad theoretical contextualization will reveal two tendencies: iconoclasm, which continues to be an important, and sophisticated, aspect of Futurist identity, and a less obvious transformative impulse which treats Pushkin’s life and work as myths which can be adapted to help the poet respond to contemporary imperatives. After examining the development of a collective persona in the manifestos in the first chapter, I will devote a chapter each to the work of Khlebnikov, Maiakovskii and Kruchenykh, focusing on the way in which they use a specific motif or element of intertextuality to facilitate their self-expression. The notion of the poet as a sort of prophet will be analysed in relation to Khlebnikov’s conceptualization of time; Maiakovskii’s relationship with the state will be elucidated by examining his attitude to monuments and moving statues; Kruchenykh’s innovative use of quotation will be understood as a response to new forms of mass reception.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available