УДК / UDK: 821.161.1.0

2023 №27

Author: Tatyana D. Kuzovkina
About the author:

Tatyana D. Kuzovkina — PhD in Philology, Senior Researcher, Lotman Archive of Tallinn University, Uus-Sadama 5, Tallinn 10120, Estonia.


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Ethics played an important role for Yu.M. Lotman when he judged some phenomenon of art or the personality of the creator. He thought filmmaker S.M. Eisenstein was a brilliant avant-garde artist, though indifferent to moral issues, and therefore condemned Eisenstein for distorting of history to justify Stalin’s dictatorship. The article deals with Lotman’s reviews of works and personality of Eisenstein: from the earliest — 1945 (Lotman did not like the first series of “Ivan the Terrible”) — to the latest, recorded in the dictated texts of the early 1990s. The literary interest of the 1960s in structuralism actualized Eisenstein’s heritage as one of the predecessors of this scientific field. Lotman studied Eisenstein’s theoretical heritage, used his theories of the shot and montage in monographs on the literary text structure and the cinema semiotics. In the 1970s and 1980s, we could see Lotman’s condemnation of Eisenstein’s work only in private correspondence and conversations with students (in particular, with I.Z. Belobrovtseva); in the 1990s — in scientific publications as well. The article also demonstrates that the negative view of Eisenshtein’s work given in the story by A.I. Solzhenitsyn “One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich” influenced Lotman. He was strongly impressed with the story and supported its nomination for the Lenin Prize in Literature and Art. Lotman and Solzhenitsyn possibly had discussed the ethical aspects of creativity in a personal conversation in July 1963.

Keywords: Yu.M. Lotman, S.M. Eisenstein, A.I. Solzhenitsyn, structuralism, ethical side of art.
For citation:

Kuzovkina, T.D. “Lotman about Eisenstein: Context Reconstruction.” Literaturnyi fakt, no. 1 (27), 2023, pp. 112–130. (In Russ.)  


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