УДК / UDK: 821.161.1.0

2023 №28

Author: Maria E. Baskina (Malikova)
About the author:

Maria E. Baskina (Malikova) — PhD in Philology, Senior Researcher, Institute of Russian Literature (Pushkin House) of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Makarova Emb., 4, 199034 St. Petersburg, Russia; Associate Professor, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Soyuza Pechatnikov St., 16, 190121 St. Petersburg, Russia.


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Yakov Galinkovsky (1777–1815) is remembered in the history of literature primarily as compiler and translator of the aesthetic encyclopedia “Coryphaeus, or a Key to Literature” (1802–1807), that had been trampled down by both opposing literary “camps,” the “karamzinists” and the “shishkovites;” and also as the author of critical articles anonymously published in 1805 in the “The Northern Messenger” that were harshly resented as directed against Karamzin and his school in literature. In his later years Galinkovsky was a member of “Beseda” (“Conversations of Lovers of Russian Word”) and although this affiliation originated primarily due to his family kinship to Derzhavin, this has made him a reputation, among contemporaries as well as most later researchers, of a “mediocre pedant” and musty “archaist.” His literary evolution was outlined as a rapid regression from the “karamzinism” of his earlier novels to the “anti-karamzinism” induced by his early association with Andrey Turgenev’s “Friendly Literary Society,” and lastly to “shishkovism.” We attempt to retrieve Galinkovsky from this dominant literary framework of the epoch that however was not central for him personally, and to position him in a different context and circle that was really relevant for him — that of learned translators and critics, “archaic enlighteners.” The present article offers a new reading of Galinkovsky’s earlier novels inaccurately labelled “karamzinist” and unfairly dismissed as a “miserable tribute to sentimentalism.” When read more closely and sympathetically and, more importantly, shifting the research outlook away from the focus on Karamzin, they appear to be primarily meta-literary critique and study of the genre possibilities, especially of the hybrid of epistolary novel of the “English” type with the modern and “realistic” Russian material. We also review the way Galinkovsky as a novelist-cum-translator read Laurence Sterne, one of the major literary models of literary sentimentalism. Galinkovsky noted the specificity and thus untranslatability into Russian of Sternean notions of “sentimentality” and “humour,” that had been totally absent from the dominant Russian image of “tender” and “sensitive” Sterne as created by Karamzin.

Keywords: Yakov Galinkovsky, “English” epistolary novel, “original Russian” novel, Karamzin, Laurence Sterne, humour, sentimentalism.
For citation:

Baskina, M.E. “Yakov Galinkovsky’s ʽMiserable Tribute To Sentimentalism’.” Literaturnyi fakt, no. 2 (28), 2023, pp. 103–155. (In Russ.)


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