УДК / UDK: 821.161.1.0

2024 №31

Author: Evgeniya V. Ivanova
About the author:

Evgeniya V. Ivanova — DSc in Philology, Leading Research Fellow, A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Povarskaya St., 25A, bld. 1, 121069 Moscow, Russia.


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The paper deals with the history of academic commentary in the Soviet era, particularly the formation of standards for a description of the sources of the text, its creative history, and clarification of the encountered realities incomprehensible to the reader. A separate part of the paper is devoted to the critical editions of Russian “classics” designed for high school institutions, among them, e. g., the five-volume collection of works by A.S. Pushkin, issued by Lev I. Polivanov. The main specificity of these comments is that they precede the literary text and answer questions that students may have in advance. The next object of our analysis is N.L. Brodsky’s commentary on Pushkin’s novel “Eugene Onegin,” intended for secondary school teachers. It became a subject of sharp criticism by V.V. Nabokov, like a commentary on the same novel released by Yu.M. Lotman. A new stage in the genre of commentary has become the Russian version of Nabokov’s “A Novel in Verse by Alexandr Pushkin,” growing into an autobiography and a self-discovery tool for the editor (Nabokov). We are also considering the question of how fair was Nabokov’s criticism of the commentaries of Brodsky and Chizhevsky. Another type of commentary should be that of Odessa researcher S.Z. Lushchik, published as an appendix to Kataev’s novel “Werther has already been written” (1980) and entitled “A real commentary on the novel.” This type of commentary grows into a full-fledged study that discovers unknown and carefully hidden details of the famous Soviet writer’s biography.

Keywords: an academic commentary, an educational commentary, A.S. Pushkin, “Eugene Onegin”, L.I. Polivanov, N.L. Brodsky, Ju.M. Lotman, a commentary-autobiography, V.V. Nabokov, R.D. Timenchik, a commentary-research, V.P. Kataev, “Werther Has Already Been Written”, S.Z. Luschik.
For citation:

Ivanova, E.V. “ʽ...The Main Thing Is not Shakespeare, but the Notes to Him’: Academic and Educational Commentary, Commentary as an Autobiography, Research and Investigation.” Literaturnyi fakt, no. 1 (31), 2024, pp. 261–292. (In Russ.)


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