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2024. No. 2 (32) 

Author: Sergey V. Sapozhkov
About the author:

Sergey V. Sapozhkov, DSc in Philology, Leading Research Fellow, A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Povarskaya St., 25А, bld. 1, 121069 Moscow, Russia; Professor of the Department of Russian Classical Literature, Moscow Pedagogical State University, Malaya Pirogovskaya St., 1, bld. 1, 119991 Moscow, Russia. 


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The information for this publication comes from archival documents from the fund of A.V. Lunacharsky (Russian State Archive of Socio-Political History, Moscow). These documents were prepared by N.M. Minsky (1855/1856–1937) as accompanying materials for the publication of his own (fifth) translation of the Iliad in the Soviet State Publishing House (Gosizdat). Minsky had sent these materials to Lunacharsky in 1929. The materials comprise four parts: 1) the history of the “Homeric question”; 2) the idea of the Iliad; 3) the translation of the Iliad; and 4) the latest foreign literature on the Homeric question. However, due to ideological reasons, Gosizdat banned the publication of these materials. In the “Literary Fact,” they are published and commented on for the first time. Minsky’s materials lack a strictly historical understanding of the Iliad. He searches for meanings relevant to man fin de siècle in Homer’s poem. In his early article “The Idea of the Iliad” (1896), Minsky interprets the image of Achilles in the spirit of the cult of the “superman” by F. Nietzsche. However, the horrors of the First World War convinced Minsky of the insolvency of this cult, which was reflected in the “modern mystery” “Faces of War” (1815). In the accompanying materials of 1929, Minsky emphasizes the Iliads humanistic pathos. He appreciates the ability of Homer’s characters to be compassionate and merciful. By 1929, Minsky’s understanding of the idea of the Iliad had changed significantly. In his opinion, the Iliad is a poem in which “Greece forever dissociated itself from barbarism and took the first step towards the future union of all mankind.” 

Keywords: “Iliad,” N. Minsky, translation, “the Homeric question,” the idea of the Iliad, “superman,” “Faces of War,” humanistic pathos, “the new Homer.”
For citation:

Sapozhkov, S.V. “Nikolai Minsky as a Researcher and Translator of Homer: The History of the Soviet Edition of the Iliad (GIKHL, 1935) and Accompanying Materials to It.” Literaturnyi fakt, no. 2 (32), 2024, pp. 8–51. (In Russ.) 



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