SEMANTICS OF THE MOTION IN ANNA AKHMATOVA'S LYRICS IN THE FIRST HALF OF THE 1910s
СЕМАНТИКА ДВИЖЕНИЯ В ЛИРИКЕ А. АХМАТОВОЙ ПЕРВОЙ ПОЛОВИНЫ 1910-Х ГГ. release_ucpxnejkk5as5apod3wiapubqi

by Yulia V. Shevchuk, A. M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences

Published in Vestnik slavianskikh kul'tur [Bulletin of Slavic Cultures] by A. N. Kosygin Russian State University.

2020   Volume 58, p189-202

Abstract

The paper suggests new interpretations of the meaning and structure of Anna Akhmatova's early lyrics, in which "the moment of truth" for the heroine comes as if beyond consciousness, during movement and direct contemplation of the world. Free moving of a lyrical "self" by land and water either precedes the romance or provides a specific signal of a heroine's spiritual rebirth afterwards. Thus, Akhmatova literally "goes beyond" usual woman's poetic experience of love and separation: the heroine feels guilty about her earthly love; at the moment of a breakup she learns more about the pains of creativity and the joy of transforming the world with a religious feeling. Akhmatova works on the effect of psychological catharsis after experienced grief. The lyrical "self" stops active motion in space and gains static position, secluding herself at the end of 1912. We see the introducing of a theme of bodily illness, near-death hour and a death of a heroine in a state of external immobility. The colors of surrounding objects are suppressed as much as possible, things are discolored. Gazing into the distance is connected with Akhmatova's experience of self-determination. Unconscious attraction of the lyrical "self" toward the open spaces of the "meagre" northern land precedes the entry of the historical theme into poet's works. Stopping in space offers the heroine the sphere of subjective experience of movement in time, thus outlining the prospects of the epic Akhmatova's view, future tragedy and heroics. The poet expands the boundaries of the lyrical heroine's inner world largely due to the fact that she addresses the experience of a contemporary woman, for whom combining love and creativity in life is a source of a tragic experience. Not only Akhmatova's poetic revelations of the first half of the 1910s are significant in view of a deep and subtle understanding of the woman's world — they also act as a "key" to perceiving the tendencies and issues in Russian culture on the eve of the war and revolution.
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