N. S. Trubetzkoy and P. N. Savitsky: Two Eurasianist approaches to the Literary Concepts of Russian Formalism


RACYN Michal

Year of publication 2022
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description This paper focuses on the literary concepts of P. N. Savitsky and N. S. Trubetzkoy. The main aim is to compare their Eurasianist approach with the concepts and methodology of inter-war Russian Formalism. The study is based on the analysis of primary texts written by Savitsky and Trubetzkoy in the 1920s and 1930s. The study is also supplemented by their private correspondence with other members of the inter-war Eurasianist movement and selected representatives of Russian Formalism. On the surface, one would not expect Trubetzkoy and Savitsky to be in any way connected to literary theory. After all, Trubetzkoy was a professional linguist and is remembered primarily as a founder and pioneer of phonology, while Savitsky earned his degree in political economy and economic geography and was a key representative of the Prague group of Eurasianists and a major proponent of the geopolitical concept of Russia-Eurasia. Nevertheless, the works of both these intellectuals contain many comprehensive thoughts on the literary theory that were intended to lay the groundwork for Eurasianist literary theory. Although the Eurasianist movement eventually failed to create a cohesive concept of literary theory, I argue that their literary concepts might offer a profound insight into how the Eurasianist interdisciplinary approach to Russian literature a culture was formed and illustrate their efforts to define the role of literature within the broader ideological context of the whole Eurasianist movement.
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