Lea Pild, University of Tartu
Roman Leibov, University of Tartu
Prof Nikolai Bogomolov
Prof Dina Magomedova
The PhD thesis is dedicated to the poorly studied early poetry of Vladislav Khodasevich (1886-1939), one of the most remarkable poets of the Russian "Silver Age".
The research focuses primarily on early collections of Khodasevich, Molodost' (Youth, 1907), Schastlivyj domik (The Happy Little House, 1914), and selection of poems from another book, Vetv' (Branch, 1917). The mentioned texts are regarded as consequent stages of the poet's development.
We took into consideration several aspects of the development of Khodasevich's poetry. The first question of our interest was which texts of the poets of older generation (V. Bryusov, A. Blok, A. Bely) were adopted and revised by Khodasevich in his early verses.
Second, the present thesis analyses Russian poetry of the 19th century in Khodasevich's treatment. In Molodost' the references to Pushkin's epoch were rather conventional and emanated from the influence of Bryusov, who had the reputation of the follower of Pushkin's tradition. However, over time the presence of Pushkin's epoch in Khodasevich's writings was becoming more significant. In the verses written between 1916 and 1917 a new kind of reference to the 19th century literature becomes visible. The poet's development consisted in gradual disengaging from the influence of Bryusov and other symbolist poets, and in overcoming them through employing the traditions of the 19th century.
The third important theme of the study is Khodasevich's own evolution. In our opinion, the poet, being under the influence of the "younger" symbolists, had adopted their model of evolution as well. For example, the first stage of Khodasevich's development, i.e. his "thesis", corresponds to the "antithesis" of Block and Bely. The following stage of his evolution is in contrast to the first one, similarly to how it happened among the "younger" symbolists.
Having undertaken the analysis of the poems written between 1915 and 1917, when aesthetic themes were replaced with social and ethical problems, helped us reach the conclusion that the third stage of Khodasevich's evolution (the "synthesis") corresponds to the "synthesis" of Blok.