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Mandelstam’s Egipetskaya marka: its relationship to his other prose and to his poetry from 1912 to 1933

West, Daphne M. (1978) Mandelstam’s Egipetskaya marka: its relationship to his other prose and to his poetry from 1912 to 1933. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



Mandelstam's reputation as a poet is now firmly established, but his critical and 'creative' prose (i.e. that which is based on autobiographical experience, rather than literary or historical subjects) has received little attention. The purpose of this thesis is to assess the nature of Mandelstam's creative prose which deserves more than the superficial approach thus far devoted to it. Egipetskaya marka is chosen as the focal point of this discussion since its position in Mandelstam's oeuvre is rather special. It waste only creative work to emerge during the years 1925-1930, when the pressures of material and physical conditions, combined with Mandelstam’s sense of isolation in the new Soviet society, had the effect of 'drying up' his poetic voice. Egipetskaya marka reflects Mandelstam’s state of mind during the 'silence'. In essence it is an attempt to define his position in the new society. Since he considered himself to be primarily a poet this definition involves a concern with artistic and especially with poetic creativity. An appreciation of Egipetskaya marka can therefore assist in the understanding of Mandelstam's work in general, The often very indirect allusions to creativity in Egipetskaya marka are concerned overwhelmingly with the nineteenth century. Mandelstam considered the influence of this period to be pernicious to human life and artistic creation alike, and his persistent allusions to it in Egipetskaya marka reveal how deeply disturbed he was at the direction in which Soviet society was moving, Egipetskaya marka is analysed in terms of characters, geographical and historical settings, central themes and structure, and this analysis is conducted with constant reference to Mandelstam's poetry and other prose. This comparative approach is doubly beneficial, for it highlights certain thematic and stylistic features in the other work and facilitates an appreciation of the difficult and intriguing product of the 'silence'.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:1978
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:18 Sep 2013 09:28

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