Title Literary Trends: For the Project Dictionary of Literary Trends in the Twentieth Century Europe and America
Author(s) Andrey F. Kofman.
Information about the author(s) Andrey F. Kofman, DSc in Philology, deputy director of the A.M.Gorky Institute of World Literature and head of the Department of Modern European and American literature at the A.M.Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Povarskaya 25 a, 121069 Moscow, Russia. E-mail: andrey.kofman@gmail.com
Received July 15, 2016
Published September 25, 2016
Issue Vol. 1, no 1–2
Department Literary Theory
Pages 26-46
DOI DOI:10.22455/ 2500-4247-2016-1-1-2-26-46
UDK 8.1751
BBK 83
Abstract The article is the outcome of the theoretical research prepared for the encyclopedia in progress entitled Dictionary of Literary Trends in the Twentieth Century Europe and America. This is the first such encyclopedia known to exist, with no predecessors in Russia or abroad. The encyclopedia material is organized around the term “literary trend” that defines its specificity. The author examines the history of this concept in Russian and Soviet literary criticism introducing a number of contraversial interpretations. A different situation is observed in Western European and American literary studies where this theoretical problem does not seem to exist and such terms as “trend,” “movement,” and the like are seen as contingent on specific contexts of their applicability. This pragmatic approach shall be used in the Dictionary as well. The author introduces the term “artistic community” that goes beyond the scope of individual poetics and should be used as a selective criterion for the encyclopedia material. As the work with the glossary has shown, this criterion is a verbal designation of a certain artistic community that is either coined by artists themselves or by critics. However, this criterion is not as primitive as it may seem. It implies — already in the given name or in the self-name — a number of critical operations: statement or declaration of aesthetic similarities and common aesthetic principles shared by a number of authors; their union on these grounds; a brief description of these aesthetic similarities coined in the name of the trend that is intended not only to identify a certain artistic community but also to differentiate it from others. In the case of self-naming, the recognition of the phenomenon’s value is added. However differently the names of communities are verbarly articulated, each name is informative, semantically rich, and reflects different types of artistic communities discussed in the article.
Keywords literary criticism, dictionary, literary trend, literary movement, artistic community, name.
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