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By D. S. Mirsky

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back conceal quote: A background of Russian Literature: From Its Beginnings to 1900 includes all of D. S. Mirsky's A background of Russian Literature and the 1st chapters of his modern Russian Literature, as they seemed within the one-volume A heritage of Russian Literature, edited through Francis J. Whitfield and released in 1949 via Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. Russian literature has continuously been inseparably associated with Russian historical past. D. S. Mirsky, in facing this truth, continually saved in brain the ever colourful and altering elements of the single in discussing the opposite. With a willing and penetrating experience of values, fortified by means of a mode sharp adequate to hold each nuance of his that means, he explored probably the most complicated and engaging literatures of the world.

" [Mirsky's] histories of literature ... own lcarning, beauty, wit, highbrow gaiety, and an incomparable variety and sweep and gear of speaking impressions and ideas." Sir' Isaiah Berlin

"Prince Mirsky is either pupil and stylist; his books, for that reason, have a double correct to live." Clifton Fadiman

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They include a number of romances from the Polish that go back in substance to chivalric romances of the late Middle Ages and early Renaissance. It was precisely their foreign, un-Muscovite spirit that attracted the young boyars and scribes to these stories. What they liked most was the presentation of romantic, chivalrous, and sentimental love, so conspicuously absent in Old Russian literature. Fiction became widely popular and was widely circulated in manuscript far into the eighteenth century, but no novel was printed in Russia before 1750.

It has been admirably rendered into English by Jane E. Harrison and Hope Mirrlees, whose translation should be read by everyone who is at all interested in things Russian or in good literature. Avvakum's writings were immensely influential with his followers, the Old Believers or Rask6lniks. But his manner of writing found no imitator among them, while outside their communities no one read him before the midnineteenth century except for purposes of confutation. 2 The Passing of Old Russia THE SOUTHWESTERN REVIVAL AFI'ER the Union of Lublin (1569) all the west of Russia (White Russia, Galicia, and Ukraine) came under the direct rule of Poland.

His greatest odes (as the famous Waterfall) consist too often of isolated and giddy peaks of poetry rising over a chaotic wilderness of harsh commonplace. Derzhavin's range is wide. He wrote sacred and panegyrical odes, Anacreontic and Horatian lyrics, dithyrambs and cantatas, and even, in his later years, ballads. He was an audacious innovator, but his innovations conformed to the spirit of classicism. ATURE panegyrical ode. This bold mixture of the sublime with the realistic and comic is characteristic of his most popular odes, and it was largely owing to this novelty that he struck his contemporaries with such force.

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