Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Persistent FormsExplorations in Historical Poetics$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Ilya Kliger and Boris Maslov

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780823264858

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823264858.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use.date: 30 July 2021

From the Introduction to Historical Poetics

From the Introduction to Historical Poetics

Questions and Answers (1894)

Chapter:
(p.39) Chapter 1 From the Introduction to Historical Poetics
Source:
Persistent Forms
Author(s):

Alexander Veselovsky

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823264858.003.0001

Veselovsky’s 1894 essay proposes correlations between social and literary history in order to explain the rise and fall of particular literary forms in particular historical periods. It also puts forward a new fundamental mechanism of cultural history: the encounter between an imported and a native cultural impetus, which is often manifested in collaboration or confrontation between the elite and the larger populace. This encounter between the alien and the indigenous instantiates a dynamic that Veselovsky appears to have regarded as a historical universal: the ever-present combat between old (perceived as conventional or constrained) and new (perceived as free) cultural elements. Veselovsky pursues one of his major scholarly ambitions: to supplant aesthetic and evolutionary-teleological accounts of the supra-genres of Western literary history—epic, drama, and the novel (lyric is conspicuously absent from this essay)—with a historical examination of the preconditions for their (re)emergence and social efficacy. The concluding section of the essay is particularly significant from a methodological point of view. Having presented several case studies of periodic renewal of forms, Veselovsky offers a far-reaching reflection on the nonsynchronous quality of cultural memory in which older elements are preserved in a passive state, ready to be reawakened in response to “an urgent call of the times.”

Keywords:   drama, epic, individual vs. collective verbal creation, literary history, lyric, oblivion and recollection of forms, social demand

Fordham Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .