The subject matter of the article is Aleksei Merzlyakov, a poet, translator and literature theorist, who is also known as the author of constructive criticism concerning the theory of beauty. Consequently, he had a number of opponents (Belinskii, Chernyshevskii), although they too probably respected his innovative thinking. The latter claimed that esthetics should not be analysed on the basis of the mimesis theory but instead make use of French realistic philosophy and encyclopedic knowledge. Merzlyakov dealt with the aspect of esthetic taste being the basis of theoretical evalution of objects. He created a whole thought pattern which in time became a collection of features describing what is know today as esthetic pleasure. One of his most basic concepts was the so called conception of esthetic power (inspired by Sulzer). Merzlyakov differentiates between the esthetic powers being integral parts of objects and those appearing at random. The problems of retail reflection of this humanist is exemplified in this article.
A. Grab, Akademia Pedagogiczna w Krakowie, Instytut Neofilologii, Katedra Literatur Wschodniosłowianskich, ul. Podchorazych 2, 30-048 Kraków, Poland.
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