HISTORICISM AND METHODOLOGICAL PLURALITY: TWO ASPECTS OF STUDYING THE LITERARY PROCESS (Historizmus a metodologicka pluralita: dva aspekty skumania literarneho procesu)
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The debate on models of the literary history and the need for a new methodological paradigm, which has been pursued in the Euro-American academy since the mid-twentieth century, question the traditional historiographical genres (textbooks, handbooks, academic history); the linear, diachronic, and additive approach to the literary history on the basis of the causal relations between the past and the present (literary process) as well as the purpose of the aesthetic canon as a historically variable category. At present, literary scholars consider a flexible model of non-linear, so-called problem history of literature (nodes, networks), moving across historical periods, uncovering the traces of important literary events (a change of poetics, genre, style, tendency, themes and motives, cultural myths and archetypes, literary canon, and so on) as a more productive approach to the organization of the literary-historical material. One can observe the discussed methodological aspects also in Russia, where the tendency to synthetic scholarship is evident, applying literary-historical, reader-response critical, interdisciplinary, and culturological approaches. Recently a couple of new genre forms of the literary history developed in Russia. Beside the popular genre of academic biography (life history of one author) an unusual genre has appeared: the encyclopaedia of a literary text (history of one literary text), working with the text and the context ('The Onegin Encyclopaedia', 1999-2005; 'The Oblomov Encyclopaedia', in progress). The entries deal with facts, events, and cultural and other contexts, pertaining to the creation of the text, its publication, critical reception, scholarly research, poetics, key notions, and motives. They are a kind of academic commentary in the form of lexicon.
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