ZNOVUZROZENÍ TRAGÉDIE V RUSKÉM SYMBOLISMU
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Re-birth of the tragedy in Russian symbolism
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The inspiration for this essay was the desire to understand the renewed interest in the genre of the ancient tragedy in the Russian symbolism: several poets felt the currency of ancient drama not only as a source of theme, but also of literary (or stage) form. It is interesting that this influence is most evident in the work of the lyric poet Innokentii Annensky. The re-birth of the tragedy emerges from the place of this form in the European spiritual life: the core of the tragedy is the departure point of the European ontology and ethics – the relationship of the unique entity and the whole, in which the entity is submerged. The individual entity is in the European thinking not passively subjected to the super-personal whole, but proclaims its own initiative, while being at the same time involved in relationships whose nature it cannot know. The conflict arises from the fact that the whole, “the destiny”, is not an alien force, but integral part of the entity itself, which is thus unable to grasp it. The understanding of the super-personal force has undergone a development: while earlier it was understood metaphysically as an irreversible moral law, later it was seen as a “world order” and in the epoch of symbolism as a cosmic chaos that the individual must face, no matter what. The role of the chorus, scenes with satyrs and lyrical declamation suggested images of a world full of contradictions, ruled over by cosmic powers. It is significant that only one tragedy by Annensky, “Thamyris Kitharóds”, was stage produced – in Alexander Tairov Theatre.
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