2008 | 17 | 347-360
Article title

COMPARATIVE SLAVIC METRICS. EVOLUTION OF AIMS AND METHODS OF INVESTIGATION (Slowianska Metryka Porównawcza. Ewolucja celów i metod badawczych)

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The authoress, who over 30 years has been leading the international team of the scholars investigating verse forms in various Slavic literatures, presents the results of the work, published till now in the eight volumes of the series 'Comparative Slavic Metrics'. Each of these volumes contains the studies in the national languages of their authors as well as the chapter 'Comparisons and conclusions', written in two versions: Polish and English. First two volumes: I, 'Rhythmical Vocabulary and the Ways of Using it' and II, 'Syntactic Organization', bring the results of work on the problems which have the fundamental meaning for versology, i.e. the relations between the verse system and the linguistic system. In the article the most important of the results are discussed (such practice is used in case of every subsequent volume). Beginning with volume III, 'Semantics of the Verse Forms', both the methods and aims of investigation changed to some extent. They concern analysis and interpretation of the sign functions fulfilled by the verse systems, in particular metres, types of rhyme, in the work of a given poet or in the framework of the whole period of the literary history. In volume IV, 'Verse of Translation', one of the main problems is the search for the functional equivalent of the original form of verse. Volume V, 'Sonnet', contains the characteristic of the prosodic and syntactic structure, the stylistic distribution and cultural connotations of the sonnet - the bort of stanza distinctly relating Slavic literatures with those of Western Europe. Volume VI, 'European Metres in Slavic Literatures', can be regarded as the most recent development in the research o the main metres of given Slavic Literatures. The analyses of the metrical structures are accompanied there by the study of their origins and the role they play in the evolution of national poetry. In volume VII, 'Free Verse Its Origins and its Evolution up to the Year 1939', common and diverse features of this new verse form in various Slavic literatures are characterized, as well as the place of a free verse in most part of contemporary poetical programs and manifestos. Volume VIII, 'Short Native Metres', contains the results of the work on the prosodic structure of these metres (including the analyses of their rhythmical variants) and on the aspects of their usage in poetry, both literary and popular. At present, volume IX is in the process of preparation for publishing. Its topic is hexametre and other patterns of classical poetry in Slavic literatures. It comprises not only the results of the analyses of transformation of the classical verse forms into Slavic languages (together with their sign functions in literature and culture), but also the experiments with the imitation of the prosodic structures of ancient poetry in these languages.
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  • Lucylla Pszczolowska, Instytut Badan Literackich PAN, ul. Nowy Swiat 72, 00-330 Warszawa, Poland
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