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Russian Literature of the 18th Century
August 21, 2014 17:04

The art culture of the 18th century Russia was also going through profound changes. It was becoming more and more secular under the growing influence of the West. By the middle of the 18th century the main European styles, namely Classicism and Baroque took shape in Russia.

Antiochus Kantemir, Vasily Trediakovsky and Mikhail Lomonosov were the main representatives of Classicism in Russian literature. The first of them gained wide popularity as the author of satires. The jokes and mockery pointed at the establishment and the clergy provoked influential enemies of Kantemir at the court and delayed the books’ publication for three decades.

Vasily Trediakovsky is known as the author of the poem Tilemakhida. He also made a significant contribution into the theory of literature, having developed the Russian versification principles, which had influence on the poetry classics V.A. Zhukovsky. A.A. Delwig, and N. I. Gnedich. Lots of his subsequent works were odes with deep philosophical contents and high civic perception. In addition to that, he is the author of tragedies, satires and epigrams. Some of his writings are close to Baroque in their style.
Mikhail Lomonosov, according to V. G. Belinsky and Alexander Pushkin, is “the father and Peter the Great of the Russian literature”. He worked on creation of the Russian literary language and thus opened a new page in the history of Russian literature. The writer aimed at exempting Russian culture from the church influence. Mikhail Lomonosov revealed the riches of the live Russian speech. He demonstrated that the culture of the Russian people would not develop without it. He became the first Russian poet to convey the idea of the Russian national awareness: civic consciousness, optimism and interest in the historical past and future destiny of Russia.
When working in the field of literature he aimed at making Russian the language of philosophy, literature and science. Alexander Pushkin stated that Mikhail Lomonosov rescued the Russian language from alien impacts and showed the only right way for its development, i.e. the way of converging folk speech and literary language.

Author: Vera Ivanova

Tags: Russian Culture Russian History Russian Literature   

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