Slovo.ru: Baltic accent

2013 Vol. 4 № 1

LANGUAGE: THE PULSE OF TIEM

The Russian language in modern Estonia: functioning, learning, features

Abstract

This article summarises the observations of different authors about the modern condition of the Russian language in Estonia, outlines the emerging areas of research on the use of the Russian language and the features of language policy. The features of diaspora speech are described from the perspective of words and phrases, grammar indicators, language reflection, time, place, features of speech practices, and evaluations. The author considers the influence of language situation on the basic psychological, value-related, and cognitive layers of the linguistic personality.

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Russian and Latvian proverbs and sayings on sin

Abstract

This article examines the semantic scope of the notions of «грех / grēks» as fundamental ones in Russian and Latvian worldviews. Russian and Latvian proverbs and sayings help identify the basic, universal ideas about sin, as well as particular, national ones. The author comes to a conclusion that the Russian mentality — unlike the Latvian one — reflects the interaction and partial interference between the Christian an folk worldviews, whereas the notion of sin is found in the intersection areas, which is indicative of their similarity rather than identity.

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THE SIGNS OF HISTORY

The image of Napoleon in France

Abstract

This article summarises the perception of Napoleon’s image in France in the 19th—21th centuries and describes the dynamics of attitudes towards Napoleon in connection with the changing political situation. Historical studies and belles-lettres help demonstrate that today the image of Napoleon is more popular in other European countries than in France and that the life of the emperor gave rise to a myth about a hero and great conqueror who faces defeat at the peak of his power and loses its empire.

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The phenomenon of Napoleon in the German spirit of Napoleon’s age

Abstract

This article considers judgements about Napoleon in the culture of German pre-romanticism as signs of literary diagnostics indicative of the contradictory dialectics of artistic consciousness in distinguishing the “codes” of life and death in arts. The completely opposite assessment of Napoleon in the history of German romanticism identifies the problem of a human being as a “field of fate” — a site of the battle between the Light and Darkness. The author emphasises the transformation of the legend of Napoleon in the German romanticism from the idealisation of the “world spirit” (G. W. H. Hegel) to defining it as a “symbol of social unnaturlaity” (H. von Kleist).

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LITERATURE

The hermeneutics of literary modelling and intertext in L. Leonov’s novel The Pyramid

Abstract

This article analyses L. Leonov’s novel «The Pyramid» from the perspective of hermeneutical and intertextual methodologies and identifies the coordinates of the text’s literary dialogue with the reader’s perception. The author shows that the hermeneutical and intertextual research methodologies make it possible to identify the multitude of intersections of literary layers, evaluations, and positions and describe the dynamic process of modelling a literary meaning, which employs intertextual connections and associations both in the text and in the recipient’s perception, as well as to reveal the interconnection between the intertextual layer and the role of reader-co-creator within the genre of philosophical novel.

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V.Ye. Cheshikhin as a populariser of the Tristan and Iseult motif in Russian culture

Abstract

This article examines the work of V.Ye. Cheshikhin as a translator, populariser, and interpreter of the legend of Tristan and Iseult — the basis of libretto to R. Wagner’s opera. The author identifies the basic assumptions of V.Ye. Cheshikhin’s critical concept: Wagner as an “interpreter of the old legend”, the connection between the Tristan and Iseult legend with the texts of Hellenic and Celtic cultures, the emphasis on the language component of the legend and opera, and the role of literary influences exerted on Wagner. The article analyses the use of the Tristan and Iseulte motif in the poetic works of Cheskhkhin.

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Antons Austriņš as a translator of Dmitry Merezhkovsky

Abstract

The transaltions of D. Merezhkovsky’s works into the Latvian langauge by A. Austriņš help analyse the receptions of Russian symbolism in the Latvian culture of the 19th-20th centuries. The author suggests that A. Austriņš’s decision to translate D. Merezhkovsky texts was affected by the historical background of the 1910s – the formation of national ideas in the regions of the Russian empire, the search for peoples’ self-identity, and the 1905 revolution as a major historical event. Austriņš’s translations are comparable to the reception of Merezhkovsky in the national cultural environment and demonstrate the reflection on the works of the Russian author.

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The image of a doll in Latvian and Russian traditional folklore texts: the aspect of ritual practices

Abstract

This article offers a comparative analysis of the image of a doll in the Russian and Latvian folklore traditions and examines the dialogue between the national cultures. The author emphasise the presence of the image in Russian and Latvian folklore texts and compares its functional features. The major difference in representing the image of a doll in the aspect of Russian-Latvian connections is that, in Russian texts, a doll is traditionally presented as a living object, whereas, in Latvian ones, it belongs to the area of imitative magic.

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DOCUMENTS OF TIME

The urban palimpsest: the urban development practices in the Kaliningrad region (1945—1990)

Abstract

This article examines the adaptation of historically developed East Prussian settlement system to the new objectives and functions during the formation of the Kaliningrad region. The author offers an overview of the basic urban development trends in the course of the region’s formation in the ages of Stalin (partial restoration and adaptation of the existing buildings with the minimum infrastructural transformations of towns and villages), Khrushchev (the development of new design and construction technologies and standards of the “Soviet modernism”), and Brezhnev (urban expansion, complex cultivation of territories, rejuvenation of representative and central urban sites).

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