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The geopoetics of the city K.: the optics of perception



This article is a study of literary representations of the text 'Königsberg-Kaliningrad' analysed from the point of view of geopoetics. Based on the descriptions of Königsberg-Kaliningrad in Bolotov's memoirs "Life and adventures of Andrey Bolotov, described by himself for his descendants", Brodsky's poem "Einem alten Architekten in Rom" and the novel "Königsberg" by Buida, the authors explore the sensorial perception of the city by the writers and establish its correlation with the extraliterary metapositions reflected in their texts. It is argued that the basis of the description of Königsberg in Bolotov's memoirs is a detailed mapping of the city, interwoven with a feeling of surprise, which results in an emotional discovery of the unfamiliar space. Brodsky's poetic optics is interpreted as a transition from 'vision' to 'speculation': an imaginary tour of Königsberg leads the poet from the sensory (visual and aural) perception of the city to the understanding of its non-material, spiritual and noumenal essence. Buida associates the space of Königsberg and Kaliningrad with the idea of myth construction. Shifting from the real Kaliningrad to the imaginary Königsberg, the author fills in the semiotic incompleteness of the city as a sign. Based on the comparison of the three types of perception, it is concluded that for different authors, the perception and the understanding of the city K. is associated with its transcendence from the personalization of the material essence of the city to the transition beyond the material, to the city as a noumenon, a thing-in-itself.


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