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Опубликовано 2008-08-11 Опубликовано на SciPeople2011-03-29 21:46:03

The Generic Intertext of Psalm in the Poetry of Marina Tsvetaeva
Sarah Ossipow Cheang / Sarah Ossipow cheang
Аннотация This study investigates the presence of the genre of psalms in Tsvetaeva’s poetry by means of Alastaire Fowler’s theory of the historical persistence of literary genres throughout history. The main argument is that in her intertextual use of psalms Tsvetaeva develops further some of their typical features such as the expression of bafflement at God’s passivity or an over-familiarity in addressing God; although these features are already present in psalms, they are not given a full-blown realisation because of the religious restrictions reigning at the time and context in which they were composed. Chapter One presents the theoretical tools used in this research, namely the concomitant concepts of interextuality and genre: intertextuality focuses on how texts differ from one another, while genre theory highlights the resemblance existing between a set of texts. Taken together these concepts offer a balanced and multisided approach. Chapter Two presents the psalms and outlines its importance in Russian poetry. It also discusses Tsvetaeva’s spiritual outlook. Chapter Three demonstrates that the integration of the generic intertext of psalms into Tsvetaeva’s poetry results in the modification of their praying function: Tsvetaeva’s psalm-like praises to God contain a veiled expression of doubt that is absent from the praises of the Psalter; another change of the praying function of psalms performed in Tsvetaeva’s poetry consists in the implicit denunciation of the absence of a feminine voice in this genre. Chapter Four shows that Tsvetaeva’s mixture of the psalmic intertext with the genres of diary-writing, epistolary writing and folk songs creates a fruitful interaction between the universal tone of the psalmist and the private concerns voiced in diary, letters or folk laments. Chapter Five shows that in her poetry Tsvetaeva develops further some typical features of psalms such as the theme of the sacred land and that of God’s passivity.
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