Poèzija Puškina i Prešerna o poèzii

TitlePoèzija Puškina i Prešerna o poèzii
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2002
AuthorsJuvan, Marko
Keywordsmeta-poetry, Prešeren F., Pushkin A. S., romanticism, self-reference
Romantic poems that focus on themes of writing, distribution, reception, critical treatment, and uses of literature, actually displayed the self-regulating mechanisms through which the literary system – being established as a relatively autonomous field of social discourse – not only responded to its social context, but also attempted to manipulate it symbolically and rhetorically. In Romanticism, creative self-reflection for the first time became an inseparable and emphatic feature of the aesthetic literature, poetry in particular. The modernity of the 18th and 19th cc. brought about crisis of representation and values, which was caused by “rationalization” and “economization” of societies. Since the traditional legitimizing systems (absolutist rule, philosophical metaphysics, religion, the poetics of “imitatio veterum”') had been undermined, the subject of poetic utterance, challenged by these uncertainties, was driven towards self-reflection. The social role of the poet as a public figure had to be reinvented as well. Auto-thematic poetry represented not only a fictional diagnosis of the intellectual, social, linguistic, and aesthetic conditions that affected their authors, but also a strategy to influence the readers, critics, editors, and other actors on the literary field, and to convince them of poetry’s irreplaceable meaning, functions, and public authority.
In the first half of the 19th century, poetry occupied an ambivalent position. On the one hand, as an aesthetic practice, it was pushed to the margins of social discourse and was subjected to economy and politics. On the other hand, poetry not only sought to establish itself as the modern paradigm of “qualitative individualism,” but it was even attempting to spread a “new mythology” that it was the poetic language that could stand for shattered totalities, such as religion, metaphysics, and the “national cause.”
From these points of departure the paper focuses on comparative analysis of semantic, thematic, and intertextual structure of auto-thematic poems written by the two romantic contemporaries, both figuring as “national poets” – the Russian A. S. Pushkin and the Slovenian F. Prešeren. Their metapoetry is written mostly from the perspectives of social critique and poetic mythologisation. Prešeren and Pushkin share similar conceptual structure, imagery, and intertextual references to mythology. They confront poetic values with public opinion, moral, and the capitalist market principles. They seek a sense of poetry in the range of singular, individual experiences of beauty and spiritual transcendence, while depicting poets (including themselves) as paradigmatic, free-thinking individuals, as well as visionaries or prophets.