DEMADRE, Emmanuel - Body, Flesh and Soul in Vladislav Khodasevich’s Poetry

slovo:6148 - Slovo, February 25, 2020, How to think of literary history in the 21st century in the Euro-Asian space?
Body, Flesh and Soul in Vladislav Khodasevich’s Poetry

Authors: DEMADRE, Emmanuel

Even in Putëm zerna [Grain’s Way] (where in moments of mystical fullness the world appears transfigured), Khodasevich’s poetic work is dominated by a dualistic worldview, which ultimately relates to the mystical idealism of the Russian Symbolists inspired by Vladimir Solovyov. Such an attitude to the world is realized first of all in the dualism Body (“Me”) / Soul (Spirit), where the body is perceived as an “envelope”, from which the soul can get free only with great difficulty. In Tjažëlaja lira [The Heavy Lyre], the dualism “Me” (Body) / Soul grows up, and the poet’s mystical aspiration turns into painful effort towards the attainment of transcendence. The physical intensity of this effort is so strong that it becomes practically pathological. Since the body symbolises the imprisonment in the world that the poet rejects, the interior dichotomy Body/Soul exacerbates with the poet’s perception of the dualism earthly World/another World. The “inert” material that is transcended by the poet‑«Orpheus» in «Ballada», the final poem of Tjažëlaja lira, gives place in Evropejskaja noč’ [European Night] to the world that is crashed by materiality, while the expressionist vision of the “German cycle” is dominated by violence and a degrading sexuality. The rejection of Body and the disgust for Flesh is contrasted in Khodasevich’s poetic work with the image of a foetus and its life in the mother’s womb. The poet associates this image with the “native, original world” of the Soul and the original Life. This image is not very stable, but it is radically positive. Such a sacralization of the image of a foetus and Motherhood can be correlated with the image of the Virgin, who embodies for Khodasevich the fusion of earthly and divine.

Volume: How to think of literary history in the 21st century in the Euro-Asian space?
Section: Varia
Published on: February 25, 2020
Submitted on: February 24, 2020
Keywords: sexuality,Russian Poetry,symbolism,mysticism,dualism,body,soul,flesh,violence,expressionism,image of a foetus,sacralization of Motherhood,Christianity,violence,chair,sexualité,mysticisme,dualisme,corps,âme,symbolisme,poésie russe,expressionnisme,image du fœtus,sacralisation de la maternité,christianisme,русская поэзия,символизм,мистицизм,дуализм,тело,душа,сексуальность,плоть,физическое насилие,эксп,образ зарождающейся жизни,сакрализация материнства,христианство,[SHS.LITT]Humanities and Social Sciences/Literature


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