7 July 16:00 – 17:00
Literature and stone memorials: connection of two arts
The most famous monument in Russian literature seems to have been erected by Alexander Pushkin: ‘I've reared a monument not built by human hands…’ The topic of our lecture, however, will be the Russian monuments built by human hands and immortalised in the classics of literature. Why, for instance, did Pushkin call his poem ‘The Copper Horseman’, while the real statue was made of bronze? He also specified that the horse was bronze, and the reins were iron. We will try to read deep into Gogol’s books to find out why the sculptor Nikolai Andreev decided to portray the author of ‘Dead Souls’ as sitting, not standing (in Russian, ‘to make someone sit’ means ‘to put someone behind bars’, which explains the joke, ‘who can make him sit, he’s a monument!’). Finally, we will read Anna Akhmatova’s poem ‘Requiem’ to learn why she chose such a strange place in Leningrad for her own monument to stay (‘where I stood for three hundred hours / And where they never, never opened the doors for me’). And we finish our lecture with a poem by Joseph Brodsky ‘On a century of Anna Akhmatova’ where one poet erects a monument to another.
Recognize the boundaries of unpopular dualism