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I think that Pushkin was important to Russian literature by being a type of intellectual "bridge" to the West. When we examine the growth and emergence of Romanticism or Neoclassicism in the 17th and 18th Centuries, we find most of the attention focused on England and Western Europe. France, England, and Germany seem to be the locations of dialogue during these movements. We don't see a Russian presence in this discussion until Pushkin. His work is unique because it features aspects of the division and tension between Romanticism and Neoclassicism. For example, his short drama, "Mozart and Salieri," reflects the dichotomy between both movements, represented in both characters. His association with both movements in many ways helps to reflect the unique view of each movements that Russians held. In being relegated to the outside, Russian thinkers were able to create their own opinions about these movements and Pushkin was able to articulate this and express it in his work.
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