Karolina Pavlova Criticism - Essay

Anthony D. Briggs (essay date January 1971)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Briggs, Anthony D. “Twofold Life: A Mirror of Karolina Pavlova's Shortcomings and Achievement.” The Slavonic and East European Review 49, no. 114 (January 1971): 1-17.

[In the following essay, Briggs alleges that Pavlova was extreme in both her accomplishments and her deficiencies, which are reflected in her novel Twofold Life; her work, he says, is original but meandering, uncertain in its purpose, and contains too much of the writer's personality.]


Like several other poets of the mid-19th century who were connected with the theory of ‘pure art’ Karolina Pavlova (1807-93) has clung to her posthumous reputation...

(The entire section is 7178 words.)

Munir Sendich (essay date 1972)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Sendich, Munir. “Karolina Pavlova: A Survey of her Poetry.” Russian Literature Triquarterly 3 (1972): 229-46.

[In the following essay, Sendich analyzes Pavlova's most important poetry, exploring influences on her work; prevalent genres, forms, and styles; recurring themes; and Pavlova's technical skill.]


Surveying Russian literary criticism of Karolina Pavlova one notices immediately that only part of her work was valued. While her translations were consistently praised throughout the nineteenth century, her original works were often greeted by critical reviews. The Slavophiles, who mistakenly considered her to be one of their...

(The entire section is 7136 words.)

Barbara Heldt (essay date 1987)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Heldt, Barbara. “From Folklore through the Nineteenth Century.” In Terrible Perfection: Women and Russian Literature, pp. 111-15. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1987.

[In the following excerpt, Heldt offers an introduction to Pavlova's poetry, emphasizing her feminine themes and position as a woman poet.]

Russia's greatest nineteenth-century woman poet, Karolina Pavlova (1807-1893), repeatedly used images of the self, embedding them in a body of poetry whose varied themes and forms seem, at first reading, to disguise the fact that a female self is present in them at all. Often her poems are allegorical: the poet-craftsman is destroyed by society....

(The entire section is 1757 words.)

Diana Greene (essay date April 1994)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Greene, Diana. “Karolina Pavlova's ‘At the Tea Table’ and the Politics of Class and Gender.” The Russian Review 53, no. 2 (April 1994): 271-84.

[In the following essay, Greene discusses the literary qualities of Pavlova's short story, “At the Tea Table,” and asserts that it overturns the popular paradigm of the upper class woman “victimizing” her male lover. Greene maintains that the story presents women with dignity, exploring power relations and gender and class hierarchies.]

Cora Kaplan's assertion that “the doubled inscription of sexual and social difference is the most common, characteristic trope” of nineteenth-century Anglo-American...

(The entire section is 7121 words.)

Catriona Kelly (essay date 1994)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Kelly, Catriona. “Karolina Pavlova (1807-1893).” In A History of Russian Women's Writing 1820-1992, pp. 93-107. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1994.

[In the following excerpt, Kelly presents an overview of Pavlova's background and writing career—discussing her dual role as a writer and a woman; the details of her work; and the criticism it drew during her lifetime.]

Like Elisaveta Kulman, Karolina Pavlova, whose maiden name was Jänisch, was partly of non-Russian descent; her father was of German extraction, and Pavlova was to grow up trilingual in German, Russian, and French. Her earliest published collection was a volume of original German poetry, and...

(The entire section is 6279 words.)

Diana Greene (essay date fall 1995)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Greene, Diana. “Gender and Genre in Pavlova's A Double Life.Slavic Review 54, no. 3 (fall 1995): 563-77.

[In the following essay, Greene examines the mixture of prose and poetry in A Double Life, arguing that Pavlova's use of mixed genres was affected by gender issues.]

The literary reputation of Karolina Pavlova (1807-1893) has fluctuated considerably over the years: she was praised in the 1830s, 1840s and early 1850s, reviled in the 1860s as unprogressive and consigned to oblivion from the 1870s until her death in 1893. At the turn of the century she was rediscovered by the Russian symbolists: Poliakov, Blok and Bely praised her, and...

(The entire section is 7536 words.)

Alexander Lehrman (essay date 2001)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Lehrman, Alexander. “The Poetics of Karolina Pavlova.” In Essays on Karolina Pavlova, edited by Susanne Fusso and Alexander Lehrman, pp. 3-20. Evanston, Illinois: Northwestern University Press, 2001.

[In the following essay, Lehrman explores the verbal quality in representative examples of Pavlova's verse to show what constitutes her excellence as a poet.]

In Russia, her homeland, Karolina Karlovna Pavlova (or Caroline von Pawloff, as she signed her printed works and letters during the German period of her life) is remembered only by a few specialists, which is to say hardly at all. The hundredth anniversary of her death (1993) passed virtually unnoticed...

(The entire section is 6305 words.)

Susanne Fusso (essay date 2001)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Fusso, Susanne. “Pavlova's Quadrille: The Feminine Variant.” In Essays on Karolina Pavlova, edited by Susanne Fusso and Alexander Lehrman, pp. 118-30. Evanston, Illinois: Northwestern University Press, 2001.

[In the following essay, Fusso argues that in Pavlova's narrative poem Quadrille, she offers a feminine critique of Russian Romanticism by presenting post-Romantic heroines with inner lives that are represented in vivid detail.]

Does a writer's gender matter? Literary criticism, especially Western literary criticism, has in the last twenty-five years answered yes, devoting much thought and study to the question of the specific, distinctive...

(The entire section is 6641 words.)