Vasily Trediakovsky Criticism - Essay

Simon Karlinsky (essay date 1965)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Karlinsky, Simon. “Tallemant and the Beginning of the Novel in Russia.” Comparative Literature 15, No. 3 (Summer 1965): 226-33.

[In the essay below, Karlinsky analyzes Ezda v ostrov liubvi, discussing its flaws and infelicities of style as well as its importance to the development of the Russian novel.]

It is seldom possible to date the introduction of a genre in a given literature with such precision as the introduction of the novel in Russia. The first novel (and, indeed, the first secular work of fiction) that was ever published in Russian appeared in 1730. It was titled Ezda v ostrov ljubvi (The Voyage to the Isle of Love), and the...

(The entire section is 3495 words.)

John Bucsela (essay date 1965)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Bucsela, John. “The Birth of Russian Syllabo-Tonic Versification.” The Slavic and East European Journal 9, No. 3 (Fall 1965): 281-94.

[In following essay, Bucsela describes Trediakovsky's syllabo-tonic system, comparing it to other poetic theories of the time. Although Bucsela emphasizes Trediakovsky's importance in the history of the Russian syllabo-tonic system, he also criticizes Trediakovsky's own verse output.]

In 1735 V. K. Trediakovskij wrote Novyj i kratkij sposob k složeniju rossijskix stixov (A New and Brief Method for Composing Russian Verses). With this treatise Russian versification formally embarked upon the syllabo-tonic...

(The entire section is 5767 words.)

Rimvydas Silbajoris (essay date 1968)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Silbajoris, Rimvydas. Introduction to Russian Versification: The Theories of Trediakovskij, Lomonosov, and Kantemir, pp. 1-35. New York: Columbia University Press, 1968.

[In excerpt below, Silbajoris explains the syllabo-tonic system and its history, focusing on Trediakovsky's role in the system's development and his related theories.]

In the second quarter of the eighteenth century, a system of versification was introduced in Russia which was based on regular alternations of stressed and unstressed syllables. That system is traditionally referred to by Russian scholars as the “syllabo-tonic” system.1 Its name is rather inadequate, however,...

(The entire section is 8346 words.)

Michael Henry Heim (essay date 1974)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Heim, Michael Henry. “Two Approaches to Translation: Sumarokov vs. Trediakovskij.” In Mnemozina: Studia litteraria russica in honorem Vsevolod Setchkarev, edited by Joachim T. Baer and Norman W. Ingham, pp. 187-92. Munich: Wilhelm Fink Verlag, 1974.

[In following essay, Heim compares translations of the same works by Trediakovsky and Alexander Sumarakov, discussing how these translations played a role in the rivalry between the two theorists.]

Though translation was one of Trediakovskij's major literary activities and no more than a sideline for Sumarokov, both men translated several texts in common. The results are noteworthy from two standpoints: first,...

(The entire section is 3143 words.)

C. L. Drage (essay date 1976)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Drage, C. L. “The Introduction of Russian Syllabo-Tonic Prosody.” The Slavonic and East European Review 54, No. 4 (October 1976): 481-503.

[In following essay, Drage discusses the early history of Russian syllabo-tonic verse, including Trediakovsky's theories, and assesses Trediakovsky's indebtedness to his predecessors.]

Unlike the prosody of Russian folk poetry, which appears to have changed little since early times,1 the prosody of Russian cultivated poetry has undergone profound changes. This article is concerned chiefly with the replacement of the syllabic prosody of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries by syllabo-tonic...

(The entire section is 11055 words.)

Karen Rosenberg (essay date 1988)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Rosenberg, Karen. “Trediakovsky on Sumarokov: The Critical Issues.” Russian Literature Triquarterly 21 (1988): 49-60.

[In the essay that follows, Rosenberg analyzes the conflict between Trediakovsky and Alexander Sumarokov in the context of the literary and academic culture of eighteenth-century Russia.]

In the late 1740s and early 1750s, Vasily Trediakovsky and Alexander Sumarokov engaged in a series of discussions on matters of languages and literature. According to earlier scholars such as P. O. Morozov and N. N. Bulich, the principal source of the conflict was the pugnaciousness of both parties. This point of view implies that Trediakovsky and Sumarokov...

(The entire section is 5870 words.)

Ilya Serman (essay date 1989)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Serman, Ilya. “The Eighteenth Century: Neoclassicism and the Enlightenment, 1730-90.” In The Cambridge History of Russian Literature, edited by Charles A. Moser, pp. 47-49, 53-57. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989.

[In following excerpt, Serman summarizes Trediakovsky's life, works, and importance in his time, placing particular emphasis on his novel translations and versification.]

In 1730, in both capitals, but especially in Moscow, where the Court and the Guards regiments were situated at the time—that is, a large part of the nobility which had by that point become Europeanized—the verse satires of Antiokh Kantemir which had first appeared...

(The entire section is 2231 words.)

Irina Reyfman (essay date 1990)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Reyfman, Irina. “Criticism, Parody, and Myth.” In Vasilii Trediakovsky: The Fool of the “New” Russian Literature, pp. 70-131. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1990.

[In excerpt below, Reyfman discusses the use of parody in the critical discourse between Trediakovsky, Lomonosov, and Sumerokov. She goes on to examine the role parody played in the creation of myths about these authors.]

Two forces produced a distorted picture of literary life in the middle of the eighteenth century: the mythogenic spirit that underlay the cultural self-conceptions of the epoch, and the passion with which the participants in the literary process asserted their...

(The entire section is 21737 words.)

Victor Terras (essay date 1991)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Terras, Victor. “The Eighteenth Century: Trediakovsky.” In A History of Russian Literature, pp. 124-26. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1991.

[In the following essay, Terras offers a brief overview of Trediakovsky's life and works, focusing on his poetry.]

Vasily Kirillovich Trediakovsky (1703-69), the son of a village priest, left his home near Astrakhan at the age of twenty to attend the Moscow Slavonic-Latin Academy, where, in his words, he “went straight into rhetoric,” having learned some Latin from Catholic missionaries in Astrakhan. At the academy he was taught to write syllabic verse. In 1726 he made his way to Holland, whence he...

(The entire section is 1309 words.)