Before the 1840s, when prose began its hegemony in Russian letters, Romantic poets such as Evgenij Baratynskij (1800-1844) and his great contemporary Aleksandr Puskin (1799-1837) wrote verse tales which were intended to elevate literature to a philosophical world-view. This work examines the two writers' principal narrative poems, including Puskin's Eugene Onegin. Through a rigorous semiotic investigation, it breaks new ground in the perceptions of Romantic irony and Romantic idealism in Russian literature. Of crucial importance is the linking of the masculine narrator's voice with the feminine ideal omnipresent in these types of poems. The empowering ability of voice is seen as bound to the inherent de-constructing and re-constructing ability of Romantic irony.
The Author: Luc J. Beaudoin is an assistant professor of Russian Language and Literature at the University of Denver. He received his Ph.D. in Russian Literature from the University of Toronto, where as a doctoral student he was awarded the prestigious Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Doctoral Fellowship. He is an active member of professional societies, presenting papers regularly, and has published widely in professional journals.