Pushkin's Monument and Allusion : Poem, Statue, Performance
Bulgakov Pushkin Russia Russian sculpture allusion cultural history cultural memory history of reading lifelike statue monuments LITERARY CRITICISM / European / Eastern (see also Russian & Former Soviet Union) Pushkin, Aleksandr Sergeevich,
University of Toronto Press 2019EISBN 1487532237
In August of 1836 Alexander Pushkin wrote a poem now popularly known simply as "Monument." He died a few months later in January of 1837. In the decades following his death, the poem "Monument" was transformed into a statue in central Moscow: the Pushkin Monument. At its dedication in 1880, the interaction between the verbal text and the visual monument established a creative dynamic that subsequent generations of artists and thinkers amplified through the use of allusion, the aesthetic device by which writers reference select elements of cultural history to enrich the meaning of their new creation and invite their reader into the shared experience of a tradition. The history of the Pushkin Monument reveals how allusive practice becomes more complex over time. By the twentieth century, both writers and readers negotiated increasingly complex allusions not only to Pushkin's poem, but to its statuesque form in Moscow and the many performances that took place around it. As the population of newly literate Russians grew throughout the twentieth century, images of the future poet and the naive reader became crucial signifiers of the most meaningful allusions to the Pushkin Monument. Because of this, the story of Pushkin's Monument is also the story of cultural memory and the aesthetic problems that accompany a cultural history that grows ever longer as it moves into the future.