Poetry of N.M Yazykov: a re-evaluation
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Yazykov has long been known as the "student-poet" and scholars have persisted in viewing him in this way for over a century. Even the longest study of his verse, which also happens to be one of the most recent studies, taking as its source an edition of the poet's work which was published thirteen years before the poet's death and only a short time into his post-student life, continues the idea that a synchronic approach is sufficient for a full appreciation of the work. In this study we have confronted the assumptions underpinning this evaluation of the poet and have found the denial of a chronological development of Yazykov's poetry to be not only unfair but also inaccurate. As a consequence of this assumption his work is rarely considered as a whole. Indeed, the poetry which he wrote after he left university is accorded short shrift by virtually every scholar and critic. The aim of this thesis is, in part, to provide a fuller discussion of the whole of Yazykov's poetry than has previously been attempted. The only studies of Yazykov's verse of any length are theses whose parameters have been set narrowly, concentrating either on certain periods, genres, or formal characteristics. As a consequence whole periods of Yazykov's development are either ignored or considered on only one level. An important feature of this thesis is the division of Yazykov's career into three broad periods, rather than the more usual two or the above-mentioned denial of any diachronic development at all. This gives the opportunity to focus more attention on the later years. The study is divided into four chapters, each dealing with a specific phase of Yazykov's career. The first three chapters are each concerned with the lyric poetry of the different periods, while the fourth contains a discussion of Yazykov's longer works.