Review: E.I. Vysochina, «Obraz, berezhno khranimyi: Zhizn´ Pushkina v pamiati pokolenii»
E.I. Vysochina. Obraz, berezhno khranimyi: Zhizn´ Pushkina v pamiati pokolenii. Moscow: Prosveshchenie, 1989. 238 pp.
Pushkin's role as Russia's "first love" may have become a cliché, but challenges to the truism more often than not simply intensify Pushkin's primacy, as in Maiakovskii's "Iubileinoe" or Tsvetaeva's "Stikhi k Pushkinu." Atttudes toward him have changed dramatically, perhaps even cyclically, and creating a Pushkin in one's own image marks the work of many Russian poets and some epochs as well. In Cultural Mythologies of Russian Modernism, edited by Boris Gasparov, Robert P. Hughes and Irina Paperno, several essays take this point further: using a cultural semiotic approach they demonstrate how Silver Age poets and writers modeled their careers on Pushkin's example. One result of these and other essays may be our different understanding of how "Pushkin" has operated as a sign in Russian culture.