Semiotics in the U.S.S.R.

  • Stephen Rudy
Part of the Topics in Contemporary Semiotics book series (TICSE)


Nowhere has semiotics emerged as a scientific discipline with such vigor and sweeping theoretical ambition as it has in the Soviet Union in the last two decades. The developments in structural linguistics in the 1950s, in particular work on machine translation and the application of mathematical models to language, were an important prelude to the emergence of the movement, discussed in detail in the previous literature.2 The genealogy of Russian semiotics, which is vital for an understanding of what D. M. Segal terms the “essential hetereogeneity and freedom of scholarly approach” of the movement,3 is examined in Section II of the present survey. As an introduction to the subject I shall briefly sketch the main features of the movement’s external history and its key members.


Literary History Russian Literature Semiotic System Soviet Union Russian Culture 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    The sheer bulk of the semiotic enterprise in the U.S.S.R. can be grasped from a glance at the useful and conceptually well organized Subject Bibliography of Soviet Semiotics: the Moscow-Tartu School, comp. and ed. K. Eimermacher and S. Shishkoff (Ann Arbor: Michigan Slavic Publications, 1977), which contains over 2,000 entries. A selected bibliography of some 100 items has appeared in Dispositio: Revista Hispánica de Semiótica Literaria, 1, No. 3 (1976), 364–370.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    See D. P. Lucid, “Introduction,” in Soviet Semiotics: An Anthology, ed. and trans. D. P. Lucid (Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins, 1977), pp. 2–4;Google Scholar
  3. 2a.
    A. Shukman, “Soviet Semiotics and Literary Criticism,” New Literary History, 9, No. 2 (Winter 1978), pp. 189–197;CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 2b.
    D. M. Segal, Aspects of Structuralism in Soviet Philology (Tel-Aviv: Tel-Aviv University, Department of Poetics and Comparative Literature, 1974), pp. 4–10, 15–22 and the chapter on “Aspects of the Theory of Structural Linguistics in the Soviet Union,” pp. 24–52. Shukman (p. 189) astutely notes the “uniquely Soviet way” in which semiotics was promoted: “If certain areas are sensitive to investigation or even taboo, the energy of speculative thought will be deflected into areas which are neutral, perhaps ‘scientific,’ or even technologically useful. It was by such a deflection into science and technology that a whole new and original school of literary semiotics came into being in the Soviet Union.” The use of information theory and cybernetic models in Russian semiotics is discussed in detail in an excellent article by Richard Bailey, “Maxwell’s Demon and the Muse,” Dispositio, 1, No. 3 (1976), pp. 293–301. See also W. Rewar, “Tartu Semiotics,” Bulletin of Literary Semiotics, 3 (May 1976), pp. 1–16.Google Scholar
  5. 3.
    Segal, Aspects, p. 2.Google Scholar
  6. 4.
    A cardinal manifesto of the movement that originally appeared in the 1962 Investigations is A. A. Zaliznjak, V. V. Ivanov and V. N. Toporov, “Structural-Typological Study of Semiotic Modeling Systems,” in Soviet Semiotics, ed. Lucid T, pp. 47–58.Google Scholar
  7. 5.
    Simpozium po strukturnomu izuceniju znakovyx sistem (Moscow: Academy of Sciences, 1962).Google Scholar
  8. 6.
    Segal, Aspects, p. 8.Google Scholar
  9. 7.
    Ibid., p. 87.Google Scholar
  10. 8.
    Segal’s emigration, like that of certain other key members of the movement such as A. M. Piatigorsky and Boris Ogibenin, has promoted the diffusion of the ideas of the Moscow-Tartu school in the West. His survey, Aspects of Structuralism in Soviet Philology (Tel-Aviv, 1974), benefits from his firsthand knowledge of semiotics in the U.S.S.R. and remains the best single work on the subject. Heis also to be credited (along with Omry Ronen) for founding Slavica Hierosolymitana (Vols. I-VI, 1977–1981), an excellent journal which has provided a valuable publication outlet in the West for members of the Moscow-Tartu school.Google Scholar
  11. 9.
    “Summer Schools” on semiotics were held in 1964, 1966, 1968, 1970, and 1974; see Eimermacher and Shishkoff, Subject Bibliography, p. xiii, for a listing of the collections of theses they generated (abbreviated there as Letn. šk., 1964, 1966, 1968, 1970, and Materialy, 1974).Google Scholar
  12. 10.
    The journal is a non-periodical series in the Transactions of the Tartu State University, Estonia (Tartu Riikliku Ülikooli Toimetised) of which the following volumes have thus far appeared: 2 (transactions vol. 181), 1965; 3 (198), 1967; 4 (236), 1969; 5 (284), 1971; 6 (308), 1973; 7 (365), 1975; 8 (411), 1977; 9 (422), 1977; 10 (463), 1978; 11 (467), 1979; 12 (515), 1981; 13 (546), 1981; 14 (567), 1981; 15 (576), 1982; 16 (635), 1983; 17 (641), 1984; 18 (664), 1984. In citing it in the present article I shall use the abbreviation TZS followed by the volume and year.Google Scholar
  13. 11.
    Ju. Lotman, The Structure of the Artistic Text, trans. R. Vroon (Ann Arbor: Michigan Slavic Contributions, 1977); Analysis of the Poetic Text, trans. D.Johnson (Ann Arbor: Ardis, 1976); Semiotics of Cinema, trans. M. Suino (Ann Arbor: Michigan Slavic Contributions, 1976). See Ann Shukman’s monograph, Literature and Semiotics: A Study in the Writings of Ju. M. Lotman (Amsterdam, New York, Oxford: North-Holland, 1977), and the special issue of Russian Literature devoted to his work (5, No. 1, Jan. 1977). Three important volumes in Lotman’s honor containing contributions exemplifying the approach of the Moscow-Tartu school have appeared: Quincuagenario: Sbornik statej molodyx filolo gov k 50-letiju prof. Ju. M. Lotmana (A Collection of Essays by Young Philologists for Ju. M. Lotman’s 50th Birthday) (Tartu: Tartu State Univ., 1972); Finitis duodecim lustris. Sbornik statej k 60-letiju prof Ju. M. Lotmana (A Collection of Essays for Prof. Ju. M. Lotman’s 60th Birthday), comp. S. Isakov (Tallin: Eesti Raamat, 1982), with an informative biographical sketch and bibliography by B. F. Egorov, pp. 3 – 53; and Semiosis: Semiotics and the History of Culture. In honorem Georgii Lotman, ed. M. Halle, K. Pomorska, and B. Uspensky (Ann Arbor: Michigan Slavic Contributions, 1984). Some of Lotman’s colleagues at the University of Tartu who have contributed to semiotics include B. F. Egorov, Z. G. Minc, and B. M. Gasparov (now in the U.S.A.).Google Scholar
  14. 12.
    A. Shukman, “Soviet Semiotics,” p. 191.Google Scholar
  15. 13.
    O.G. Revzina, “The Fourth Summer School on Secondary Modeling Systems (Tartu, 17–24 August, 1970),” Semiotica, 6, No. 3 (1972), 222. Revzina’s article is of particular significance for the history of the Moscow-Tartu school, since it represents an effort at stock-taking at a crucial moment in the evolution of the movement.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 14.
    See the comprehensive discussion by I. P. Winner and T. G. Winner, “The Semiotics of Cultural Texts,” Semiotics, 18, No. 2 (1976), pp. 101–156.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 15.
    To name the most recent: Balcano-Balto-Slavica. Simposium po strukture teksta, ed. V. V. Ivanov and T. V. Civ’jan (Moscow: Institute of Slavic and Balkan Studies, 1979); Struktura teksta (Structure of the Text), ed. T. V. Civ’jan (Moscow: Nauka, 1980); Struktura teksta-81. Tezisy simpoziuma. ed. V. V. Ivanov, T. M. Sudnik and T. V. Civ’jan (Moscow: Institute of Slavic and Balkan Studies, 1981).Google Scholar
  18. 16.
    Mify narodov mira (Myths of the Peoples of the World), ed. S. A. Tokarev et al., 2 vols. (Moscow: Sovetskaja ènciklo-pedija, 1980–1982).Google Scholar
  19. 17.
    Particularly representative is the authorized Italian collection Ricerche semiotiche. Nuove tenderize delle scienze umane nell’URSS, ed. Ju. Lotman and B. Uspenskij (Turin: Einaudi, 1973). The main anthologies in English are: Semiotics and Structuralism: Readings from the Soviet Union, ed. H. Baran (White Plains, N.Y.: International Arts and Sciences Press, 1976); Soviet Semiotics, ed. and trans. D. P. Lucid; and Soviet Semiotics and Criticism: An Anthology — New Literary History, 9, No. 2 (Winter 1978). See also Soviet Studies in Literature, 12, No. 2 (Spring 1976), devoted to semiotics, and the special issue “Soviet Semiotics of Culture” = Dispositio: Revista Hispánica de Semiótica Literaria, 1, No. 3 (1976), which contains translations as well as interesting reviews and critiques. Two collections containing reprints of texts in the original will be of interest to readers with a knowledge of Russian: Teksty sovetskogo literaturovedceskogo strukturalisma/Texte des sowjetischen literaturwissenschaftlichen Strukturalismus, ed. K. Eimermacher (Munich: Wilhelm Fink, 1971); Readings in Soviet Semiotics (Russian Texts), ed. L. Matejka, S. Shishkoff, M. E. Suino and I. R. Titunik (Ann Arbor: Michigan Slavic Publications, 1977).Google Scholar
  20. 18.
    Three previous surveys of Soviet semiotics, whose conclusions I shall cite when necessary for the sake of brevity, are of particular interest: E. M. Meletinskij and D. M. Segal, “Structuralism and Semiotics in the U.S.S.R.,” Diogenes, 73 (1971), 88–125; O. G. Revzina, “The Fourth Summer School”; D. M. Segal, Aspects of Structuralism (see note 2, above). Ann Shukman’s book on Lotman, Literature and Semiotics, is another useful secondary source for the history and conceptual apparatus of the Moscow-Tartu school.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 19.
    Ann Shukman, “Soviet Semiotics and Literary Criticism,” New Literary History, 9, No. 2 (Winter 1978), 189.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 20.
    Dell Hymes, “Comments on Soviet Semiotics and Criticism” New Literary History, 9, No. 2 (Winter 1978), 189 (the italics are mine—S.R.). The feeling of exuberance semiotics provokes as a discipline that engenders a sharpened consciousness of culture and its critique is a familiar phenomenon to anyone engaged in teaching the subject. It is to Roland Barthes’ great credit that he realized this dimension of the discipline from his very earliest work on. Anyone who has taught his book Mythologies cannot help but be struck by the response of students, which verges on a sort of conversion experience at times. The productivity and popularity of semiotic method is doubtlessly linked to the absence or bankruptcy of other explanatory models in contemporary culture. As such it raises a “fundamental ethical problem,” in Barthes’ words, “to recognize signs wherever they are, that is to say, not to mistake signs for natural phenomena, and to proclaim them rather than to conceal them” (“Une problématique du sens,” Cahiers Média, 1967–1968). This aspect of the discipline may be viewed by some as transcending its properly “scientific” dimensions, but such a view strikes me as untenable in respect to any science today, particularly a cultural discipline. I doubt the conditions of Western culture differ so fundamentally from Russian as regards the ethical dimension of semiotics: the centrality of this issue in France during the last decade and a half would certainly indicate that they do not.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 21.
    B. A. Uspenskij, V. V. Ivanov, V. N. Toporov, A. M. Pjatigorskij, Ju. M. Lotman, “Theses on the Semiotic Study of Cultures (As Applied to Slavic Texts),” in Structure of Texts and Semiotics of Culture, ed. J. van der Eng and M. Grygar (The Hague: Mouton, 1973), p. 2. The original Russian text should be consulted in view of errors in the translation: “Tezisy k semioticeskomu izučeniju kul’tur (v primenenii k slavjanskim tekstam),” in Semiotyka i struktura tekstu, ed. M. R. Mayenowa (Wroclaw—Warsaw—Krakow— Gdansk: Polish Academy of Sciences, 1973), pp. 9–32.Google Scholar
  24. 22.
    V. V. Ivanov, “The Category of Time in Twentieth-Century Art and Culture,” Semiotics, 8, No. 1 (1973), 44.Google Scholar
  25. 23.
    Ju. I. Levin, D. M. Segal, R. D. Timenčik, V. N. Toporov, T. V. Civ’jan, “Russkaja semantičeskaja poètika kak potencial’naja kul’turnaja paradigma,” Russian Literature, 7/8 (1974), 50.Google Scholar
  26. 24.
    V. N. Toporov, “On Dostoevsky’s Poetics and Archaic Patterns of Mythological Thought,” New Literary History, 9, No. 2 (Winter 1978), p. 347. Originally in Problemypoètiki i istorii literatury (Problems of Poetics and Literary History), ed. M. P. Alekseev et al. (Saransk: Mordvinian State University, 1973), pp. 91–109. A fuller version of this paper appeared in Structure of Texts and Semiotics of Culture, ed. J. van der Eng and M. Grygar (The Hague and Paris: Mouton, 1973), pp. 225–302.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 25.
    Ju. M. Lotman, “O zadačax razdela obzora i publikacij” (On the Tasks Confronting the Section of ‘Reviews and Publications’), TZS, 3 (1967), 363.Google Scholar
  28. 26.
    Al though Victor Erlich’s trail-blazing monograph appeared as early as 1955 (Russian Formalism: History-Doctrine, 3rd ed., New Haven: Yale University Press, 1981), the first major anthologies of the Formalists’ works appeared in French only in 1965 (Théorie de la littérature, ed. T. Todorov, Paris: Editions du Seuil), in German in 1969 (Texte der russischen Formalisten, ed. J. Striedter, Munich: Fink), and in English in 1971 (Readings in Russian Poetics, ed. L. Matejka and K. Pomorska, Cambridge, Mass.: M.I.T.). On the Prague Linguistic Circle see T. G. Winner, “The Aesthetics and Poetics of the Prague Linguistic Circle,” Poetics, 8 (1973), 77–96 and “Jan Mukarovsky: The Beginnings of Structural and Semiotic Aesthetics,” in Sound, Sign and Meaning: Quinquagenerio of the Prague Linguistic Circle, ed. L. Matejka (Ann Arbor: Michigan Slavic Publications, 1976); Semiotics of Art: Prague School Contributions, ed. L. Matejka and I. R. Titunik (Cambridge, Mass.: M.I.T., 1976). The importance of Russian Formalism for the Moscow-Tartu school is apparent from A. Zolkovskij’s and Ju. Sceglov’s review “Iz predystorii sovetskix rabot po struktural’noj poètiki” (From the Prehistory of Soviet Works in Structural Poetics), TZS, 3 (1967), pp. 367–377. See also Segal’s remarks (Aspects, p. 28) on the role of Ivanov’s paper at the Conference of Structural Linguistics in Fall, 1960 (Chernovtsy, the Ukraine) in reviving the patrimony of the Formalists.Google Scholar
  29. 27.
    See Yuri Tynianov, The Problem of Verse Language, trans. and ed. M. Sosa and B. Harvey (Ann Arbor: Ardis, 1981), and the reprinting of the 1928 theses in R. Jakobson, Selected Writings III: Poetry of Grammar and Grammar of Poetry (The Hague, Paris and N.Y.: Mouton, 1981), pp. 3–6. See Shukman (Literature and Semiotics, pp. 6–7) on the importance of Tynjanov for Lotman in particular.Google Scholar
  30. 28.
    A crucial text is Jakobson’s “Zeichen und System der Sprache,” which was delivered in 1959 at the International Symposium on that subject held in Erfurt, East Germany. See the English translation of this seminal paper: “Sign and System of Language,” in R. Jakobson, Verbal Art, Verbal Sign, Verbal Time, ed. K. Pomorska and S. Rudy (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1985), pp. 28–33. Jakobson’s role as a figure of continuity linking Formalism and Structuralism with semiotics had a personal dimension in the case of the Russian semioticians, with whom he was in close contact beginning with his visit to Moscow in 1958 for the Fourth International Congress of Slavists (cf. Segal, Aspects, p. 14). His significance was eloquently and poignantly portrayed in a paper Ivanov sent to be read at the “Tribute to Roman Jakobson 1896–1982” held at M.I.T. on 12 Nov. 1982, entitled “Roman Jakobson: The Future.” See A Tribute to Roman Jakobson, 1896–1982 (Berlin, N.Y. and Amsterdam, 1983), pp. 47–57. Permit me to quote its concluding sentence: “Today we remember Jakobson as proof that one can do scientific work cheerfully, without pedantry or routine, that one can do it as something great and meaningful, that one can do it under any circumstances, even in the face of catastrophes—and successfully.”Google Scholar
  31. 29.
    See V. Propp, Morphology of the Folktale, trans. L. Scott, 2nd revised ed. (Austin-London: University of Texas, 1968); Morfologija skazki, 2nd ed. (Moscow: Nauka, 1969). The work of the folklorists Meletinskij, Nekljudov, Novik, Segal and others in verifying, revising and extending Propp’s apparatus constitutes a major sub-field within Russian semiotics. See Segal, Aspects, pp. 63–76; Soviet Structural Folkloristics, ed. P. Maranda, Vol. 1 (The Hague and Paris: Mouton, 1974); E. and P. Maranda, Structural Models in Folklore and Transformational Essays (The Hague and Paris: Mouton, 1971).Google Scholar
  32. 30.
    V. V. Ivanov and V. N. Toporov, “The Invariant and Transformations in Folklore Texts,” Dispositio, 1, No. 3 (1976), p. 263. Originally in Tipologiceskie issledovanija po fol’kloru. Sbornik statej pamjati V. Ja. Proppa (1895–1970) (Typological Studies on Folklore. A Collection of Essays in Memory of V. Ja. Propp, 1895–1970) (Moscow: Nauka, 1975), pp. 44–76.Google Scholar
  33. 31.
    Segal, Aspects, p. 120.Google Scholar
  34. 32.
    The major works of Baxtin are now available in English: Problems of Dostoevski’s Poetics, trans. R. W. Rotsel (Ann Arbor: Ardis, 1973); Rabelais and His World, trans. H. Iswolsky (Cambridge, Mass.: M.I.T., 1968), The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays, trans. C. Emerson and M. Holquist (Austin and London: Univ. of Texas, 1981). The authorship of three books by disciples of Baxtin has been ascribed directly to him: P. N. Medvedev, The Formal Method in Literary Scholarship, trans. A. Wehrle (Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins, 1978); V. N. Volosinov, Marxism and the Philosophy of Language, trans. L. Matejka and I. R. Titunik (N.Y. and London: Seminar Press, 1973); idem., Freudianism: A Marxist Critique, trans. I. R. Titunik (N.Y.: Academic Press, 1976). Though the question of authorship is a complex one that has sparked a great deal of controversy, I share the opinion of the editor of The Dialogic Imagination, Michael Holquist, that “ninety percent of the text of the three books in question is indeed the work of Bakhtin himself.” (“Introduction,” p. xxvi.)Google Scholar
  35. 33.
    TZS, 6 (1973), pp. 5–44; cf. the English translation in Semiotics and Structuralism, ed. H. Baran, pp. 310–367. D. M. Segal’s discussion of Ivanov’s article extends its conclusions considerably and is worth consulting: see Aspects, pp. 120–132.Google Scholar
  36. 34.
    I. R. Titunik, “M. M. Baxtin (The Baxtin School) and Soviet Semiotics,” Dispositio, 1, No. 3 (1976), pp. 327–338.Google Scholar
  37. 35.
    Cf. K. Pomorska, “Mixail Baxtin and His Verbal Universe,” PTL: A Journal for Descriptive Poetics and Theory of Literature, 3 (1978), 384–385; M. Holquist, “Introduction,” pp. xx-xxi.Google Scholar
  38. 36.
    Aspects, p. 121.Google Scholar
  39. 37.
    Ivanov cites an influential article by Emile Benveniste in this connection, “Sémiologie de la langue,” Semiotica, 1, Nos. 1 and 2 (1969), 1–12 and 127–135, respectively.Google Scholar
  40. 38.
    Cf. Jakobson, “Sign and System…” Ju. Lotman, “Two Models of Communication,” in Soviet Semiotics, ed. D. P. Lucid, pp. 98–101 (originally in Tezisy dokladov IV Letnej školy [Theses of the Reports of the Fourth Summer School], Tartu, 1970, pp. 163–65).Google Scholar
  41. 39.
    See V. V. Ivanov, “Iz zametok o stroenii i funkcijax karnaval’nogo obraza” (Notes on the Structure and Functions of the Carnival Image), in Problemy poètiki i istorii literatury (Saransk, 1973), pp. 37–53, “K semiotičeskoj teorii karnavala kak inversii dvoicnyx predstavlenij” (The Semiotic Theory of Carnival as the Inversion of Binary Oppositions), TZS, 8 (1977), 45–64.Google Scholar
  42. 40.
    V. V. Ivanov, Očerki po istorii semiotiki v SSSR (Moscow: Nauka, 1976).Google Scholar
  43. 41.
    R. and G. Vroon, “V. V. Ivanov’s Essays on the History of Semiotics in the U.S.S.R.,” Disposition 1, No. 3 (1976), 360.Google Scholar
  44. 42.
    The English reader may want to consult Ivanov’s remarks on the subject in his paper “Growth of the Theoretical Framework of Modern Poetics,” in Current Trends in Linguistics, ed. T. A. Sebeok, Vol. 12 (The Hague-Paris: Mouton, 1974), pp. 835–84. The concern for “inter-level relations” and the semiotics of texts (contexts, subtexts, intertexts) rather than a semiotics of langue in the Saus-surean sense is, of course, a feature that emerged in French semiotics with particular virulence in the early seventies. See J. Kristeva, La Révolution du langage poétique (Paris: Seuil, 1974). Jean Starobinski’s publication in 1971 of Saussure’s notebook on anagrams certainly influenced the trend: cf. the English edition, J. Starobinski, Words Upon Words, trans. O. Emmet (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1979).Google Scholar
  45. 43.
    S. M. Ejzenštein (Eisenstein), Izbrannye proizvedenija v šesti tomax (Selected Works in Six Volumes) (Moscow: Iskusstvo, 1964–1971). Eisenstein’s available works in translation—The Film Sense (N.Y.: Harcourt, Brace, 1942), Film Form (N.Y.: Harcourt, Brace, 1949), and Film Essays, ed. J. Leyda (N.Y.: Praeger, 1970)—fail to convey the full extent of his theoretical research on language and the arts as sign phenomena.Google Scholar
  46. 44.
    It is peculiar that this opposition, which was presented in Puskin’s “little tragedy” of the same name in paradigmatic form, is such a vital cultural category in Russian culture of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries while it is almost entirely lacking in Western culture of the same period. For an idea of the vitality of the opposition in Russian culture see Nadezhda Mandelstam’s Mozart and Salieri, trans. R. A. McLean (Ann Arbor: Ardis, 1973).Google Scholar
  47. 45.
    Film Form, p. 238.Google Scholar
  48. 46.
    S. M. Eisenstein, “The Enchanter of the Pear Garden,” Theatre Arts Monthly, 19, No. 10 (1939), 764.Google Scholar
  49. 47.
    Cf. V. V. Ivanov, “Evolution des signes-symboles,” Semiotica, 1, No. 2 (1969), 218–221.Google Scholar
  50. 48.
    In particular, Baxtin’s concept of telo-znak ‘body-sign’, which emphasizes the intrinsic connection between meaning and material form: cf. Ivanov, “The Significance,” p. 311. (See note 33, above.)Google Scholar
  51. 49.
    Cf. Eisenstein’s writings on color: “Color and Meaning,” in his The Film Sense (N.Y.: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1942), pp. 113–153. It should be noted that color, in any event, was a symbolic, not naturalistic, element of film in Eisenstein’s view, a type of metaphor.Google Scholar
  52. 50.
    The Film Sense, p. 150.Google Scholar
  53. 51.
    See D. Laferrière’s discussion of this question, “Semiotica sub specie Sovietica: Anti-Freudianism, Pro-Marrism, and Other Disturbing Matters,” PTL: A Journal for Descriptive Poetics and Theory of Literature, 3 (1978), p. 451f. and the references he cites.Google Scholar
  54. 52.
    Ju. M. Lotman, “O. M. Freidenberg as a Student of Culture,” in Semiotics and Structuralism, ed. H. Baran, p. 259. Originally in TZS, 6 (1973), 482–489.Google Scholar
  55. 53.
    The Correspondence of Boris Pasternak and Olga Freidenberg, 1910–1954, comp. and ed. Elliott Mossman (N.Y. and London: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1982).Google Scholar
  56. 54.
    See Segal, Aspects, p. 119f, for a list of other forerunners of Russian semiotics. A particularly important figure is Pavel Aleksandrovic Florenskij (1882–1943), whose work is too multiform and complex to analyze here: cf. my entry on this seminal philosopher in the Encyclopedic Dictionary of Semiotics, ed. T. A. Sebeok et al. (Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press, 1985).Google Scholar
  57. 55.
    “The Role of Semiotics in the Cybernetic Study of Man and Collective,” in Soviet Semiotics, ed. Lucid, p. 36f. Originally in the collection Logičeskaja struktura naucnogo znanija (The Logical Structure of Scientific Knowledge) (Moscow: Nauka, 1965), pp. 75–90.Google Scholar
  58. 56.
    V. V. Ivanov, “Fil’m v fil’me” (The Film Within a Film), TZS, 14 (1981), pp. 19–21.Google Scholar
  59. 57.
    A. Syrkin, “Alive—Not Alive (Some Additional Notes),” Slavica Hierosolymitana, 5–6 (1981), 11. On complementarity in linguistics and semiotics, cf. Jakobson, “Sign and System,” p. 36; Zaliznjak, Ivanov, and Toporov, “Structural-Typological Study,” p. 53.Google Scholar
  60. 58.
    R. Jakobson, “Retrospect” to his Selected Writings, III: Poetry of Grammar and Grammar of Poetry (The Hague, Paris, and N.Y.: Mouton, 1981), p. 768.Google Scholar
  61. 59.
    Ivanov, “The Role of Semiotics,” p. 36.Google Scholar
  62. 60.
    Benveniste (“Sémiologie de la langue”) stresses that the metalinguistic function of language assures it of its distinct place in the system of human communication: not only can language model any aspect of external reality, it alone is able to translate all the signs of any other semiotic system into its own terms. Ivanov makes the same point in his article just cited.Google Scholar
  63. 61.
    R. Barthes, Elements of Semiology, trans. A. Lavers and C. Smith (London: Cape, 1967), p. 11.Google Scholar
  64. 62.
    Jurij Lotman, The Structure of the Artistic Text, p. 9.Google Scholar
  65. 6.
    3 “On the Semiotic Mechanism of Culture,” New Literary History, 9, No. 2 (Winter 1978), 212f. Originally in TZS, 5 (1971), pp. 144–166. An important contribution to the debate by Ivanov and Toporov is their article “Strukturno-tipologiceskij podxod k semanticeskoj interpretacii pro-izvedenij izobrazitel’nogo iskusstva v diaxroniceskom aspekte” (The Structural-Typological Approach to the Semantic Interpretation of Works of Visual Art in Their Diachronic Aspect), TZS, 8 (1977), esp. 104–111. The question is too extensive to be detailed further here, but the reader may wish to consult two analyses of the problem in particular: Boris Oguibenine (Ogibenin), “Linguistic Models of Culture in Russian Semiotics: A Retrospective View,” PTL, 4 (1979), 91–118; for its relation to the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis and the anthropological perspective, D. Hymes, “Comments on Soviet Semiotics and Criticism,” p. 404f.Google Scholar
  66. 64.
    See V. V. Ivanov, “On Binary Relations in Linguistic and Other Semiotic and Social Systems,” in Logic, Language, and Probability, ed. R.J. Bogdan (Dordrecht: Riedel, 1973), pp. 196–200; “On Antisymmetry and Asymmetrical Relations in Natural Languages and Other Semiotic Systems,” Linguistics, 119 (1974), 35–40; “Dvoicnaja simvoliceskaja klassifikacija v afrikanskix i aziatskix tradicijax” (Binary Symbolic Classification in African and Asian Traditions), Narody Azii i Afriki, No. 5, (1969), pp. 105–147. The question of the descriptive adequacy of binary classification, not to mention its status as a theory of the way the human mind works, is too entangled to go into here, but cf. P. Pettit, The Concept of Structuralism (Berkeley and L.A.: University of California, 1975), ch. 3, and J. Boon’s engaging monograph From Symbolism to Structuralism: Lévi-Strauss in a Literary Tradition (N.Y.: Harper and Row, 1972), p. 75f.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. 65.
    The theoretical principles and system of transcription (metalanguage) for text reconstruction were first elaborated in relation to Common Slavic (simple and compound names of gods, phraseological combinations, as well as longer texts such as charms, lamentations, fragments of Common Slavic epics and fairy tales) in a paper presented at the Fifth International Congress of Slavists, Sofia, 1962, “K rekonstrukcii praslavjanskogo teksta” (Reconstruction of a Common Slavic Text), in Slavjanskoe jazykoznanie. Doklady sovetskoj deligacii na V Mezdunarodnom S”ezde slavistov v Sofii (Moscow: Nauka, 1963), pp. 88–158. The reconstruction of the pantheon and the basic semantic elements of the Common Slavic religious system was accomplished in Slavjanskie jazykovye modelirujuscie semioticeskie sistemy (Drevnyj period) (Slavic Linguistic Semiotic Modeling Systems [the Ancient Period]) (Moscow: Nauka, 1965).Google Scholar
  68. 66.
    See C. Scott Littleton, The New Comparative Mythology: An Anthropological Assessment of the Theories of Georges Dumézil (Berkeley: University of California, 1973). Two important collections are of particular interest from a semiotic standpoint: Myth and Law Among the Indo-Europeans: Studies in Indo-European Comparative Mythology, ed. Jaan Puhvel (Berkeley: University of California, 1970) and Myth in Indo-European Antiquity, ed. G.J. Larson (Berkeley: University of California, 1974).Google Scholar
  69. 67.
    The sad state of Slavic mythological studies prior to the works of Jakobson, Ivanov and Toporov is attested to by a typical conservative survey of the subject: F. Vyncke, “The Religion of the Slavs,” in Historia Religionum: Handbook for the History of Religions, ed. C. J. Bleeker and G. Widengren, Vol. I (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1969), pp.647–666.Google Scholar
  70. 68.
    E. Wienecke, Untersuchungen zur Religion der Westslaven (Leipzig, 1940).Google Scholar
  71. 69.
    R. Jakobson, “Slavic Mythology,” in Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology and Legend, ed. M. Leach, Vol. II (N.Y.: Funk and Wagnalls, 1950), p. 1024. Jakobson’s mythological studies are included in Vol. VII of his Selected Writings: Contributions to Comparative Mythology. Studies in Linguistics and Philology, 1972–1982, ed. by S. Rudy, with a preface by L. R. Waugh (Berlin, Amsterdam and N.Y: Mouton, 1985).Google Scholar
  72. 70.
    R. Jakobson, “Slavic Epic Verse: Studies in Comparative Metrics,” in his Selected Writings IV: Slavic Epic Studies (The Hague-Paris: Mouton, 1966), pp. 414–463. Originally presented as the Ilchester lecture at Oxford University, 10 May 1950.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. 71.
    “Rol’ lingvističeskix pokazanij v sravnitel’noj mifologii” (The Role of Linguistic Evidence in Comparative Mythology) VIIe Congrès International des Sciences Anthropologiques et Ethnologiques, Moscou (3 août-10 août 1964), Vol. 5 (Moscow, 1970), pp. 608–619—cf. the English translation, in Jakobson’s Selected Writings VII (see fn. 69 above); “The Slavic God Veles” and His Indo-European Cognates, Studi linguistici in onore di Vittore Pisani (Brescia: Paideia, 1969), pp. 579–599.Google Scholar
  74. 72.
    V. V. Ivanov and V. N. Toporov, “K rekonstrukcii obraza Velesa-Volosa kak protivnik gromoveržca (na osnovanii vtoričnyx istočnikov)” (A Reconstruction of the Figure of Veles-Volos as the Antagonist of the Thunderer [Based on Secondary Sources]), in Tezisy dokladov IV letnej školy po vtoričnym modelirujuščim sistemam, Tartu, 17–24 avg. 1970g. (Theses of Reports at the Fourth Summer School on Secondary Modeling Systems, Tartu, 17–24 Aug. 1970) (Tartu, 1970), pp. 45–50, K probleme dostovernosti pozdnix vtoricnyx istočnikov v svjazi s issledovanijami v oblasti mifologii. (Dannye o Velese v tradicijax Severnoj Rusi i voprosy kritiki pis’mennyx tekstov) (The Problem of the Reliability of Late Secondary Sources in Connection with Studies in the Field of Mythology: Data about Veles in North Russian Traditions and Questions of Criticism of Written Texts), TZS, 6 (1973), 46–82. The first study is summarized in detail by Segal (Aspects, p. 81ff.).Google Scholar
  75. 73.
    B. A. Uspenskij, “Kul’t Nikoly na Rusi v istonko-kul’turnom osvescenii (Specifika vosprijatija i transformacija isxodnogo obraza)” (The Cult of Nikola in Russia in a Historico-Cultural Light: the Specifics of the Perception and Transformation of an Initial Image), TZS, 19 (1978), 86–140, expanded in book form as Filologičeskie razyskanija v oblasti slavjanskix drevnostej (Philological Excursions in the Realm of Slavic Antiquities) (Moscow: Moscow University, 1982).Google Scholar
  76. 74.
    Secondary material—Belorussian and Lithuanian folkloric texts—guided the authors’ initial research: see “K semioticeskomu analizu mifa i rituala (na Belorusskom materiale)” (Toward the Semiotic Analysis of Myth and Ritual [on the Basis of Belorussian Material]), in Sign. Language. Culture, ed. A. Greimas et al. (The Hague and Paris: Mouton, 1970), pp. 321–389. The “basic myth” is summarized in an article dedicated to Lévi-Strauss on his 60th birthday: “Le Mythe indo-européen du dieu de l’orage poursuivant le serpent: reconstitution du schéma,” in Échanges et Communications: Mélanges offerts à C. Lévi-Strauss, ed. J. Pouillon and P. Miranda, Vol. 2 (The Hague-Paris: Mouton, 1970), pp. 1180–1206. The full range of material is elaborated in their fundamental book Issledovanija v oblasti slavjanskix drevnostej: Leksiceskie i frazeologičeskie voprosy rekonstrukcii tekstov (Studies in the Realm of Slavic Antiquities: Lexical and Phraseological Questions of Text Reconstruction) (Moscow: Nauka, 1974).Google Scholar
  77. 75.
    V. N. Toporov, “K rekonstrukcii Indoevropejskogo rituala i ritual’no-poeticeskix formul (na materiale zagovorov)” (Towards the Reconstruction of Indo-European Ritual and Ritual-poetic Formulae [On the Material of Charms]), TZS, 5 (1969), pp. 9–43; “O strukture nekotoryx arxaiceskix tekstov, sootnosimyx s koncepciej ‘mirovogo dereva’ ”(On the Structure of Certain Archaic Texts Related to the Conception of the ‘World Tree’), TZS, 5 (1971), pp. 6–62; “L’albero universale. Saggio d’interpretazione semiotica,” in Ricerche Semiotiche, ed. Lotman and Uspenskij, pp. 148 – 209; “On the Origin of Certain Poetic Symbols: The Paleolithic Period,” in Semiotics and Structuralism, ed. Baran, pp. 184–225 (originally in Rannie formy isskustva, ed. S. Ju. Nekljudov [Moscow: Iskusstvo, 1972], pp. 77–104).Google Scholar
  78. 76.
    “On the Origin of Certain Poetic Symbols,” p. 186. The symbolism of numerical constants, particularly the numbers three, four, seven, and twelve, plays a leading role in “additive” structuring. The developed model of the world tree as a representation of space in art and mythology is organized according to the translation of four (an optimally static configuration) into seven, a “magic number” clearly related to man’s capacity for processing information (cf. G. A. Miller, “The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two: Some Limits on Our Capacity for Processing Information,” The Psychological Review, 63 [1956]). The world tree models the cosmological space according to seven primary coordinates: (1) top; (2) center, (3) bottom, (4) north, (5) east, (6) south, and (7) west (Toporov, p. 206). The importance of numerical symbolism is reflected in all of Ivanov’s and Toporov’s works on myth. A definitive summation is Toporov’s article “O čislovyx modeljax v arxaicnyx tekstax” [On Numerical Models in Archaic Texts], in Struktura teksta [Structure of the Text], ed. T. V. Civ’jan (Moscow: Nauka, 1980), pp. 3–58. The semantic significance of “odd” and “even” numbers may relate to the physiology of the brain, in particular the polar structure of its two hemispheres: cf. V. V. Ivanov, Čët i necet. Asimmetrija mozga i znakovyx sistern (Even and Odd. The Asymmetry of the Brain and Sign Systems) (Moscow, 1978); R. Jakobson, Brain and Language: Cerebral Hemispheres and Linguistic Structures in Mutual Light (Columbus, Oh.: Slavica, 1980). Numerical symbolism is the subject of one of Toporov’s entries in Mify narodov mira (Myths of the Peoples of the World), ed. S. A. Tokarev, Vol. 2 (Moscow: Sovetskaja ènciklopedija, 1982), pp. 629–631. The numbers nine and twelve play a particular role in the “basic myth.”Google Scholar
  79. 77.
    V. N. Toporov, “Semantika mifologiceskix predstavlenij o gribax” (The Semantics of Mythological Conceptions of Mushrooms), in Balcanica: Lingvističeskie issledovanija, ed. T. V. Civ’jan (Moscow: Nauka, 1979), pp. 234–298. This paper, written in 1970, has appeared in an English translation by the present author in Semiotica, 53, 4 (1985), 295–357. See R. Gordon Wasson, Soma: Divine Mushroom of Immortality (N.Y.: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1971).Google Scholar
  80. 78.
    E. S. Semeka, “Antropomorfnye i zoomorfnye simvoly v cetryrex- i vos’mičlennyx modeljax mira” (Anthropomorphic and Zoomorphic Symbols in Four- and Eight-Member World Models), TZS, 5 (1971), 92–119; “Struktura četyrex- i vos’mičlennyx modelej mira v arxaičeskom iskusstve drevnej Azii” (The Structure of Four- and Eight-Member World Models in the Archaic Art of Ancient Asia), in Readings in Soviet Semiotics, ed. L. Matejka et al. (Ann Arbor: Michigan Slavic Publications, 1977), pp. 416–448.Google Scholar
  81. 79.
    D. Hymes, “Comments on Soviet Semiotics” p. 403.Google Scholar
  82. 80.
    Segal, Aspects, p. 83. E. M. Meletinskij provides a survey of the main schools of mythological research in his Poètika mija (Poetics of Myth) (Moscow: Glavnaja redakcija vostocnoj literatury, 1976). He points out the obvious parallels between the work of Carl Jung and Russian studies of “archaic” mythological systems. Despite the limitations of analytical psychology, Jung remains a seminal figure. Among the theoretical studies of myth in Russian semiotics that I have not touched upon, particular mention should be made of Lotman’s and Uspenskij’s article “Myth-Name-Culture,” in Soviet Semiotics, ed. Lucid, pp. 233–252 (originally in TZS, 6 [1973], 282–303). See also, Segal, Aspects, pp. 76–80, on Meletinskij’s important studies on the Raven (a trickster figure) in Paleo-Siberian mythology, and Meletinskij’s recent article “Semanticeskaja struktura tlinkitskix mifov o vorone” (The Semantic Structure of Tlingit Myths about the Raven), TZS, 13 (1981), 3–21. Several studies by Ivanov and Topo-rov resulting from the research of the 1962 expedition to the Kets are available in English: their collaborative study “Towards a Description of Ket Semiotic Systems,” Semiotica, 9, No. 4 (1973), 318–346; Toporov’s “On the Typological Similarity of Mythological Structures among the Ket and Neighboring Peoples,” Semiotica, 10, No. 1 (1974), 19–42; Ivanov’s The Structure of the Ket Myth of the “Dénicheur des Aiglons” and its American Indian Parallels — Working Papers and Pre-publications, Centro Internazionale di Semiotica e di Linguistica, University of Urbino, No. 78–79 (Nov.-Dec. 1978), Series D; and Ivanov’s “Restoration of the Original Text of the Ket Myth of the Destroyer of Eagles’ Nests,” in Semiotics and Structuralism, ed. H. Baran, pp. 226 – 243. The mythology of the Paleo-Siberian tribes presents a vital test case for the methodology of the Moscow-Tartu school which I regret I cannot treat in more detail here. See Ketskij sbornik (Studia Ketica), ed. V. V. Ivanov, V. N. Toporov and B. Uspenskij, vols. 1–2 (Moscow: Glavnaja redakcija vostocnoj literatury, 1968–1969).Google Scholar
  83. 81.
    Cf. the references given in note 29, above, as well as E. G. Schwimmer, “Folkloristics and Anthropology,” Semiotica, 17, No. 3 (1976), 267–289.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. 82.
    See two classic works: E. Meletinskij, S. Nekljudov, E. Novik, and D. Segal, “Problems of the Structural Analysis of Fairy-Tales,” in Soviet Structural Folkloristics, ed. Maranda, pp. 73–139; D. Segal, “The Connection between the Semantics and the Formal Structure of a Text,” in Mythology, ed. P. Maranda (Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin, 1972), pp. 215–249 (originally in Poetics. Poetyka. Poètika, 2 [The Hague and Warsaw: Mouton/PWN, 1966], pp. 15–44).Google Scholar
  85. 83.
    Cf. the studies by Civ’jan and Nekljudov mentioned in Segal, Aspects, pp. 69–72.Google Scholar
  86. 84.
    See T. Todorov, “La poétique en U.R.S.S.,” Poétique, 9 (1972), 102–115;Google Scholar
  87. 84a.
    M. Mayenowa, “Poètika v rabotax tar-tuskogo universiteta” (Poetics in the works of the Tartu University), Russian Literature, 2 (1972), 152–165.Google Scholar
  88. 85.
    See J. Bailey, “Some Recent Developments in the Study of Russian Versification,” Language and Style, 3 (1972), 155–191.Google Scholar
  89. 86.
    See S. Rudy, “Jakobson’s Inquiry into Verse and the Emergence of Structural Poetics,” in Sound, Sign and Meaning, ed. L. Matejka, p. 506ff. K. Taranovsky’s paper “O vzaimootnosenii stixotvornogo ritma i tematiki” (On the Interconnection of Verse Rhythm and Semantics), American Contributions to the Fifth International Congress of Slavists, I: Linguistic Contributions (The Hague: Mouton, 1963), pp. 287 – 322, is a particularly lucid statement of the problem.Google Scholar
  90. 87.
    See Ju. Lotman, Analysis of the Poetic Text. Google Scholar
  91. 88.
    See in particular the works on twentieth-century poets such as Axmatova, Blok, Mandel’štarn and Majakovskij listed in the Subject Bibliography, ed. Eimermacher and Shishkoff, p. 91ff.Google Scholar
  92. 89.
    Boris Uspensky, A Poetics of Composition: the Structure of the Artistic Text and Typology of a Compositional Form, trans. V. Zavarin and S. Wittig (Berkeley and Los Angeles, Cal., 1973). Cf. the detailed reviews by S. Zolkiewski, “Poétique de la composition,” Semiotica, 3 (1972), 205–224;CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  93. 89a.
    F. de Valk in Russian Literature, 2 (1972), 165–175;CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  94. 89b.
    W. Steiner, “Point of View from the Russian Point of View,” Dispositio, 1, No. 3 (1976), 315–326.Google Scholar
  95. 90.
    Jurij Lotman, “Tekst v tekste” [The Text in a Text], TZS, 14 (1981), p. 7.Google Scholar
  96. 91.
    V. V. Ivanov, “The Structure of Khlebnikov’s Poem ‘Menya pronosyat na slonovykh,’ ” Russian Poetics in Translation, 2 (1976), pp. 34–49 (originally in TZS, 3 [1967], 156–171). E. M. Meletinskij, Poètika mija, pp. 277–372.Google Scholar
  97. 92.
    P. Smirnov, “Mesto mifopoèticeskogo podxoda k litera-turnomu proizvedeniju sredi drugix tolkovanij teksta” (The Place of the Mythopoeic Approach to Literary Works Among other Interpretations of a Text), in Mif—Fol’klorLiteratura, ed. V. G. Bazanov et al. (Leningrad: Nauka, 1978), pp. 186–203, a collection containing several other valuable contributions to the subject. See also Smirnov’s monograph Xudožestevennyj smysl i èvoljucija poètičeskix sistem (Artistic Meaning and the Evolution of Poetic Systems) (Moscow: Nauka, 1977). See also Ju. M. Lotman and Z. G. Minc, “Literatura i mifologija” (Literature and Mythology), TZS, 13 (1981), 35–55.Google Scholar
  98. 93.
    See the collective paper referred to in note 23, above.Google Scholar
  99. 94.
    P. Steiner, “On Semantic Poetics: O. Mandel’štam in the Discussions of the Soviet Structuralists,” Dispositio, 1, No. 3 (1976), 339–348.Google Scholar
  100. 95.
    O. Ronen, “Leksičeskij povtor, podtekst i smysl v poètike Osipa Mandel’štama” (Lexical Repetition, Subtext and Meaning in the Poetics of Mandel’stam), in Slavic Poetics: Essays in Honor of Kiril Taranovsky, ed. R. Jakobson et al. (The Hague and Paris: Mouton, 1973), p. 375.Google Scholar
  101. 95a.
    See K. Taranovsky, Essays on Mandel’štam (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1976).Google Scholar
  102. 96.
    E.g., G. A. Levinton, ‘Na kamennyx otrogax Piérii Mandel’stama: materialy k analizu, Russian Literature, 5, Nos. 2 and 3 (1977), pp. 123–170, 201–238. (The representatives of this trend, who are mostly younger scholars, have been jokingly labelled “SRy”—the Russian abbreviation used for members of the main political movement in opposition to the Bolsheviks during the Revolution, the Social Revolutionaries—because of the frequency of the abbreviation Sr. [Rus. sravnite ‘compare, cf.’] in their works.) A useful typology of intertextuality, which compares works of French and Russian semiotics on this question, is given by P. X. Torop, “Problema inteksta” (The Problem of the “Intext”), TZS, 14 (1981), 33–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  103. 97.
    Yury Lotman, “Language and Reality in the Early Pasternak,” in Pasternak: A Collection of Critical Essays, ed. V. Erlich (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1978), pp. 21–38 (an abridged translation of an essay originally in TZS, 4 [1969], 460–477).Google Scholar
  104. 98.
    V. N. Toporov, Axmatova i Blok (Axmatova and Blok) (Berkeley: Berkeley Slavic Specialties, 1981).Google Scholar
  105. 99.
    The notion of “poetic world” is elaborated in an important study by A. K. Zholkovsky, “The Window in the Poetic World of Boris Pasternak,” New Literary History, 9, No. 2 (1978), 279–314.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  106. 99a.
    An excellent introduction to the generative poetics of Zolkovskij and Sceglov is L. M. O’Toole, “Analytic and Synthetic Approaches to Narrative Structure: Sherlock Holmes and ‘the Sussex Vampire,’” in Style and Structure in Literature, ed. R. Fowler (Oxford: Blackwell, 1975), pp. 143–176. See Zolkovskij’s and Sceglov’s numerous studies in the journal Russian Poetics in Translation (especially Vol. 1, 1975 and Vol.6, 1979), as well as their collection Poètika vyrazitel’nosti (The Poetics of Expressiveness), Wiener Slawistischer Almanach, Sonderband 2, 1980, and more recentlyGoogle Scholar
  107. 99b.
    A. Zholkovsky, Themes and Texts: Toward a Poetics of Expressiveness, (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1983).Google Scholar
  108. 100.
    Ju. M. Lotman, “Theater and Theatricality in the Order of Early Nineteenth-Century Culture,” in Semiotics and Structuralism, ed. Baran, pp. 33–63 (originally in his book Stat’i po tipologii kul’tury [Essays on the Typology of Culture], Vol. 2 [Tartu: Tartu Univ. Press, 1974]).Google Scholar
  109. 101.
    Ju. M. Lotman, “Themes and Plot: The Theme of Cards and the Card Game in Russian Literature in the Nineteenth Century,” PTL, 3 (1978), 455–492 (originally in TZS, 7 [1975], 120–142). Two important collections in English have appeared since this survey was written: The Semiotics of Russian Cultural History: Essays by Iurii M. Lotman, Lidiia Ia. Ginsburg, and Boris A. Uspensky, ed. A. D. and A. S. Nakhimovsky (Ithaca-Longon: Cornell University Press, 1985) and Ju. M. Lotman and B. A. Uspenskij, The Semiotics of Russian Culture, ed. Ann Shukman (Ann Arbor: Michigan Slavic Contributions, 1984). The latter, which contains 13 essays written separately or jointly by Lotman and Uspensky, is the more comprehensive and betted edited of the two, though the former is to be recommended for the fine introduction by Boris Gasparov.Google Scholar
  110. 102.
    See, in particular, “The Language of Ancient Painting,” Dispositio, 1, No 3 (1976), 219–246 (originally in Russian as the introduction to Zegin’s book cited below, note 109); The Semiotics of the Russian Icon, ed. S. Rudy (Lisse: Peter de Ridder Press, 1976), a revised and expanded version of a study published in TZS, 5 (1971), 178–222.Google Scholar
  111. 103.
    See Z. Podgorzec, “Semiotics of the Icon: An Interview with Boris Uspenskij,” PTL, 3 (1978), 529–548.Google Scholar
  112. 104.
    The relation of inscription to image in icons is part of the wider semiotic problematic addressed by Meyer Schapiro in his important monograph Words and Pictures: On the Literal and the Symbolic in the Illustration of a Text (The Hague and Paris: Mouton, 1973). See also Hubert Damisch, “Semiotics and Iconography,” in The Tell-Tale Sign: A Survey of Semiotics, ed. T. A. Sebeok (Lisse: Peter de Ridder Press, 1975), pp. 27–36.Google Scholar
  113. 105.
    On the term “language” as applied to various sign systems see B. Oguibenine (Ogibenin), “The Semiotic Approach to Human Culture,” in Image and Code, ed. W. Steiner (Ann Arbor: Michigan Studies in the Humanities, 1981), p. 86.Google Scholar
  114. 106.
    See the interview with Podgorzec, p. 530f.Google Scholar
  115. 107.
    P. A. Florenskij, “Obratnaja perspektiva” (Inverted Perspective), TZS, 3 (1967), 381–416.Google Scholar
  116. 108.
    E. Panofsky, “Die Perspektive als ‘Symbolische Form,’” Vorträge der Bibliothek Warburg 1924–25 (1927), pp. 258–330.Google Scholar
  117. 109.
    L. F. Zegin, “Nekotorye prostranstvennye formy v drevnerusskoj živopisi” (Some Spatial Forms in Old Russian Painting), in Drevnerusskoe iskusstvo XVII veka (Old Russian Art of the 17th Century), ed. V. N. Lazarev et al. (Moscow: Nauka, 1964), pp. 175–214; “‘Ikonnye gorki.’ Prostran-stvenno-vremennoe edinstvo živopisnogo proizvedenija” (“Icon Hillocks.” The Spatio-Temporal Unity of a Pictorial Work), TZS, 2 (1965), 231–47; Jazyk živopisnogo proizvedenija. (Uslovnost’ drevnego iskusstva) (The Language of a Pictorial Work. [The Conventions of Ancient Art]) (Moscow: Iskusstvo, 1970).Google Scholar
  118. 110.
    R. Arnheim, “Inverted Perspective in Art: Display and Expression,” Leonardo, 5 (1972), 125–135.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  119. 111.
    B. V. Rausenbax, Prostranstvennye postroenija v drevnerusskoj živopisi (Spatial Constructions in Old Russian Painting) (Moscow: Nauka, 1975).Google Scholar
  120. 112.
    “Left and Right in Icon Painting,” Semiotica, 3, No. 1 (1975), 33–39 (originally in Sbornik statej po vtoricnym modelirujuscim sistemam [Tartu, 1973], pp. 137–145).Google Scholar
  121. 113.
    The problem of inner and exterior viewpoints, as well as the question of frame, center and periphery in art and literature, are discussed by Uspenskij in “Structural Isomorphism of Verbal and Visual Art,” Poetics, 5 (1972), 5–39, as well as in his book A Poetics of Composition. Google Scholar
  122. 114.
    “The Influence of Language on Religious Consciousness,” Semiotica, 10, No. 2 (1974)’, 177–189 (originally in TZS, 4 [1969], 159–168).Google Scholar
  123. 115.
    V. V. Ivanov, “Motify vostočno-slavjanskogo jazyčestva i ix transformacija v russkix ikonax” (Motifs of Eastern Slavic Paganism and their Transformation in Russian Icons), in Narodnaja gravjura i fol’klor v Rossii XVII-XIX vv. (K 150-letiju so dnja roždenija D. V. Rovinskogo) (Folk Prints and Folklore in the 17th-18th cc. [On the 150th Anniversary of D. A. Rovinskij’s Birth]) (Moscow: Sovetskij Xudožnik, 1976), pp. 268–287.Google Scholar
  124. 116.
    “Strukturno-tipologiceskij podxod k semantičeskoj inter-pretacii proizvedenij izobrazitel’nogo iskusstva v diaxro-ničeskom aspekte,” TZS, 8 (1977), 103–119.Google Scholar
  125. 117.
    Ju. K. Lekomcev, Ob algebraičeskom podxode k sintaksisu cvetov v živopisi (An Algebraic Approach to the Syntax of Colors in Painting), TZS, 7 (1975), 193–205; “Process abstragirovanija v izobrazitelnom iskusstve i semiotika” (The Process of Abstraction in Representational Art and Semiotics), TZS, 11 (1979), 120–142.Google Scholar
  126. 118.
    See the articles by Ogibenin, Petrov, Semeka, and Zavadskaja, listed as items 1401, 1403, 1408, 1418 in Eimer-macher and Shishkoff, Subject Bibliography, pp. 95–96.Google Scholar
  127. 119.
    V.V. Ivanov, “Ob odnom tipe arxaicnyx znakov iskusstva i piktografii” (On One Type of Archaic Sign in Art and Pictography), in Rannie formy iskusstva: Sbornik statej, ed. S. Ju. Nekljudov (Moscow: Iskusstvo, 1972), pp. 105–148.Google Scholar
  128. 120.
    Ju. M. Lotman, “Xudožestvennaja priroda russkix narodnyx kartinok” (The Artistic Nature of Russian Folk Pictures), in Narodnaja gravjura, pp. 247–267.Google Scholar
  129. 121.
    Ju. M. Lotman, “Teatral’nyj jazyk i živopis’ (K probleme ikoničeskoj ritoriki)” (The Language of Theater and Painting [On the Problem of Iconic Rhetoric]), Teatral’noe prostranstvo: Materialy naucnoj konferencii (Theatrical Space: Materials of a Scientific Conference), ed. I. E. Danilova (Moscow: Sovetskij Xudožnik, 1979), pp. 238–252.Google Scholar
  130. 122.
    In addition to Ivanov’s fundamental monograph (cf. note 40 above), cf. A. K. Žolkovskij and Ju. K. Ščeglov, “Structural Poetics Is a Generative Poetics,” in Soviet Semiotics, ed. Lucid, pp. 175–192 (originally in Voprosy literatury, 1967, No. 1, pp. 74–89);Google Scholar
  131. 122a.
    A. K. Žolkovskij, “Generative Poetics in the Writings of Eisenstein,” Russian Poetics in Translation, 8 (1981), 40–61; V. V. Ivanov, “Eisenstein et la linguistique structurale moderne,” Cahiers du cinéma, 220 – 221 (May-June 1970), pp. 47–50;Google Scholar
  132. 122b.
    J. Salvaggio, “Between Formalism and Semiotics: Eisenstein’s Film Language,” Dispositio, 4, No. 11–12 (1979), 289–298.Google Scholar
  133. 123.
    The heritage of the Russian Formalists on film has recently become available to the English audience in two books whose material largely overlaps: Russian Formalist Film Theory, comp. and ed. H. Eagle (Ann Arbor: Michigan Slavic Publications, 1981), and The Poetics of Cinema, ed. R. Taylor = Russian Poetics in Translation, 9 (1982), a complete translation of Poètika Kino, ed. B. M. Ejxenbaum (Moscow: Kinopečat’, 1927). Herbert Eagle’s anthology profits from his informative and conceptually persuasive introductory essay, “Russian Formalist Film Theory,” pp. 1–54, which includes a discussion of the works of Lotman and Ivanov on film.Google Scholar
  134. 124.
    Cf. note 11, above. Originally Semiotika kino i problemy kinoèstetika (Semiotics of Film and Problems of Film Aesthetics) (Tallin: Eesti Raamat, 1973).Google Scholar
  135. 125.
    Ivanov’s important book-length study Eisenstein and Modern Semiotics, which Eagle mentions (note 77 on p. 171), remains unpublished, though many parts of it are incorporated in his book Očerki po istorii. A chapter in my translation, which Eagle cites (p. 46), has been published under the title “Eisenstein’s Montage of Hieroglyphic Signs,” in On Signs: A Semiotic Reader, ed. Marshall Blonsky (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins, 1985), pp. 221–235.Google Scholar
  136. 126.
    This debate is discussed in length by Andrew Tudor, Theories of Film (N.Y.: Viking, 1974), pp. 77–115, and Brian Henderson, “Two Types of Film Theory,” in his A Critique of Film Theory (N.Y.: Dutton, 1980), pp. 16–31.Google Scholar
  137. l27 See Ivanov’s articles, “Eisenstein’s Montage” and “Functions and Categories of Film Language,” Russian Poetics in Translation, 8 (1981), 1–35 (originally in TZS, 7 [1975], 170–192).Google Scholar
  138. 128.
    The relativity of “likeness” of the film image also holds for “realistic” pictorial art using the system of direct perspective, which relates to our discussion above. Even within a technical system for transferring reality onto the picture plane, some distortion necessarily occurs, and conventional compositional and semantic codes are superimposed. See G. Guillen’s essay, “On the Concept and Metaphor of Perspective,” in his Literature as System (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1971), pp. 283–371.Google Scholar
  139. 129.
    B. M. Gasparov, “Some Descriptive Problems of Musical Semantics,” Dispositio, 1, No. 3 (1976), 247–262.Google Scholar
  140. 130.
    B. M. Gasparov, “Poslednjaja sonata Mocaría’” (Mozart’s Last Sonata), TZS, 11 (1979), 71–97; Dva Passiona J. S. Baxa: struktura i semantika (J. S. Bach’s Two Passions: Structure and Semantics), TZS, 12 (1981), 43–82.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen Rudy
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Slavic Languages and LiteraturesNew York UniversityNew YorkUSA

Personalised recommendations