English Literature and the Russian Aesthetic Renaissance by Rachel Polonsky
The turn of the nineteenth century, a time of exceptional creativity in Russia, was also a time of great receptivity to foreign cultural influences. Among the most important of these were English poetry and aesthetic thought, which gave new impetus to the Russian imagination. This 1998 book is a study of the Russian reception of English literature from Romanticism to aestheticism, focusing particularly on the reception by Russian poets of Shelley, Ruskin, Pater, Frazer and Wilde. Framing this account is a pioneering exploration of the intellectual background to these influences in comparative scholarship, illuminating a common interest in myth, folklore, anthropology, and the origins of language. This book discusses the relationship between Russian conceptions of national identity, literary influence and the origins of comparative literary history.