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  About the journal "Philologica"  


Russian philology is going through difficult times. The period of heroic deeds in its history is long gone. A high level of scholarship (i. e. precision, demonstrativeness, theoretical rigour etc. ) is now hardly an attractive goal for anybody; not only does contemporary Russian literary study make no attempt to achieve this aim, but, on the contrary, it is moving self-confidently backwards, losing on the way things already found and accumulated by predecessors. Methodological indifference, the poverty of theoretical thought, the absence of new devices in research, the visible decline of a common philological culture are striking. We have no “normal science”: most of the critical output is beneath criticism, and the intellectual community is not able to identify the quality of this output. The entrenchment and reproduction of the crisis situation is facilitated by the degradation of the intellectual life: there are no informal societies, no healthy competition between scholars; the last “schools” are dying out, and the philological tradition has been, in fact, broken off. The most serious fact is that not a single academic periodical exists, which might provide the stability of high philological standards.

In such conditions it would be absurd to begin a new journal with a “manifesto” proclaiming the editors’ principles, directions, predilections or aversions. Of course, this does not mean that we have no considered philological programme. Quite the opposite, we hope that our Weltanschauung will find consistent expression in the published materials, and not only our own. However, against the background of the crisis in Russian studies it seems justifiable to avoid excessively strict “approach” or “school” limitations. For, given that the aim is to support the tradition in the age of its decadence, the pages of the journal must afford the adherents of different (and not necessarily kindred) approaches an opportunity to express their ideas, provided that they conform to two principal stipulations: they should bear the stamp of the author’s professional gift and remain in the sphere of “science” in the logico-methodological sense. (Of course, the latter does not apply to those fields of philological work which are by definition outside the ambit of science. ) It does not follow from this that the editors are entirely satisfied with the content of this first volume, but there is no doubt that our discontent itself will help to enhance the quality in future.

Philologica is called upon to become a strictly “working” organ, and we commit ourselves to be guided exclusively by the interests of scholarship itself, as we understand it. We would like to establish a kind of philological “oasis” for the unselfish research activity of those whose ideals are not at variance with ours. Especially, we invite contributions from young scholars who feel nostalgia for real professionalism. In this period of philological stagnation it is necessary to combine our efforts in order, while putting, of course, our trust in the future success of scholarship, to do here and now work which would not have the seal of time — the mark which, whether we like it or not, this preamble bears.


Philologica publishes works of any length and genre across the whole range of the humanities. It is unique among Russian Studies journals in addressing cultural issues sub specie philologiae. For this reason preference will be given to contributors from any academic discipline (not necessarily philological) whose submissions have an explicitly philological aim. Philology is here understood in broadly traditional terms, that is, as an activity (techne) directed towards the goals of the revelation of sense and the elucidation (or “re-cognition”) of both nature and culture (Wiedererkenntnis des Erkannten). We are aware that such activity, in its more extreme instances, must inevitably exceed the bounds of scientific investigation, for, given that the sense of every text is a real and potential infinitude, any attempt to exhaust it would put philology outside the ambit of scientific cognition.

We suppose that the basic categories of philological discourse are not sign and meaning but rather text and sense. As a rule however sense is not a percept: inaudible and invisible, it is known only by external manifestations, by its incorporation in material (substantial) forms which are available to direct perception. Accordingly, Philologica favours critical approaches which stress textual integrity, and actively reveal the indissoluble unity of the spiritual and material aspects of texts, demonstrating the isomorphism of their linguistic levels and the homology of form and content. We are interested in a linguistics which regards language principally as an expression of sense and a manifestation of culture; and vice versa, literary criticism which is not formally grounded in linguistic data will not be editorially acceptable.

Our principal formal stipulation to contributors relates directly to the above, namely the faithful preservation of the script, orthography and punctuation of each source used, whatever its printed context: publication, republication, quotation etc. Any changes to the original text should be shown in angular brackets or mentioned in the notes. (Responsibility for the authenticity of the publication or quotation lies with the author, not the editors). This requirement is, although only in part, dictated by the inherent inexactitude of philological studies, which can ill afford to refrain from applying what is, after all, an attainable degree of accuracy. Also, however, the interdisciplinary nature of this journal means that it must strive to impart the maximum information and to satisfy the demands of scholars from a number of different specialities: linguistics, literary criticism, aesthetics, sociology, psychology, biographical studies etc. A further reason for this requirement lies in what we consider to be the interdependency of surface and deep structure: textual modernisation may alter the semantics, syntax and pragmatics of a work, so, in matters of script, it is by no means as simple as might first appear to disentangle the essential from the inessential. (Note, however, that in the interest of avoiding problems with catalogues, the above does not extend to the list of the works cited — it should preserve only those spellings which would not be unequivocally restored: in cases, for instance, where there is no norm, or a double norm, or a significant departure from the generally accepted orthography, etc. )

Philologica accepts contributions in two languages, Russian and English. Contributors should submit a synopsis, which should adequately summarize the work in terms of its theme, goals, methods and conclusions. The editors are willing to undertake the translation of synopses into the second language. (At the discretion of the editors some submissions may be translated in full. ) Russian words and expressions appearing in English articles (as examples, quotations or titles) should be rendered in Cyrillic; this does not apply to proper names (however, no English forms for forenames may be used, except for “historical” figures). The English translation alone is not sufficient in the citation of Russian texts; when quoting from a foreign text (Greek, Latin, Italian, French etc. ) of whatever genre, the contributors are advised to provide a translation into the language of the article (with the original separated from the translation by a sign of equality).

Linguistic examples and verse quotations should be italicized; for other forms of emphasis spaced lettering should be employed. In the interests of clarity round brackets may be used within square ones if one pair of brackets is not enough. Double quotation marks are recommended, except for “quotations within quotations” in English texts; single quotation marks are also used for the meaning of words and expressions and for the titles of articles and publications included in the bibliography. Within the text titled works should be cited in “Cyrillic” quotation marks (for texts in Russian) or italicized (for those in English). Where references are made to the works listed in the bibliography, the surname of the author or editor, year and page number should appear in brackets. Alternatively, for convenience, works or editions may sometimes be cited in abbreviated form; the same applies to Archives, the full title and location of which has been set out in the bibliography. On making first reference to unpublished documents, it is advisable to indicate whose archive (fond) they are derived from, as well as the number of the archive (for further references the number is sufficient).

Notes should be located at the end of the article, before the bibliography, and should be unparagraphed. The bibliography should observe alphabetical and chronological consecutiveness. Titles should not be abbreviated (subtitles omitted for journals). Information should be provided in this order: surname of author; initials (for a second author, if any, the procedure is reversed: initials followed by surname); year of publication; title of work; title of edition (italicized); place of publication (omitted for journals); volume; number or issue; page numbers (for articles; if the bibliography is incorporated in the notes, the numbers of the first and last pages are cited in the first reference to the article, preceding the number of the quoted page). Supplementary bibliographical information should be supplied in square brackets.

All submissions are peer reviewed. The authors will receive proofs before publication. Articles and other contributions may not be republished in other periodicals or collections without the editors’ permission. Material which has previously appeared in print will not be considered for publication.


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