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  Philologica 6 (1999/2000)  

E. A. Baratynskij, Polnoe sobranie stixotvorenij, Vstupitel’nye stat’i E. V. Nevzgliadovoj i L. G. Frizmana, Sostavlenie, podgotovka teksta i primechaniia L. G. Frizmana, S.-Peterburg, “Gumanitarnoe agentstvo ‘Akademicheskij proekt’”, 2000, 528 s. (Novaia Biblioteka poeta).

I. A. Pil’shchikov




The Complete Poetical Works of Evgenij Baratynskij published to celebrate his bicentenary is edited by L. G. Frizman, who was editor of the works of this prominent Russian poet published in the academic series, “Literary Monuments”, in 1982. The latter edition has merit, but also has numerous defects, the overwhelming majority of which are not corrected in the jubilee collection. In both editions contaminated versions of the poems are found, in which the text of the last versions to be supervised by the author during his lifetime is partly changed in accordance with different (and sometimes unreliable) sources. In the section of “other versions and variants”, lacunae and gross distortions of the text abound. Unfortunately, the new collection is even less authentic than the 1982 edition: the errors and misprints which had already been made are added to here by a plethora of new ones. Baratynskij’s French self-translations are damaged worse than other parts, as they have been simply scanned in from an unreliable source; not only was the text not revised by a philologist, but even the mechanichal mistakes made in the scanning process have not been corrected. The annotation claims that “the book is furnished with a new commentary, which takes into account recent investigations and studies”. This is an exaggeration, to put it mildly. Apart from one or two exceptions, the amendments introduced into the new edition are derived, firstly, from V. M. Sergeev’s notes in The Complete Poetical Works of Baratynskij (1989) and, secondly, from The Chronology of the Life and Work of Baratynskij compiled by A. M. Peskov (1998). Moreover, the information found in The Chronology is used inconsistently and incompletely, while Sergeev’s explanations are borrowed uncritically. There are two introductory articles: both are beneath criticism. The historical and biographical essay by Frizman suffers from rigid schematism and is permeated with the ideological clichés of Soviet literary scholarship, while the article by E. V. Nevzgliadova, which concentrates “on questions of Baratynskij’s poetics”, will startle the reader with its methodological helplessness and factual mistakes.



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