Isaak Babel

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Philip Ross Bullock (University of Oxford)

Isaak Babel´'s early story “Odessa” seems, at first glance, to be a modest piece of reportage about his home town. But, as is so often the case with Babel', the text soon becomes a metaliterary meditation on art itself:

And now my thoughts move on from my Odessan discourse to higher matters. If you think about it, doesn't it strike you that in Russian literature there haven't been so far any real clear, cheerful descriptions of the sun?

According to Babel', Ivan Turgenev “poeticized the dewy morning, the calm night”, whereas “with Fedor Dostoevskii you f…

2291 words

Citation: Bullock, Philip Ross. "Isaak Babel". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 18 September 2006 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=204, accessed 07 February 2023.]

204 Isaak Babel 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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