An answer given by Roman Jakobson in 1976 to a question by an interviewer is now inscribed as an epitaph, in Russian, on his tombstone in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The question asked for a self-characterization: “You speak and write in so many languages. You have worked, taught and lived in so many countries. Who are you?” Jakobson's answer was laconic: “A Russian philologist. Period.”

In Roman Jakobson, “the man and his work are one” (Gray VII). One of the greatest scholars of the twentieth century, Jakobson was a man of immense intellectual power, audacity of thought, exceptional originality and creative breadth. His work in Slavic philology, poetics, semiotics, and, above all, linguistics, defined the …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Reznik, Vladislava. "Roman Jakobson". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 09 April 2008
[, accessed 25 November 2015.]

Related Groups

  1. Structuralism