Shostakovich and Literature (3349 words)

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

Philip Ross Bullock (Oxford University)
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Russian culture is frequently perceived in terms of its tendency to logocentrism, a feature that has long tended to shape the development and perception of the various non-verbal art forms. Music is no exception to this rule, characterised as it is by the dominance of texted forms, most notably opera and song. Take, for instance, the nineteenth-century fascination with Pushkin, which extends from Glinka’s A Life for the Tsar and Ruslan and Liudmila, via Tchaikovsky’s [Chaikovsky’s] Eugene Onegin, Mazeppa and Queen of Spades, as well as Musorgsky’s Boris Godunov, to the various attempts to set his Little Tragedies (Cui, Dargomyzhsky, Rakhmaninov, Rimsky-Korsakov). …

Citation: Bullock, Philip Ross. "Shostakovich and Literature". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 12 June 2007 [, accessed 08 March 2021.]

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