Information about the author:
Ekaterina V. Kuznetsova
Ekaterina V. Kuznetsova (Moscow, Russia), PhD in Philology, Research Fellow, A.M. Gorky Institute of World literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Povarskaya 25 а, 121069 Moscow, Russia.
ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6045-2162
The article examines the influence of the English writer Oscar Wilde on the formation of ironic-paradoxical style and genre of aphoristic statements in the works of the Russian poet Igor Severyanin. Wilde’s popularity in Russia in the 1900–1910s was so great that his public image, demeanor and literary style became an object of imitation and creative reinterpretation among the artistic intelligentsia. The English dandy played a particularly prominent role in the formation of the stage image and literary poetics of Severyanin, whom his contemporaries called “the Russian Wilde”. And although the poet himself denied the Wilde’s influence, a comparative analysis shows numerous thematic echoes of the aphorisms of the English writer in Severyanin’s aphorisms. Veiled maxims and paradoxical statements in some of his poems are also present due to the influence of that special language, which Wilde had created. The ironic and ambiguous style of Severyanin was formed as a result of his attempts to master a specific style, which has its roots in the works of the English aesthete. However, this influence was not solely direct. The very contradictory image of Wilde, that of a suffering ironist, was formed in the works of Severyanin largely under the influence of critical articles by K. Chukovskiy.