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A.M. Gorky Institute
of World Literature
of the Russian Academy of Sciences

IWL RAS Publishing

A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature
of the Russian Academy of Sciences


Povarskaya 25a, 121069 Moscow, Russia



Types of publications

Information about the author:

Marina I. Shcherbakova, DSc in Philology, Professor, Director of Research, А.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Povarskaya 25 а, 121069 Moscow, Russia.


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The article examines the issue of the principles of publication of letters that deviate signifi cantly from the accepted grammatical and spelling norms. The research is based on letters addressed to Innocent (Borisov), the archbishop of Kherson and Tauride, by Crimean monks, inhabitants of cells and cynovias, people of different levels of education and literacy. The established tradition of printing epistolary documents in modern spelling, but as close as possible to the source, in this case encounters many deviations from the general rules. Preparers are faced with a diffi cult textual task: on the one hand, to eliminate traces of obvious violations of the accepted rules, on the other, to preserve the special historical fl avor of letters; without spoiling the epistolary document, to convey its unique personality. Solutions are proposed in cases of erroneous spelling, obsolete forms, archaic, dialectic, colloquial and vernacular forms. The peculiarity of this epistolary material lies in the fact that the language of the correspondents of Archbishop Innocent organically absorbed the vocabulary of Holy Scripture and prayers — not only obscure to the modern reader, but also not caught, not perceived by him. The author of the article formulates and proposes for discussion several theses.

  • Keywords: textual studies, epistolary, spelling, Innokenty (Borisov), Crimea.


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