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Author(s): Arias-Vikhil М. А.
Section: Philological sciences
Year: 2016
Issue: № 4 (42)
Pages: 115-125
Index UDK: УДК 82.091
Index BBK: ББК 83.3(0)5
Abstract: During the Symbolism era the image of Albatross, emerged in the romantic poetry of the XIXth century in the writings of S. T. Coleridge and Ch. Baudelaire, is undergoing a significant evolution. Nietzsche as an ideologist of the “turn of the century,” as well as Russian Symbolist poets like D. Merezhkovsky, K. Balmont and V. Ivanov, referred to this image. M. Gorky gives an original interpretation of it in the context of Russian Symbolism, capturing the changes of a cultural matrix within the era of “revaluation of values.” “A Song about the Storm Petrel” (1901) has been translated since then, but went down to the European literature as the “Song about the Albatross” or simply “Albatross,” so that translators began to use the phrase “l'Annonciateur de la tempête” (“Announcer of the storm”) only much later. The very term “storm petrel” in English and French was ignored by initial translators of Gorky, because his description of storm petrel was associated not with a real bird, but just its romantic image. “The language of birds” occupies a special place in the mythopoetical literary symbolism. In the poem by Baudelaire we are witnessing an opposition of heavenly and earthly inherent to Romantism as well as the emphasis on the divine nature of Albatross. Baudelaire’s metaphor reveals the essence of the Romantic confrontation between the poet and the crowd. In Coleridge’s poem the image of Albatross embraces all the components of “the language of birds”: it is a divine (white) messenger who announces “good news” about salvation. Albatross symbolizes the unity of the world of man and Nature, being at the same time the messenger of other world. All three poets exploit the prophetic character of the bird’s image of the European mythopoetics. As a spokesman of the “turn of the century” Gorky demonizes the black bird-messenger, emphasizing its pride and desire to challenge the Universe at the cost of a possible death of witnesses of the storm which it calls for. The image of the messenger-bird is undergoing a significant metamorphosis from a divine messenger to the demonic prophet, foretelling an era of social catastrophes — wars and revolutions.
Keywords: Coleridge, Baudelaire, Gorky, Russian symbolism, Albatross, Storm petrel.
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