By D. S. Mirsky
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back hide quote: A background of Russian Literature: From Its Beginnings to 1900 comprises all of D. S. Mirsky's A background of Russian Literature and the 1st chapters of his modern Russian Literature, as they seemed within the one-volume A heritage of Russian Literature, edited through Francis J. Whitfield and released in 1949 by means of Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. Russian literature has regularly been inseparably associated with Russian historical past. D. S. Mirsky, in facing this truth, continually stored in brain the ever colourful and altering points of the only in discussing the opposite. With a willing and penetrating experience of values, fortified via a method sharp adequate to hold each nuance of his that means, he explored probably the most advanced and interesting literatures of the world.
" [Mirsky's] histories of literature ... own lcarning, beauty, wit, highbrow gaiety, and an incomparable sort and sweep and tool of speaking impressions and ideas." Sir' Isaiah Berlin
"Prince Mirsky is either student and stylist; his books, as a result, have a double correct to live." Clifton Fadiman
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Extra resources for A History of Russian Literature from its Beginnings to 1900
By the time Peter the Great began his "Reforms," the progress of Westernization had advanced considerably in Moscow. But it had proceeded along familiar lines, Westernizing the fabric of the Church but leaving it the center of all civilization. Peter's reforms were far more revolutionary. They aimed at displacing the Church from its place of honor and at secularizing the whole of the Russian polity. Literature took some time before it fully THB PASSING OF OLD RUSSIA 33 felt the new state of things, and the literature of the reign of Peter is largely a continuation of the preceding peri9d.
Soon after the death of Peter, Russian literature finally becomes modem and Western. But the new, Frenchbred literature was confined to the upper classes, and the people remained more or less aloof from it. The later eighteenth century produced a popular literature distinct from both the literature of the upper classes and the unwritten folk poetry. It catered to the lower middle aifd lower urban classes and was a direct continuation of the literature of the age of Peter. When, in the middle of the eighteenth century, the printing press became an accessible and universal means of expression, numerous books and inscribed woodcuts began to be published for popular consumption.
In December 1730, therefore, he left home and went to Moscow, where he entered the Slavo-Grreco-Latin Academy as a student. Without any support from his father he persevered and, in 1736, was sent to Germany to complete his education. At Marburg he studied philosophy, physics, and chemistry under the famous Christian Wolff; afterwards, at Freiburg in Saxony, he learned practical mining. It was from Germany that he sent to the Academy of St. Petersburg an Ode on the Taking of Kh6tin (1739), the first Russian poem written in what has since become our classical prosody.
A History of Russian Literature from its Beginnings to 1900 by D. S. Mirsky