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Literary criticism of Korney Chukovsky and Freudian wit

S.V. Fedotova
80,00 ₽

UDC 82.09



Fedotova Svetlana V.,

Doctor of Philology, Associate Professor,

Leading Scientific Researcher

Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences



The originality of literary criticism by Korney Chukovsky is examined in the article through the prism of the contradictory principles of his critical method: on the one hand, he saw the goal of criticism as revealing the hidden (unconscious) soul of the artist through the analysis of his style, on the other hand, he was initially aimed at self-expression in creativity and achieving success with caustic wit. It is shown that from the point of view of promotion his literary reputation, Chukovsky’s focus on wit was more productive than his “psychologism,” which is due to the feuilleton genre of his literary criticism and the desire to win recognition among the mass reader of periodicals. In this regard, it is proposed to draw typological parallels between Chukovsky’s critical techniques and the techniques of wit described in S. Freud’s work “Wit and its Relation to the Unconscious” (1905). As a result, it is concluded that Chukovsky’s literary criticism contains many of the mechanisms of wit described by Freud, namely: verbal and tendentious witticisms (of an unconsciously aggressive nature), ridiculing literary authorities and morals, as well as the tastes of the mass reader; techniques of condensation, semantic shift, nonsense, witticism-exaggeration, witticism with unification or with a hint, depiction through the opposite (close to irony); image through a trifle, on what a caricature, cartoon, parody, travesty, etc. are based.

Keywords: Korney Chukovsky, Freud, wit, mechanisms, the unconscious, psychoanalysis, literary criticism.



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