Classification – name: Literary studies
Pages: 188-203
Publisher: A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IWL RAS Publ.)
Rights – description: Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 (СС BY-ND)
Rights – URL:
Language of the publication: Russian
Type of document: Research Article
Collection: Russian Literature and Journalism in the Pre-revolutionary Era: Forms of Interaction and Methodology of Analysis
Year of publication: 2021
Place of publication: Moscow


Author: Elena A. Tacho-Godi
Elena A. Takho-Godi. Yuly Aykhenvald’s “Natural Symbolism” (on the Question of the Aesthetic Method)

About the author:

Elena A. Tacho-Godi, DSc in Philology, Leading Research Fellow, A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Povarskaya 25 a, 121069 Moscow, Russia; Professor, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Leninskie gory 1, 119991 Moscow, Russia; Head of the Department, Library-Museum “House of A.F. Losev,” Arbat 33, 119002 г. Moscow, Russia.

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The paper considers the methodological principles of Yu.I. Aykhenvald’s literary criticism. Attention is drawn to the relationship between Aykhenvald’s declared “immanent method” and “principled impressionism” and his own “philosophy of life”. It is proved that Aykhenvald’s version of “impressionism” is much closer to the theory of symbolism than it seemed to contemporaries and researchers. The analysis takes into account both the aesthetic “sympathies” (Apollon Grigoryev, Vladimir Solovyov, Oscar Wilde, Remy de Gourmont, Émile Faguet) and “antipathies” (Vissarion Belinsky, Vasily Rozanov), that influenced Aykhenvald’s interpretation of the heritage of literary critics, philosophers, and writers of the 19th century — Pushkin, Tolstoy, Chekhov.

Keywords: Yuly Aykhenvald, impressionism, immanent method, “philosophy of life”, “natural symbolism”.