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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

  • Classification – name: Literary studies
  • Format: Hardback
  • Dimensions: 60 х 90 1/16
  • Pages: 782 p.
  • 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: Visit Website
  • Language of the publication: Russian
  • Type of document: Collection of articles
  • DOI:
  • EDN:

  • ISBN (books series): 978-5-9208-0618-5
  • Year of publication: 2024
  • Place of publication: Moscow
  • PDF

  • Kasatkina,Tatiana A., editor Commentary: Theory and Practice. Ed.-in-Chief Tatiana A. Kasatkina. Moscow, IWL RAS Publ., 2024. 782 p. (In Russian) 1 Electronic Optical Disc. Text: Electronic.
  • Editors: Tatyana A. Kasatkina

Information about ex. editor:

Tatiana A. Kasatkina, DSc in Philology, Director of Research, Head of the Research Centre “Dostoevsky and World Culture”, A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Povarskaya 25A, bld. 1, 121069 Moscow, Russia.

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


The volume Commentary: Theory and Practice is a largescale multidimensional collective research that examines the problems of commentary. In most cases, authors are scholars dedicated both to theoretical research and commentary, trying here to reflect theoretically on their own longtime experience as commentators and editors. The works here presented discuss the following questions: “Commentary as an ontological structure and an epistemological practice”, “Commentary as a modality culture exists and develops”, “The most relevant typologies of commentary in modern publications”, “Commenting 19th and 20th centuries Russian literature in the light of newly discovered texts and traditions”, “The intended recipient of commentary, and commentary without recipient”, “Commentary on esoteric texts”, “Esoteric commentary on children’s literature”, “Typologies of editions and suitable typologies of commentary”, “Commentary and interpretation”, “Commentary as evaluation, polemic, or competition of/with the commented text”, “The meaning of commenting realia in a symbolic text”, “Commenting realia in the age of the Internet”, “Role and function of the author’s biography in commenting texts”, “Preface as a form of commentary”; “Commenting translated texts: translation that needs commentary, and translation that allows to avoid commentary”, “Commentary as a form of creativity and a literature genre”, “The being of literature as a process of commentary”, “Commentary on incomplete texts”, “Auto-commentary”, et al.

Keywords: Problems of commentary, theory of commentary, experience and practice of commentary, commentary and translation, commentary as a cultural phenomenon, commentary of realia, auto-commentary, commentary on incomplete texts, sources of commentary, literary text as a form of commentary, liturgy as a commentary to scriptural texts, commentary in the Internet era.



From the Editor


Tatiana A. Kasatkina
Commentary in Culture

Natalia R. Lidova
Commentary in Ancient India

Alexander Sh. Gumerov
Orthodox Church Service as a Commentary to the Biblical Text

Gleb A. Butuzov
Commentary and Interpretation of Esoteric Texts

Svetlana B. Likhacheva
Fiction as a Commentary on Reality — Reality as the Roots of Fiction: European Epics and J.R.R. Tolkien’s Original Legendarium

Lidiia I. Sazonova
Forms of Commentary in 16–17th Century Cyrillic Printing

Vladimir A. Gubailovsky
The New Book of Humankind: Commentary in the Age of Wikipedia

Anna V. Toporova
Commentary and Self-Commentary in the Middle Ages (the Case of Dante Alighieri)


Elena Mazzola
Illustrations for the Novel I Promessi Sposi (The Betrothed) as a Particular Genre of Authorial Commentary on the Text

Lidiia I. Sazonova
The Author’s Commentary in the Space of the Text

Ekaterina Ju. Moiseeva
The Role of Narrator’s Commentaries in the Organisation of the Creative Whole in Mark Z. Danilevsky’s Novel House of Leaves


Elena Mazzola
The Inevitability of the Commentary: a Translator’s “Blind Spots”

Elena Mazzola
Translation versus Commentary


Evgenia V. Ivanova
“…The Main Thing Is not Shakespeare, but the Notes to Him”: Academic and Educational Commentary, Commentary as an Autobiography, Research and Investigation

Tatiana A. Kasatkina
What is Realia? Problems of Real Commentary

Caterina Corbella
“If Not All [Words] Then at Least Their Meaning”: Comparative Analysis of Commentaries on Dante’s Vita Nuova

Natalia N. Smirnova
M.O. Gershenzon, Commentator of Pushkin

Irina Z. Surat
Commentary on Mandelshtam’s Texts: Problems and Practice

Olga A. Dekhanova
Commentaries on Dostoevsky’s “Gastronomic Language” as a Necessary Tool for a “Slow Reading”

Anna L. Gumerova
The Necessary Commentary on Fantasy

Valentina S. Sergeeva
A Source as the Cause of Confusion: Commentary and Interpretation of I.I. Gorbachevsky’s Notes

Karen A. Stepanyan
The Author’s Biography as a Necessary Source of Commentary for F.M. Dostoevsky’s Novel The Brothers Karamazov


Irina L. Popova
The Problem of Comprehending, Commenting and Publishing Drafts and Unfinished Texts


Irina L. Lagutina
Ideology vs. Poetics: Commentaries on the Anniversary Edition of Goethe’s Works (1932–1949)

Andrey V. Namestnikov
Comprehending and Commenting Patristic Texts by the Example of Russian Commentaries on Saint Augustine’s Treatise De Civitate Dei. Search for an Adequate Approach

Anna L. Gumerova
I.H. Jung-Stilling’s Victorious Tale, or The Triumph of the Christian Faith as a Possible Source of “The Grand Inquisitor”

Ekaterina A. Dais
Hidden Meanings of Children’s Literature: Andersen, Travers, Lagin

Pavel E. Fokin
From the Experience of Commenting V.S. Vysotsky’s Poetry in His Collected Works in 11 Volumes (2012)


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