Keywords: manor, alley, garden, park, manor poetry, Russian poetry.
For citation:

Akimova M.S. “Decrepit Century-Old Parks”: The Image of the Park in the Russian Poetry of the 19th Century and the Beginning of the 20th Century. Studia Litterarum, 2020, vol. 5, no 1, pp. 178–193. (In Russ.)

DOI: 10.22455/2500-4247-2020-5-1-178-193

Author: M.S. Akimova
Information about the author:

Maria S. Akimova, PhD in Philology, Senior Researcher, А.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of Russian Academy of Sciences, Povarskaya 25 а, 121069 Moscow, Russia.

ORCID ID: 0000-0001-6051-3949

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

Received: May 03, 2019
Published: March 25, 2020
Issue: 2020 Vol. 5, №1
Department: Russian Literature
Pages: 178-193
DOI: 10.22455/2500-4247-2020-5-1-178-193
UDK: 821.161.1
BBK: 83.3(2Рос=Рус)


The article considers two images typical of the Russian manor poetry of the 19th — early 20th centuries — the “alley” and the “thickets,” their originality, features, correlation and functions. The alley is one of the favorite images of Russian poetry. There are several reasons for this: the word “alley” is euphonious, showing the harmony of form and content; the alley is a manor reality, yet at the same time it is metaphysical: in the process of everyday life and historical conflicts the image of the alley undergoes changes, deepens (carries a whole complex of meanings: a place of meetings, reflections, memories, a symbol of the road of life, a reproduction of the world, etc.), begins to relate to the manor world as a whole, with its ambivalent characteristics. The alley in the park — whether it is French or English — appears as an instrument of creating harmony of the natural and the man-made, the victory of the human over chaos. The article shows that by the beginning of 20th century, the image of the overgrowth is more and more often used in poetry, and this image is different from the elegiac images of naturally neglected parks often used in poetry of the 19th century. This fact apparently reflects actual observations of poets (newspapers published notices of auctions; the desolation of estates is described in the magazines of the early 20th century, for example, in Capital and Estate, etc.), and the feeling of the coming Apocalypsis. By personifying the estate and its life, the alley in poetry also personifies the death of the estate through physical, “human” destruction or “inhuman,” natural overgrowth.


1 Blok A.A. Sobranie sochinenii: v 7 t. [Collected Works: in 7 vols.] Berlin, Alkonost Publ., 1923. Vol. 7. 350 p. (In Russ.)

2 Vinogradova E.Iu. Gibel’ simvola (Vishnevyi sad: real’nost’ i simvolika) [The Death of the Symbol (the Cherry Orchard: Reality and Symbolism)]. Novyi filologicheskii vestnik, 2008, no 6. Available at: (Accessed 04 April 2019). (In Russ.)

3 Gogol’ N.V. Sobranie sochinenii: v 9 t. [Collected works: in 9 vols.] Moscow, Russkaia kniga Publ., 1994. Vol. 5. 492 p. (In Russ.)

4 Gorodnianskii A. Russkie usad’by [Russian estates]. Available at: https://www.greeninfo. ru/landscape/russian_estate.html (Accessed 04 April 2019). (In Russ.)

5 Gumilev N.S. Sochineniia: v 3 t. [Works: in 3 vols.]. Moscow, Khudozhestvennaia literatura Publ., 1991. Vol. 3: Stat’i. 428 p. (In Russ.)

6 Dmitrieva E.E., Kuptsova O.N. Zhizn’ usadebnogo mifa: utrachennyi i obretennyi rai [Life of the Estate Myth: Paradise Lost and Regained]. 2nd ed. Moscow, OGI Publ., 2008. 528 p. (In Russ.)

7 Zaitsev B. Zhukovskii. Zhizn’ Turgeneva. Chekhov. Literaturnye biografii [Zhukovsky. Turgenev’s Life. Chekhov. Literary Biographies]. Moscow, Druzhba narodov Publ., 1994. 542 p. (In Russ.)

8 Likhachev D.S. Izbrannoe: mysli o zhizni, istorii, kul’ture [Selected Works: Thoughts about Life, History, Culture], comp., prepared text and introd. by D.N. Bakun. Moscow, Rossiiskii Fond Kul’tury Publ., 2006. 336 p. (In Russ.)

9 Likhachev D.S. “Temnye allei” [Dark Alleys]. Zvezda, 1981, no 3, pp. 183. (In Russ.)

10 Nashchokina M.V. Russkaia usad’ba Serebrianogo veka [Russian Manor of the Silver Age]. Moscow, Ulei Publ., 2007. 432 p. (In Russ.)

11 Orlov A. Obraz allei v tvorchestve Ivana Bunina [The Image of the Alley in the Works of Ivan Bunin]. Fіlologіchnі nauki, 2014, no 17, pp. 92–97. Available at: http://dspace.pnpu. (Accessed 04 April 2019). (In Russ.)

12 Polonskii Ia.P. I.S. Turgenev u sebia v ego poslednii priezd na rodinu [Turgenev in his Last Visit to his Homeland]. Available at: turgenev.shtml (Accessed 04 April 2019). (In Russ.)

13 Sternin G.Iu. Russkaia zagorodnaia usad’ba v sovremennykh istoriko-kul’turnykh interesakh [Russian Country Estate in Modern Historical and Cultural Interests]. Russkaia usad’ba. Sbornik OIRU [Russian Еstate. Collection of the Society for the Study of the Russian Estate]. Moscow, Kolo Publ., 1998, issue 4 (20), pp. 245–252. (In Russ.)

14 Turgenev I.S. Zapiski okhotnika [Hunter’s Notes]. Moscow, Nauka Publ., 1991. 680 p. (In Russ.)

15 Chekhov A.P. Sobranie sochinenii: v 8 t. [Collected Works: in 8 vols.] Moscow, Biblioteka “Ogonek”; Pravda Publ., 1970. Vol. 7. 448 p. (In Russ.)