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Kupchenko T.A. Authorial Punctuation Signs of Punctuation as the Markers of the Meaning. On the Example of Mayakovsky’s 150 000 000. Studia Litterarum, 2020, vol. 5, no 2, pp. 438–469. (In Russ.)

DOI: 10.22455/2500-4247-2020-5-2-438-469

Author: T.A. Kupchenko
Information about the author:

Tatiana A. Kupchenko, PhD in Philology, Senior Researcher, A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Povarskaya St. 25 а, 121069 Moscow, Russia.

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

Received: May 15, 2019
Published: June 25, 2020
Issue: 2020 Vol. 5, №2
Department: Textology. Materials
Pages: 438-469
DOI:

https://doi.org/10.22455/2500-4247-2020-5-2-438-469

UDK: 82.09
BBK: 83.3(2Рос=Рус)
Keywords: Mayakovsky, 150,000,000, avant-garde, October revolution, revolution of the spirit, textology, punctuation, semantics, variant, editorial, author’s image, futurism, authorial punctuation.

Abstract

The first anonymous edition of Vladimir Mayakovsky’s poem 150,000,000 (1921) is distinguished by its “non-classical” punctuation. In the context of the futuristic aesthetics, it becomes a manifesto of the new revolutionary art. The article examines Mayakovsky’s punctuation as a problem of the author’s idiostyle focusing on his use of authorial punctuation marks. Such marks in the first edition of the poem are: zero sign at the end of the line, combination of the period / zero sign and the capital letter at the beginning of the line, question marks and dashes at the end of the line, at the end of the term and at the end of the stanza simultaneously, a combination of the dash and the period, dashes, and exclamation points in the mentioned order. A comparison with a ladder-designed manuscript (1924) allows me to clarify the meaning of the zero signs intentionally used by the author and to trace the change in the poet’s mindset as the meaning of the poem becomes less futuristic and more epic. Thus, in the last lifetime edition of the poem (1929), there are no authorial marks. Their absence signals the shift of the poem’s style from avant-garde to epic. The poetic persona is no longer an impudent and rude guy “pointing with a finger at the sky” but the omnipresent and unplaceable author of the epic poem. Studying the semantics of the authorial punctuation and its role allows us to trace the evolution of the text and its author as well as distinguish between the editions of the same text.

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