For citation:

Markov A.V. Schumann’s Carnival in the Poetry of Dmitry Klenovsky. Studia Litterarum, 2020, vol. 5, no 2, pp. 270–285. (In Russ.)

DOI: 10.22455/2500-4247-2020-5-2-270-285

Author: A.V. Markov
Information about the author:

Alexander V. Markov, DSc in Philology, Professor, Russian State University for the Humanities, Miusskaya square 6, 125993, GSP-3, Moscow, Russia; Stoletovs Vladimir State University, Gorky St. 87, 600000 Vladimir, Russia.

ORCID ID: 0000-0001-6874-1073

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

Received: January 13, 2020
Published: June 25, 2020
Issue: 2020 Vol. 5, №2
Department: Russian Literature
Pages: 270-285

UDK: 82.0+7.01
BBK: 83.3(2Рос=Рус)
Keywords: Russian ballet, Russian seasons, Schumann, Mikhail Fokin, Tamara Karsavina, Dmitry Klenovsky, carnivalization, lyrical protagonist, romantic irony, tragedy.


The ballet-pantomime Carnival by R. Schumann directed by M.M. Fokin (1910) contributed to the reform of the language of the ballet. Semantization of some elements and automation of others found reflection in the poetry of Dmitry Klenovsky. The poet devoted a cycle of two poems to the ballet, however, many of his poems contain allusions to the artistic principles of this performance. This article argues that Klenovsky’s appeal to the plot of the ballet Carnival is not limited to the general interest of this poet in Fokin’s ballets and Tamara Karsavina’s dance but is necessary for him to construct his own image as a poet. Klenovsky invented the concept of a lonely poet relying on the role of Pierrot in the ballet, while taking into account not only the peculiarities of Fokin’s production but also the polemical meaning of Schumann’s work itself. Klenovsky inherits not only the tragic irony of Annensky but also the romantic irony of Schumann. Examining Schumann ideas allows me to explain the imagery of Klenovsky’s poems dedicated to ballet and his other poems with transgressive images. Besides the study of the motivations behind obscure images in Klenovsky’s poetry, the article draws typological similarities between his understanding of irony and the achievements of contemporary Russian humanities.


1 Arustamova A.A., Rastorgueva M.Iu. Afrika na poeticheskoi karte A. Ladinskogo [Africa on the poetic map of A. Ladinsky]. Vestnik Permskogo universiteta. Rossiiskaia i zarubezhnaia filologiia, 2015, no 3, pp. 68–76. (In Russ.)

2 Zenkevich S.I. “Karnaval” R. Shumana v Sankt-Peterburge [Shumann’s Carnival in St. Petersburg]. In: Nemtsy v Sankt-Peterburge. Biograficheskii aspekt [Germans in St. Petersburg. Biographical aspect]. St. Petersburg, MAE RAN Publ., 2011, no 6, pp. 333–350. (In Russ.)

3 Klenovskii D.I. Polnoe sobranie stikhotvorenii [Complete poems], ed. by O.A. Korostelev. Moscow, Vodolei Publ., 2011. 704 p. (In Russ.)

4 Kumukova D.D. Stsenicheskaia sud’ba personazha-maski P’ero [The fate of Pierrot as a character-masque]. Vestnik Akademii Russkogo baleta im. A.Ia. Vaganovoi, 2017, no 1, pp. 100–107. (In Russ.)

5 Lebedeva G.D. Balet Serebrianogo veka. Dva puti i dve sud’by: Fokin i Gorskii [Ballet in the Silver Age. Two paths and two fates: Fokin and Gorsky]. Vestnik RGGU. Seriia: Istoriia. Filologiia. Kul’turologiia. Vostokovedenie, 2007, no 10, pp. 154–170. (In Russ.)

6 Leont’eva A.Iu. Pretsedentnoe imia “Tamara Karsavina” v poezii Serebrianogo veka [The name of “Tamara Karsavina” in the Silver Age poetry]. Evraziiskii soiuz uchenykh, 2018, no 3 (48), pp. 73–76. (In Russ.)

7 Ponomarev E.R. Chelovek razrushennogo mira v poezii vtoroi emigratsii (Dmitrii Klenovskii i Ivan Elagin) [The man of the destroyed world in the second emigration poetry (Dmitry Klenovsky and Ivan Elagin)]. Russian Literature, 2010, vol. 67, no 2, pp. 231–272. (In Russ.)

8 Strannik [archbishop Ioann (prince D. I. Shakhovskoi)]. In: Perepiska s Klenovskim [Correspondence with Klenovsky]. Paris, 1981. 317 p. (In Russ.)

9 Freidenberg O.M. O nepodvizhnykh siuzhetakh i brodiachikh teoretikakh: (iz sluzhebnogo dnevnika) [On motionless plots and roving theorists: (from the official diary)], ed. N.V. Braginskaya. In: Odissei: chelovek v istorii. 1995. Predstavleniia o vlasti [Odyssey: a man in history. 1995. Views of power]. Moscow, Nauka Publ., 1995, pp. 272–297. (In Russ.)

10 Khadynskaia A.A. Zhanr fragmenta v sbornike Dmitriia Klenovskogo “Razroznennaia taina” [Genre of the fragment in the collection of poems by Dmitry Klenovsky Disparate Secret]. Ural’skii filologicheskii vestnik, 2018, no 3, pp. 43–57. (In Russ.)

11 Khadynskaia A.A. Obraz Peterburga v lirike Dmitriia Klenovskogo [The image of St. Petersburg in the lyrics of Dmitry Klenovsky]. In: Mirovaia literatura glazami sovremennoi molodezhi. Tsifrovaia epokha: sbornik materialov IV mezhdunar. molodezhnoi nauchno-prakticheskoi konferentsii, 18–20 sentiabria 2018 g. [World literature viewed by the youth today. Digital era: collection of materials of the 4th International Youth Scientific and Practical Conference, September 18–20, 2018], ed. by S.V. Rudakova. Magnitogorsk, MTU Publ., 2018, pp. 215–221. (In Russ.) 

12 Khmel’nitskaia E.S. L. Bakst i voploshchennye v farfore figury uchastnikov “Russkikh sezonov” S. Diagileva [L. Bakst and the figures of participants of the “Russian Seasons” by S. Diaghilev as embodied in porcelain]. Vestnik Akademii Russkogo baleta im. A.Ia. Vaganovoi, 2016, no 5, pp. 83–92. (In Russ.)

13 Sheshunova S.V. Russkii balet v tvorchestve Agaty Kristi [Russian ballet in the works by Agatha Christie]. Vestnik Nizhegorodskogo universiteta im. N.I. Lobachevskogo, 2017, no 5, pp. 255–259. (In Russ.)

14 Smith G.S. The Metrical Repertoire of Russian Émigré Poetry, 1941–1970. The Slavonic and East European Review, 1985, pp. 210–227. (In English)

15 Babenko-Woodbury V.A. [A review:] Glad, J. Russia Abroad: Writers, History, Politics. World Literature Today, 2000, vol. 74, no 1, pp. 186–187. (In English)