The town and the heroine at the lyrical cycle “From the Karaganda laptop” by Elena Zejfert

Tyumen State University Herald. Humanities Research. Humanitates


2015, Vol. 1. №4(4)

The town and the heroine at the lyrical cycle “From the Karaganda laptop” by Elena Zejfert

About the author:

Alexander G. Stepanov, Cand. Sci. (Philol.), Associate Professor at the Department of Theory of Literature, Tver State University, Lecturer at the Institute of Foreign Languages and Literature, Lanzhou University (China),


The article deals with the dynamics of relations between the lyrical heroine and the city which, notwithstanding its name containing the grammatical characteristics of the feminine gender, manifests itself in the cycle as belonging to the masculine one. The generic nomination (city) is preferred to the specifying one (Karaganda) by Elena Zejfert. Being a woman-poet, Elena Zejfert’s world outlook is inseparable from gender, which semantically motivates the differentiation of specific and generic nomination in her verse. In case of Marina Tsvetayeva (the lyrical cycle “The Table”) the relations between the Thing and the lyrical heroine are marked on the basis of gender differentiation, and this is made possible due to the resolving capacity of the grammatical meaning: “the table” belongs to the masculine gender, while “I” denotes the lyrical heroine, a female. Zeifert acts in a different way — she subdues the grammar of gender, showing in her lyrical cycle a specifically female (even on the corporeal level) perception of the home city. The grammatical gender of a toponym for her is less important than the city’s being a male hero. Such gender ambivalence helps show complex and manifold relations between a woman-poet and her genius loci.


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