For the first time the topic of laughter in Ancient Russia was voiced in an article by S.P. Schevyrev “The Theory of the Ridiculous, with Application to Russian Comedy” (1851) and in his book “History of Russian Literature” (1846–1860), where he completely opened ancient Russian literature to the reader. In this book the notion of laughter comes through as one of the permanent features of Old Russian and modern Russian literature. Shevyrev calls Daniil Zatochnik (12th century), the master of “weeping laughter and smiling sadness”, the first Russian humorist and compares the lucid laughter of Gogol with Daniil’s humor and laughter. All Russian comedies (by Fonvizin, Griboedov, Gogol) Shevyrev considers as phenomena of funny, bright laughter. This is directed against the old tendency in literary studies to see in every great comedy first of all a satire, a denunciation. In the works of Shevyrev the concept of laughter was expressed by the word “funny”.
Russian literature; laughter; funny; comedy; S.P. Shevyrev; N.V. Gogol.
Nikolyukin, A.N. “S.P. Shevyrev About the Laughter in Russian Literature”. Literaturovedcheskii zhurnal, no. 2(56), 2022, pp. 112–124. DOI: 10.31249/litzhur/2022.56.07