Institute of Scientific Information for Social Sciences
of the Russian Academy of Sciences
The Journal of Literary History and Theory
Peer-reviewed Academic Journal


Ranchin A.M.


The subject of analysis in this article is the motif of a creaking pen in the poems of Joseph Brodsky. It is proved that this motif and its implementation in terms of expression go back to Anna Akhmatova’s “Northern Elegies” (to the “Third” elegy), and with a high degree of certainty it is permissible to call this coincidence a quotation. For both poets, this motive refers to the theme of creativity, but Akhmatova emphasizes the connection between creativity and the era, Brodsky expresses the desire to avoid such dependence and interprets poetry as opposition to non-existence. The probable reminiscences from the “Northern Elegies” discussed in the article indicate that the impact of Anna Akhmatova’s work on Brodsky was deeper than is sometimes believed. They also show that the reception of this creativity was expressed in a dialogue that does not exclude elements of controversy.


I.A. Brodsky; A.A. Akhmatova; continuity; motif; quotation.

For citation

Ranchin, A.M. “Iosif Brodsky and Anna Akhmatova: about One Common Motif and Its Different Interpretationsˮ. Literaturovedcheskii zhurnal, no. 1(59), 2023, pp. 000–000. (In Russ.)

DOI: 10.31249/litzhur/2023.59.09


1. Akhapkin, D. “Brodskii i Vergilii: eklogi dlya nashego vremeni” [“Brodsky and Virgil: Eclogues for Our Time”]. Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie, no. 3(169), 2021, pp. 285–300. (In Russ.)
2. Akhapkin, D.N. Iosif Brodskii i Anna Akhmatova. V glukhonemoi vselennoi [Iosif Brodsky and Anna Akhmatova. In a Dumb Universe]. Moscow, AST Publ, 2021, 288 p. (In Russ.)
3. Akhmatova, A. Stikhotvoreniya i poemy [Poems], eds. A.A. Surkov and V.M. Zhirmunskii. Leningrad, Sovetskii pisatel’ Publ., 1976, 560 p. (In Russ.)
4. Blum, H. “Strakh vliyaniya” [“The Anxiety of Influence”]. Blum, H. Strakh vliyaniya. Karta perechityvaniya [The Anxiety of Influence. A Map of Misreading], transl. from English, ed. S.A. Nikitin. Ekaterinburg, Izdatel’stvo Ural’skogo universiteta Publ., 1998, pp. 7–132. (In Russ.)
5. Sochineniya Iosifa Brodskogo [Works]: [in 7 vols], eds Ya.A. Gordin, G.F. Komarov. St Petersburg, Pushkinskii fond Publ., 2001. (In Russ.)
6. Ventslova, T. Stat'i o Brodskom [Articles about Brodsky]. Moscow, Baltrus Publ., Novoe izdatel'stvo Publ., 2005, 176 p. (In Russ.)
7. Volkov, S. Dialogi s Iosifom Brodskim [Dialogues with Iosif Brodskii], with preface by Ya.Gordin. Moscow, Nezavisimaya Gazeta Publ., 2000, 328 p. (In Russ.)
8. Gordin, Ya.A. Rytsar' i smert', ili Zhizn' kak zamysel. O sud'be Iosifa Brodskogo [Knight and Death, or Life as a Plan. About the Fate of Joseph Brodsky]. Moscow, Vremya Publ., 2010, 256 p. (In Russ.)
9. Interv'yu Brodskogo na Bi-Bi-Si. Ob Akhmatovoi [Interview with Brodsky on the BBC. About Akhmatova]. Available at: (date of access: 04.12.2022).
10. Lekmanov, O. “I snova o ‘Rozhdestvenskom romanse’ Brodskogo (rabota nad oshibkami)” [“And Again about Brodsky's ‘Christmas Romance’ (Work on Mistakes)”]. Vosem' velikikh [Eight Great], ed. by Yu.B. Orlitskii. Moscow, RGGU Publ., 2022, pp. 647–650. (In Russ.)
11. Losev, L. Solzhenitsyn i Brodskii kak sosedi [Solzhenitsyn and Brodsky as Neighbors]. St Petersburg, Izdatel'stvo Ivana Limbakha Publ., 2010, 608 p. (In Russ.)
12. Mints, Z.G. “Funktsiya reministsentsii v poetike A. Bloka” [“The Function of Reminiscences in A.Blok's Poetics”]. Blok i russkii simvolizm. Izbrannye trudy [Blok and Russian Symbolism. Selected works]: in 3 books. St Petersburg, Iskusstvo–SPb Publ., 1999, bk 1, pp. 362–388. (In Russ.)
13. Polukhina, V. “Akhmatova i Brodskii (K probleme prityazhenii i ottalkivanii)” [“Akhmatova and Brodsky (On the problem of attraction and repulsion)”]. Akhmatovskii sbornik. [Akhmatova Collection], issue 1, eds S. Dedyulin and G. Superfin. Paris, Institut d’Etudes slaves Publ., 1989, pp. 143–154. (In Russ.)
14. Polukhina, V. “‘Lyubov' est' predislovie k razluke’. Poslanie k M.K.” [“‘Love is a preface to separation’. Message to M.K.”]. Iosif Brodskii v XXI veke. Materialy nauchno-prakticheskoi konferentsii [Iosif Brodsky in the XXI Century. Proceedings of the scientific-practical conference], ed. by. O.I. Glazunova. St Petersburg, Filologicheskii fakul'tet SPbGU Publ., MIRS Publ., 2010, pp. 135–146. (In Russ.)
15. Polukhina, V. “Taina ‘Pokhoron Bobo’” [“The mystery of ‘Bobo's funeral’”]. I.A. Brodskii: pro et contra. Antologiya [I.A. Brodsky: pro et contra. Anthology], eds O.V. Bogdanova, A.G. Stepanov. St Petersburg, RKHGA Publ., 2022, pp. 100–108. (In Russ.)
16. Pushkin, A.S. Polnoe sobranie sochinenii [Complete Works]: in 10 vols, ed. by B.V. Tomashevskii. Leningrad, Nauka Publ., 1977–1979. (In Russ.)
17. Fateeva, N.A. Kontrapunkt intertekstual'nosti, ili Intertekst v mire tekstov [Counterpoint of intertextuality, or Intertext in the world of texts]. Moscow, Agar Publ., 2000, 280 p. (In Russ.)

Download text