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

ELAGINOMACHIA. II. THE MAD RHYMER BY N. POPOVSKY: LOMONOSOV AS APOLLO ROSSIACUS AND RUSSIAN APOLLO

Осокин М.Ю.

Abstract

This article provides evidence for attributing The Mad Rhymer (1753) to N. Popovsky. The satire is identified by the flattering “title” in Lomonosov’s letter to Ivan Shuvalov, and some indirect signs such as an appeal to chamberlain Ivan Shuvalov as “Maecenas”, the Horatianism and phraseological similarities to Popovsky’s translations of Horace. Lomonosov wrote that Popovsky referred to him as the “Russian Apollo”, using only the traditional method of school rhetoric. At the same time, they undoubtfully took into account that in the 1750s, after the reform of Russian versification, this “title” sounded not only just as a rhetorical praise, but also as a designation of one’s place in the literary hierarchy. In a German song “Bänckel-Sänger-Lied auf Lomonossoff” composed the following year, the confrontation between Lomonosov and Sumarokov is described as the contest between Apollo and the satyr Marsyas. Lomonosov’s critique of Sumarokov in The Mad Rhymer is respectfully reduced. Shuvalov sought scandal, but Popovsky’s satire was too lengthy, overly academic, and not sharp enough. This explains its relative rarity in manuscript collections.

Keywords

N.N. Popovsky; M.V. Lomonosov; A.P. Sumarokov; satyre; literary controversy; literature of the 18th century.

For citation

Osokin, M. Yu. “Elaginomachia. II. The Mad Rhymer by N. Popovsky: Lomonosov as Apollo Rossiacus and Russian Apollo”. Literaturovedcheskii zhurnal, no. 1(63), 2024, pp. 110–130. (In Russ.) DOI: 10.31249/litzhur/2024.63.06

DOI: 10.31249/litzhur/2024.63.06

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