“I Studied Crisis…”: the Phenomenon of the Unfinished as a Literary Trilogy
Keywords:literature; poetics; creative crisis; creative failure; unfinished work
The subject of the review is a cycle of collective monographs written by Ural philologists where facets of creative periptosis are described in detail: The Phenomenon of Creative Failure (Yekaterinburg, 2011), The Phenomenon of the Unfinished (Yekaterinburg, 2014) and The Phenomenon of Creative Crisis (Yekaterinburg, 2017). All three volumes were published under the general editorship of T. A. Snigireva and A. V. Podchinenov. Throughout the series, a productive attempt was made to identify the causes of complex creative circumstances and to discuss some of the potential resolutions of these situations. By interposing a complex of problems in literary criticism, the authors remain within the boundaries of academic research. The coherence of analytical approaches, the selection of literary texts representing the work of recognised writers and continuity in the choice of literary material create a unity of reflection from volume to volume which allows one to read the monographs as a literary trilogy. When analysing creative failure, the non-completion of creative work and creative crisis, the research team addresses various aspects of these phenomena, interpreting them from the points of view of the author, the reader and the critic in both synchronic and diachronic terms. Considered from many angles, the same work can be simultaneously regarded as a creative miscalculation and a text containing elements of innovation. As can be seen from the materials presented in the trilogy, the entirety of the twentieth century was marked by signs of crisis: it is to these crises and its literary personalities that the three monographs are devoted.
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