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By D. S. Mirsky

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back hide quote: A heritage of Russian Literature: From Its Beginnings to 1900 comprises all of D. S. Mirsky's A heritage of Russian Literature and the 1st chapters of his modern Russian Literature, as they seemed within the one-volume A historical past of Russian Literature, edited through Francis J. Whitfield and released in 1949 through Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. Russian literature has constantly been inseparably associated with Russian heritage. D. S. Mirsky, in facing this truth, consistently saved in brain the ever colourful and altering features of the single in discussing the opposite. With a willing and penetrating experience of values, fortified by means of a mode sharp sufficient to hold each nuance of his which means, he explored probably the most complicated and interesting literatures of the world.

" [Mirsky's] histories of literature ... own lcarning, attractiveness, wit, highbrow gaiety, and an incomparable variety and sweep and gear of speaking impressions and ideas." Sir' Isaiah Berlin

"Prince Mirsky is either student and stylist; his books, for this reason, have a double correct to live." Clifton Fadiman

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One of the first plays produced was a distant descendant of Tamburlaine the Great. It was only after Gregori's first production that Symeon of P6lotsk ventured to introduce the Kievan school drama and wrote his Action of the Prodigal Son in rhymed syllabic verse. ievan influence in Muscovy, the rhymed school drama became predominant, but under Peter the Great the secular prose play translated from the German again took the upper hand. theaters were opened and the school drama was relegated to the seminaries and academies.

Two passions reigned in Lomon6sov: patriotism and the love of science. To create a Russian science and a Russian literature worthy to rival those of the West was his one dream. His upright, unbending character and his firm sense of dignity won him universal esteem in an age when birth and power were as a rule the only claim to esteem. His hostility to the Academic Germans never prevented him from recognizing the achievement of German scientists. When the physicist Richmann lost his life while experimenting in electricity, Lomon6sov used all his influence to save from poverty the widow and children of this martyr of science.

They were of course regarded primarily as books of edification, but the element of marvel and narrative interest is far more prominent than in the approved type of saint's life. Some have a distinctly fairy-tale appearance, as for instance the charming Legend of Prince Peter of Murom and of the Maiden Fevr6nia, with its battle against the dragon, and the wise maiden guessing the Prince's riddles. 5 A further step towards fiction is found in a remarkable seventeenth-century work, The Story of Savva Grudtsyn.

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