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Elina E. G. «The rye of science…». Izvestiya of Saratov University. Philology. Journalism, 2022, vol. 22, iss. 3, pp. 351-355. DOI:

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«The rye of science…»

The review of the encyclopedic dictionary M. E. Saltykov-Shchedrin and his contemporaries focuses on the relevance, the essential uniqueness and practical applicability of the publication. The dictionary, dedicated to the contemporaries of Saltykov-Shchedrin, is a philological event of great consequence. Any research of the writer’s oeuvre in the social, historical, political, and, by all means, literary contexts makes it possible to consider the author’s biography, his creative intentions and the particulars of their actualization in a consistent manner. This is particularly relevant for Saltykov, whose life and works are permeated with the pathos of acute actuality. Each encyclopedia entry in the dictionary serves both as a piece of information about a new character and the integration of the biographical and literary particulars shedding light on various stages of Saltykov’s creative work, on the ways and means facilitating the formation of his political stance, his literary views and his creative mind in general. Historical, literary, cultural, social, political contexts of Saltykov-Shchedrin’s biography and oeuvre are expanded by means of the names, one way of another mentioned in the satirical confessions of the writer or in his epistolary legacy. The projection on the writer-satirist helps to shape a new image of those who seemed to be just the backdrop, against which signifi cant events took place. It is emphasized that the book is addressed to both a professional literary scientist, and to an average reader. The authors of the articles introduce new information concerning Saltykov’s biography, his literary ties, his view of the public life, culture and art of Russia and foreign countries into scientifi c circulation. A number of articles start featuring historic, literary and textual elaborations. Dictionary entries are based on under-published and archived materials. For the fi rst time the corpus The chronicles of the life and oeuvre of M. E. Saltykov is given. A signifi cant part of the dictionary work has been done by the scientists of Saratov National Research State University I. V. Kabanova and I. A. Knigin.


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