Mock Aeneids in Cyrillic and their Discontents

Mock Aeneids in Cyrillic and their Discontents 
Zara Torlone

Event: Online talk
Platform: Zoom, Sign up here

Abstract: Nikolai Osipov’s travesty-masterwork Vergil’s Aeneid Turned Upside Down reflected eighteenth-century Russian curiosity about the Roman poet’s great masterpiece. Composed in 1791-96 Osipov’s mock epic signified a new stage in the development of translation practices and reception of the Aeneid in Russia. The idea for such a poem was not original and owed much to the European travestied Aeneids such as Le Virgile travesti en vers burlesques (1648-52) by Paul Scarron, and especially Aloys Blumauer’s Die Abenteuer des frommen Helden Aeneas (1782-8). While Osipov’s mock poem did not leave any tangible trace in the Russian literary tradition, it significantly influenced the appearance of the Ukrainian Aeneid by Ivan Kotliarevsky, which conditioned the whole Ukrainian literary tradition. This talk will focus on both mock epics and their role in the reception of Vergil and formation of the literary tradition in Russia and Ukraine.

Please note: the Zoom session will be open half an hour in advance for informal chatting, and will remain open afterwards if anyone wants to stick around for an informal “virtual pub”