«Первоначальный курс обучения» В.А. Жуковского: опыт реконструкции и анализа визуального ряда

Translated title of the contribution: Initial course of study by V. A. Zhukovsky: Experience of reconstruction and analysis of visuals

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Purpose. The aim of the article is to investigate the little-studied pedagogical project of V. A. Zhukovsky in the last years of his life (Initial Course of Study, hereinafter – Course) from the point of view of the interaction of verbal and visual elements in it. V. A. Zhukovsky mainly worked out the Course in 1848-1851. He tested it in class with his daughter. The ‘course’ was to consist of three parts: 1) language; 2) mathematics; 3) Sacred History. For each of these parts, Zhukovsky prepared visual tables, which were original experiments in combination of verbal and visual (graphic) materials. The emphasis on visuality and experiments with it were innovative pedagogical strategies for the mid-19th century. An analysis of the techniques used by Zhukovsky to combine the visual and the verbal will reveal the connection between the creative strategies of Zhukovsky the poet and Zhukovsky the teacher. Results. Types of graphic elements involved in the Course are very diverse: plot-shaped images, pictograms, ideograms, symbols, their combinations similar to ideographic writing, as well as diagrams that use various methods of color selection of elements. Based on handwritten material from the Zhukovsky Foundation in the Russian National Library, the article analyzes in detail the most important of these: plot-shaped images, diagrams and mnemonic symbols. We identify the nature of the interaction of signs of different nature in the heterogeneous (visual-verbal) environment of the Course and find that in the materials of the Course related to Sacred History, the model of creolized text is used, and in the materials on mathematics and language – polycode text. The fact of various semiotic systems interaction in the Course was very important for Zhukovsky. The process of concentration, ‘folding’ the content into visual signs-ideograms, and then narratively unfolding it in the process of the student’s response formed the methodological basis of the visual didactics. The techniques used by Zhukovsky as a teacher can be compared with the techniques used by Zhukovsky as a lyricist in the manifestos of his ‘poetic philosophy’ – the poems The Inexpressible and Lalla Rookh. Both of these texts are explications of the romantic duality, but in the The Inexpressible the idea of the duality is articulated with the help of suggestive poetics, and in the Lalla Rookh with the help of emblematic poetics. The poetics of The Inexpressible is dominated by the rejection of figurativeness in favor of a complex way of intonated atmospherics, which is close to the artistic language of painting. In contrast to The Inexpressible, the language of the poem Lalla Rookh is so figurative that this poem can be considered an ekphrasis of the Baroque emblem. Suggestive painting and emblematic graphics are the two poles between which Zhukovsky’s artistic, poetic, and pedagogical language fluctuates. The style of the Course is close, of course, to the second of these poles. Conclusions. The idea of the Course was undoubtedly influenced by such types of family communication between adults and children as domestic make-believe games (playing books and stories), board games (cards and other educational games, word registers), games of charades. But in addition, the influence of Zhukovsky’s translation activity and a certain specificity of the figurative activity of his artistic consciousness, a kind of ‘habit of translation’, manifested in the multiplying ways of transmitting the same meaning in different forms, visual and metaphorical, is obvious.

Translated title of the contributionInitial course of study by V. A. Zhukovsky: Experience of reconstruction and analysis of visuals
Original languageRussian
Article number9
Pages (from-to)94-109
Number of pages16
JournalVestnik Novosibirskogo Gosudarstvennogo Universiteta, Seriya: Istoriya, Filologiya
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021



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