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Leonid Andreyev's little angel: a relentless summary of the human condition

Grant number: 15/09217-8
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2015
Effective date (End): July 31, 2016
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Literature - Literature Theory
Principal researcher:Maria de Fátima Bianchi
Grantee:Helena Kardash Salvador
Home Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil

Abstract

In the last years, the number of direct translations of Russian literature works has remarkably increased in Brazil, mostly with notable names like Dostoyevsky, Gogol, Tolstoy and Chekhov, already known to the Brazilian reader. However, there's many others Russian writers who played a key role for literature and remain almost unknown. This is the case of Leonid Andreyev, whose works aroused in the critics several reactions presenting elements of various literary movements at a time historically as important as the one that preceded the Russian Revolution. Of humble origin and considered a lone figure in the historical and literary context for his unpredictable and unique style, Andreyev wrote about human nature and the society's hypocrisy. His short stories and plays were published in printing runs which reached exorbitant numbers, being re-edited several times and causing great repercussion. Despite his talent, recognized by writers like Gorki and Tolstoy, and the relevance of the questionings in his works, only few translations of some of his short stories were published in Brazil. In the short story Angelochek (Little Angel), released in his first book, is possible to find Andreyev's essence: the mix of pessimism and irony, the portrait of human misery and the ability to commove the reader through elements that justify the scholars assertion that no "-ism" can classify him: neither realism, nor expressionism, nor only symbolism, but an unusual conjunction in literature, which this research project aims to demonstrate by translating the short story and preparing a comment that contributes to the dissemination of this exceptional writer in Brazil.

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