The Pushkin Myth and Cult in Central European Literature: Gyula Krúdy’s A vörös postakocsi [‘The Crimson Coach’] (1913)

Zsófia Kalavszky


While the myth and cult surrounding Pushkin are phenomena unique to Russian culture, during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries both were prevalent in Central European literatures as well, albeit to a lesser extent and intensity. For example, within Central Europe Pushkin’s biographical myth has generated several literary sujets within the literary traditions of Hungary, Poland, or Serbia, for example. Once Pushkin’s works had been translated into the region’s national languages, some cultic manifestations surrounding the poet also appeared. My study unravels the exciting process in which a work by the Hungarian author, Gyula Krúdy, expropriates and rewrites the Pushkin myth, thereby placing this Russian national icon into a Central European cultural, historical and linguistic context. In contrast to the analytical methods generally applied to literary cult research, I argue that examining Krúdy underscores the possibility that some literary works require an approach based on poetic analysis, a technique not generally applied to literary cult research. It is my intent to trace the influence Pushkin’s cult had on Krúdy’s text via cultural poetics.


Pushkin myth, literary cults, poetic analysis, Gyula Krúdy

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