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Sovereignty as Practice and Manifestation : Terror, Reform, and the Poetics of Rule in Early Modern Russia and Europe

par Astrid Mazabraud - publié le , mis à jour le

Cycle de conférences

En présence de Kirill Ospovat (université Humboldt, Berlin)

Ce cycle porte sur les conceptions et les pratiques en Russie du pouvoir politique et de la gouvernance, à partir du XVIIe siècle, en confrontation avec les modèles en vigueur dans les pratiques et théories européennes de l’époque, en s’appuyant sur les phénomènes de circulations des idées entre la Russie et l’Europe.

- Session 4. The Art of Sovereignty : Body Politic and the Poetic Imagination

- Mardi 3 octobre, 18h-20h, ENS salle Paul Langevin
Séance modérée par Olga Medvedkova, Directrice de recherches au CNRS (centre Jean Pépin)

In the final session, I will illuminate the emergence of early Russian literary aesthetics from the visions of sovereignty. Early modern conceptions of statehood famously depended on fictions and tropes such as the “body politic”. This dependence unfolded in a zone of conflation and interplay between literary creation and political thinking which was by the late eighteenth century defined as aesthetics. I will explore the workings of this mechanism in the solemn ode, the genre which thanks to the oeuvre of Mikhail Lomonosov dominated early Russian secular letters. As a form of political imagination, the ode (based on Western models such as François Malherbe) was responsible for developing the system of tropes which had to submit the imagination of the populace to the new order. For Hobbes, this procedure was defined as “art”, and the state emerged as an “artificial man” as well as “a mortal god” assembled from individual subjects : Leviathan. The state was only conceivable in the form of a grandiose trope or fiction, and this understanding of statehood underwrote Lomonosov’s odic poetics and the emerging literary aesthetics in general.

- http://www.transfers.ens.fr/kirill-ospovat