The essay deals with the literature production of three great Russian writers who travelled in the Caucasus, namely Mikhail Lermontov (1814-41), Osip Mandelstam (1891-1938) and Vasily Grossman (1905-64).
In particular, I will consider Lermontov’s poems set in the Caucasus, together with his novel Герой нашего времени (A Hero of Our Time), Mandelstam’s prose Путешествие в Армению (Journey to Armenia) and Grossman's Добро вам (An Armenian Sketchbook), the two latter being written after the writers’ journeys.
My analysis concentrates on the occurrences of two extensively used words, пыль (dust) and камень (stone). Apart from the factual description of the Caucasus, which is actually dusty and stony, these two antithetical although both chthonic elements acquire symbolic overtones of meaning in the Russian literary production.
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