Speeding in Time: Philosophy and Metaphor in a Presentation of Okhrannaia gramota Part One 6

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearch


In Pasternak's writings there is a tension between philosophy and poetry. The question posed here, and based on extracts from the autobiographical "Ochrannaja gramota" ("A Safe-Conduct", 1931), is whether the dense and multiple metaphor in Pasternak’s work can be understood as having a heuristic function, of expressing original thought and contributing to new understanding, or whether it is confusing and obscure, an impediment to thought and in the last analysis to be interpreted ’only’ in a sensual, impressionistic way.

Paul Ricoeur’s "The Rule of Metaphor" from 1975 provides a far-reaching theory of the heuristic value of metaphor, based in the conviction that metaphor is fundamental for the way language works. There is striking compatibility between Ricoeur’s theory and Pasternak’s practice of metaphor.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEternity's Hostage. Selected Papers from the Stanford International Conference on Boris Pasternak, May StanfordIn Honor of Evgeny Pasternak and Elena Pasternak. Part I
EditorsLazar Fleishman
PublisherBerkeley Slavic Specialties
ISBN (Print)1-57201-072-X
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Publication series

NameStanford Slavic Studies

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Languages and Literature

Free keywords

  • Boris Pasternak
  • time and place
  • definition of poetry
  • Chopin
  • poetry and philosophy
  • music and poetry


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