Re: [xmca] Paulhan, Volosinov, Mandelstam

From: Elina Lampert-Shepel <ellampert who-is-at>
Date: Sat Jun 02 2007 - 06:06:21 PDT

Hi, David, Mike, Anton, et al,
My Vygotsky's 1982 edition of collected works has references to
Mandelstam. The last chapter (7) of Thinking and Speech has the epigraph
from one of the editions of Mandelstam's "Swallow." Vygotsky uses the first
two lines from the poem ( See the full text in translation below). In
addition, at the end of the chapter he quotes Gumilev, but he does not
mention his name, Vygotsky introduces the quote with "as poet says". I do
not have an English translation of it, but in Russian it says:

И как пчелы в улье опустелом,
Дурно пахнут мертвые слова.

The author of the comments for this edition, Radzihovskiy, L.A., comments
that the quote from Gumilev was MOST LIKELY taken from Mandelstam's article
on "The nature of the word", as Gumilev's quote was an epigraph to the the
first edition (1922) and then was removed in the later editions.


The Swallow ( translation by Ilya Shambat)
I have forgot the word that I had meant to say.
To palace of the shades flies a blind swallow
Upon clipped wings with shadows to play.
Night's song is in oblivion sung below.
Immortelle does not bloom. I cannot hear bird's song.
Transparent are the mantles of night's horse herd
In a dry creek an empty shuttle swims along
And even grasshoppers can't hear the lost word.
Slowly like curtain it grows, or temple yet,
Suddenly Antigone seems mad and lurches
Like a blind swallow she falls toward my feet
With Stygian tenderness and with green branches.
O, if but to return the shame of see-through hands
And convex joy of dawning recognition,
I am afraid of weeping Aonids
Of fog, of ringing and of gaping apparition.
The mortal's power is to love and seek,
For him the sound into the palms will pour
But I forgot the word that I had meant to speak
And fruitless thought returns to palace dour.
Not of the same the shadow speaks in turn
The girlfriend, Antigone, the swallow..
And on the lips, just like black ice, still burns
The memory of Stygian ringing from below.

On 6/1/07, Anton Yasnitsky <> wrote:
> > ...perhaps Anton has already
> > answered all this.
> No, Mike, not yet, but I'll try to do it now.
> > Two questions:
> >
> > a) Does the original 1934 Soviet version of
> "Thinking and Speech"
> > contain the references to Mandelstam and
> Gumilov? Does the 1956
> edition?
> >
> I don't have either of these editions, so I might
> only guess. However, I happen to have the 1999
> edition by Labirint Publishers. P. Tulviste
> criticises the 1982 Pedagogika edition for its
> omission of important details, such as Vygotsky's
> 1934 original paragraph about Sapir that starts
> with "V sfere instiktivnogo soznaniya (see
> Tulviste, 1987,
> ). Interestingly enough, my Labirint Publishers
> 1999 edition of Myshlenie i rech' preserved this
> very quotation, which makes me think it was
> repulished from the 1934 edition).
> And my guess--supported, in fact, by the text of
> this 1999 would be that Vygotsky did not refer
> either to Mandelstam (first arrested on the night
> of May 13-14, 1934; see e.g.
> ) or
> Gumilev (executed in August, 1921;
> ).
> > But Vygotsky DOES cite Mandelstam at the very
> beginning of the final
> > chapter, in the epigraph from Mandelstam's
> "swallow", to which Vygotsky
> > appends Mandelstam's actual name (at least in
> the Minick and Kozulin
> > translations).
> This is not quite correct. I failed to find any
> reference to either Mandelshtam or Gumlev in the
> text of the Minick translation, which, as a
> matter of fact, is very close to the original.
> See
> &
> On the other hand, Kozulin's 1986 version of the
> paragraph in question is very different from the
> original, and this is Kozulin who "appends
> Mandelstam's actual name" rather than Vygotsky.
> So, both are referred to as the "poet" and
> "another poet". Quite cryptic... Interestingly
> enough, Mandelshtam's phrase is misquoted.
> Whereas in the published Vygotsky's text this was
> "mysl' ostajotsya ... 'tumanom, zvonom i
> siyaniem' ", ('mist, bell and radiance' in
> Minick's translation) the original Mandel'shtam's
> phrasing in his 'Swallow' is 'tumanom, zvonom i
> ziyaniem'. The original "ziyanie" as opposed to
> "siyanie", according to
> dictionary, is "gaping, yawning" or even "hiatus"
> (
> ) (cf. "siyanie" as "radiance").
> The reason for that might be that the author
> deliberately corrupted the quote so that it would
> to be harder for the cesor to identify its
> authorship, whereas sapienti sat. Alternatively,
> this might be an ordinary typo or, perhaps, was
> added by a stenographer--in case Vygotsky
> disctated the text.
> > b) If not, when did it appear and how?
> Not sure that I understand what the "it" in the
> question referes to, anyway... The answer to this
> qyestion--the way I understand it--is that the
> references to these two authors NEVER appeared in
> the text of Vygotsky, only in comments and
> editors' footnotes. Kozulin's translation is
> definitely the case when the original text AND
> the comments are presented as a coherent text.
> Which, to me personally, is not quite legitimate
> thing to do. Anyway, tastes differ...
> --- Mike Cole <> wrote:
> > I do not have the relevant texts to answer your
> > questions, David, and hope
> > someone does. Having been email restricted for
> > 3 weeks it will take time for
> > me to get back into the discussion. I will seek
> > to find help from Russian
> > colleagues, but perhaps Anton has already
> > answered all this.
> > mike
> >
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Elina Lampert-Shepel
Assistant Professor
Graduate School of Education
Mercy College New Teacher Residency Program
Mercy College
66 West 35th Street
New York, NY 10001
(212) 615 3367
I have on my table a violin string. It is free. I twist one end of
it and it responds. It is free. But it is not free to do what a
violin string is supposed to do - to produce music. So I take it,
fix it in my violin and tighten it until it is taut. Only then it
is free to be a violin string.
               Sir  Rabindranath  Tagore.

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Received on Sat Jun 2 07:08 PDT 2007

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