"Smoothly Gliding Images": Leonid Andreyev's Verbal and Visual Imagery Public Deposited

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  • February 26, 2019
  • Wise, Patrick
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of English and Comparative Literature
  • What I have found in the course of this project is not only that there is a legitimate academic framework for comparing the verbal and pictorial arts—one that does not have to resort to words such as “feel” or “sense”—but also that Leonid Andreyev, as a gifted painter and writer, is an excellent case study for an exploration of the intersection of literature and the visual arts. The following pages will attempt to show that Leonid Andreyev’s visual and verbal arts are intimately related, and the common ground between them—the image—acts as a vehicle for Andreyev’s message. Chapter one, “The Free Sunbeams,” will introduce Andreyev to those who may not be familiar with his work and biography. The chapter will situate Andreyev within relevant currents of early-twentieth century Russia, in an effort to illustrate his tendency to defy cultural conventions of every kind. In chapter two, entitled A Fruitful Dilettante, I will investigate Andreyev’s activity as a visual artist by looking at the various ways his visual art interacts with his writing. This chapter will examine the conflicting portraits of Judas Iscariot found within Andreyev’s novella “Judas Iscariot and the Others” (henceforth “Judas Iscariot,” 1907); I will argue that Andreyev’s paintings of Judas reveal much about the aesthetic and philosophical interests that prompted him to write his controversial novella. Chapter three, “The Walls Crumble,” will explore Andreyev’s famous story, “The Seven Who Were Hanged,” a novella that transmits its meaning through the creation of a verbal image that de-limits space, suspends time, and, ultimately, transcends death. In the conclusion I will suggest new avenues of research for Andreyev scholarship that might place greater emphasis on both the visual component of Andreyev’s lifework and the visuality that is present in his writing.
Date of publication
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Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Funding: None
  • Legassie, Shayne
  • Bachelor of Arts
Academic concentration
  • Comparative Literature
Honors level
  • Honors
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Graduation year
  • 2017
  • English

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