Epopee


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Epopee

 

(Russian, epopeia), a monumental epic work that is distinctively concerned with general folk themes. In the early stages of literature the epopee was the prevailing type of folk epic; it depicted life’s most essential (or, as Hegel called them, “substantive”) events and conflicts—either the mythological conflicts perceived by the folk imagination as clashes between the forces of nature or the military clashes between tribes and peoples. The ancient and medieval epopees were lengthy poetic works derived either from the combination of brief epic legends or from the development (expansion) of a central event. Individual works were created by certain poets as later imitations of the folk epopee, including Vergil’s Aeneid and Voltaire’s Henriade.

Prose epopees arose from the type of epic literature that described social mores, revealing not the heroic emergence of a national society but rather its comic condition—for example, Gargantua and Pantagruel by Rabelais, Dead Souls by N. V. Gogol, and Penguin Island by A. France. “Novels-epopees,” or epic novels, originated in 19th- and 20th-century novelistic literature, which showed the character development of individual persons and in which national and historical issues were explored in greater depth.

In some epic novels, such as Tolstoy’s War and Peace and Sholokhov’s The Quiet Don, the protagonists’ character development is subordinated to events that are measured on the national or historical scale. Another category is that of the “heroic-novelistic” epopees, in which the protagonists’ characters are formed in the process of their conscious and active participation in historical and revolutionary events—as they are in Peter the Great by A. N. Tolstoy and The Communists by L. Aragon.

G. N. POSPELOV

References in periodicals archive ?
Le passage a la representation audiovisuelle implique tout d'abord, et particulierement dans le cas d'une epopee cyclique, le choix des episodes (dont le contenu et l'interpretation peuvent varier considerablement d'une version a une autre).
The best account of these years is Daniel Panzac, Les Corsaires barbaresques: latin d'une epopee, 1800-1820 (Paris: CNRS Editions, 1999).
Lancd en avril 2008 a l'occasion de la 3e Journee quebecoise des dictionnaires, l'ouvrage regroupe treize contributions de grande qualite qui reconstituent des moments cles de notre epopee linguistique et socioculturelle.
Bancroft, George, Histoire des Etats-Unis, Paris, Didot, 1862; cite dans Goyau, Georges, Les orgines religieuses du Canada, une epopee mystique, Editions Fides, Montreal, 1951.
L Epopee de Gilgamesh: Introduction, Traduction et Notes.
sogno immense cosmologie, saghe ed epopee racchiuse nelle dimensioni d'un epigramma" (Saggi 1.
You complete your epopee and send it away: and wonder, if maybe, they have nothing on next week, perhaps they'd like some more creamcakes, bar a brith and a pot of Lady Grey Tea.
Aix-en-Provence: Cuer, 1987), 2:757-75; Karl-Heinz Bender, "Die Chanson d'Antioche: eine Chronik zwischen Epos und Hagiographie," Oliphant 5 (1977): 89-104; Karl-Heinz Bender, "Des chansons de geste a la premiere epopee de croisade.
Morisset, Arvida, cite industrielIe : une epopee urbaine en Amerique (Sillery : Septentrion, 1999).
LIKE MARCEL BENABOU'S other books, Pourquoi je n'ai ecrit aucun de mes livres (1986), Jette ce livre avant qu'il soit trop tard (1992), and Jacob, Menahem et Mimoun: Une epopee familiale (1995), Ecrire sur Tamara resists easy generic classification.
Arvida, Cite ndustrielle: Une Epopee Urbaine en Amerique.
Saer characterizes his recent book, Las nubes (1997), as a false epopee, or epic prose poem, set in 1804, before the British invasion of Argentina and the subsequent revolution that overthrew the last Spanish viceroy.