Iurii Tynianov

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Tynianov, Iurii Nikolaevich


Born Oct. 6 (18), 1894, in Rezhitsa, now Rézekne, Latvian SSR; died Dec. 20, 1943, in Moscow. Soviet Russian writer and literary theorist.

In 1918, Tynianov graduated from the department of history and philology at Petrograd University. From 1921 and 1930 he was a professor at the Institute for the History of Arts. His first work, Dostoevsky and Gogol: Toward a Theory of Parody, appeared in 1921.

Tynianov concentrated on the history and theory of literature while applying a profound and subtle analysis to literary texts. This dual approach is reflected in The Problem of Poetic Language and in the articles “Archaists and Pushkin, ” “Pushkin and Tiutchev, ” and “The Language of Lenin the Polemicist, ” which were later included in the collection Archaists and Innovators (1929). Tynianov was a member of the Society for the Study of Poetic Language (OPOIAZ).

Tynianov combined scholarship and literature in such works of fiction as the novels Kiukhlia (1925), which concerned the Decembrist W. K. Küchelbecker; The Death of Vizier Mukhtar (1927–28; separate edition, 1929), which dealt with A. S. Griboe-dov; and the unfinished Pushkin (parts 1–3,1935–43). The same combination may be found in the novellas Sublieutenant Kije (1928; film version, 1934), The Wax Figure (1931), and The Young Vitushishnikov (1933). Tynianov’s novels and novellas have become classics of Soviet historical prose. Tynianov brought to his historical material an advanced conceptual framework and an understanding of the problematic nature of such material. His works, written in an expressive style, show a lively sense of the manners and mores of the periods described. Tynianov possessed keen psychological perception and a bold artistic imagination.

Tynianov wrote screenplays for the motion pictures The Overcoat (1926) and The Club of the Big Deed (1927; with Iu. G. Oksman) and articles on the theory of the cinema. He translated works by H. Heine and others and helped establish the series Biblioteka poeta (The Poet’s Library). His works have been translated into many foreign languages.

Tynianov was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labor.


Sochineniia, vols. 1–3. Moscow-Leningrad, 1959.
Pushkin i ego sovremenniki. Moscow, 1969.
Pushkin. Leningrad, 1974.
“Iz naslediia Iuriia Tynianova.” Literaturnoe obozrenie, 1974, no. 10. Kiukhlia. Moscow, 1975.


Tsyrlin, L. Tynianov-belletrist. Leningrad, 1935.
Khmel’nitskaia, T. “Issledovatel’skii roman: Istoricheskaia proza Tynianova.” In her collection Golosa vremeni. Moscow-Leningrad, 1963.
Iurii Tynianov, pisatel’ i uchenyi: Vospominaniia, razmyshleniia, vstrechi. Moscow, 1966.
Eikhenbaum, B. “Tvorchestvo lu. Tynianova, ” In his book O proze. Leningrad, 1969.
Russkie sovetskie pisateli-prozaiki: Biobibliograficheskii ukazatel’, vol. 5. Moscow, 1968.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Iurii Tynianov, most likely guided by descriptions of such sentiments, in his novel Pushkin makes Sergei L'vovich Pushkin develop fatherly feelings only at the birth of his third son, Lev" (148).
Incidentally, in Tynianov's view, the assertion that Journey was the only thing Pushkin published about the campaigns sounds disingenuous; see his readings of "From Hafiz" and "Delibash." Iurii Tynianov, "O 'Puteshestvii v Arzrum,"' Vremennik Pushkinskoi komissii 2 (1936): 56-73.
While the Formalists established their main base at the State Institute for the History of the Arts (Gosudarstvennyi institut istorii iskusstv, hereafter GIII), Boris Eikhenbaum, Boris Tomashevskii and Iurii Tynianov, who had worked with Iakubinskii and others at the Petrograd Institute of the Living Word (Institut zhivogo slova, hereafter IZhS) from 1919, also played significant roles at ILIaZV.
These are the high, the low, and the neutral sphere, to use the sort of topological description of systemic studies adopted from Iurii Tynianov onwards.
Completing the cast of characters in Renfrew's story is Iurii Tynianov, undoubtedly the best of all the Formalists, here nobly rescued from relative obscurity--or dubious fame as co-inspiring with Roman Jakobson the imperializing Saussurean systematism of the Structuralist aftermath--and held up as a key proponent of the view that the 'life' to which the literary relates is never other than lingually instantiated in mutable though relatively stable forms of script or speech.
(3) Iurii Tynianov (1894-1943) was a noted formalist critic.
In his conclusion, describing the critical scene in Russia, Tomashevskii distinguishes between "orthodox" Formalists, mentioning Eikhenbaum along with Viktor Shklovskii and Iurii Tynianov, and "independent" scholars, who "took part in the creation of the school, and contributed to its work; but [who] do not conform to the school's program, and have chosen to follow a separate course." It is not at all clear which category he places himself in.
Ann Jefferson discusses Sainte-Beuve, and Avril Pyman Russian Formalism, especially the work of Iurii Tynianov. Malcolm Bowie reveals the impact of Freud; Laura Marcus discusses theory and practice in the early twentieth century, including the growing impact of psychological and psychoanalytic theories; William St.
(1) Iurii Tynianov, Smert' Vazir-Mukhtara (Leningrad: Priboi, 1929), 116.
The problematic history of the film adaptation of Iurii Tynianov's story 'Podporuchik Kizhe' provides a compelling basis upon which to approach his film work as writer and administrator, and to relate this to his theoretical writing.