Lyric-Epic

Lyric-Epic

 

a literary genre containing features of the epic and the lyric; in works of this genre the narration of events is combined with the emotional and reflective self-expression of the narrator, creating a lyric self. The link between the two elements may be a unity of theme (for example, revolution as the theme of both intimate outpourings and epic narration in V. V. Mayakovsky’s Good!), psychological motivation (the lyric commentary in A. T. Tvardovskii’s Distance Upon Distance), or an aspect of the artistic conception (for example, the lyric theme in A. S. Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin introduces spiritual freedom into the novel, whose protagonists are “slaves” of honor, passion, and fate). Compositionally the link is often realized in the form of lyric digressions.

Literary forms intermediate between the lyric and the epic existed in classical, medieval, and neoclassical literature (the ode, satire, and ballade). The lyric-epic genre flourished in the literature of sentimentalism and romanticism, when interest in the narrator’s personality increased (Sterne’s Sentimental Journey) and the laws of traditional literary genres were rejected (exemplified by F. Schlegel’s Lucinde).

The narrative poem is most characteristic for the lyric-epic genre of the 19th and 20th centuries. The term “lyric prose” is usually applied to prose works in the genre. Lyric prose is widely represented by modern autobiographical works, essays, sketches, and travel diaries (by A. St.-Exupéry, A. Camus, I. Bobrovskii, M. M. Prishvin, and K. G. Paustovskii, for example).

M. N. EPSHTEIN

References in periodicals archive ?
Given his commitments and his love of Whitman, it is appropriate that one of Miller's last contributions to the field was an overview, meant especially to benefit those new to Whitman, Leaves of Grass: America's Lyric-Epic of Self and Democracy (Twayne, 1992).
The incorporation of poems into Grass's later novels, such as Der Butt, undoubtedly presents a lyric-epic dialogue; rather than examining this, Engels undertakes the more taxing search for such a dialogue in the earlier period.
He devoted much of his life to the encouragement of cultural unity among the Slavonic peoples, as in the lyric-epic poem Slavy dcera ("The Daughter of Slava").