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