Readings in Soviet Semiotics

PealkiriReadings in Soviet semiotics : (Russian texts) / edited, with foreword and commentaries by L. Matejka ... [et al.]
IlmunudAnn Arbor : Michigan Slavic Publications, c1977
ViideMatejka, L. et al. (Ed.) 1977. Readings in Soviet semiotics (Russian Texts. Edited, with a Foreword and Commentaries by L. Matejka, S. Shishkoff, M. E. Suino and I. R. Titunik. Ann Arbor: Michigan Slavic Publications.

[ix] For more than two decades intellectual life in the Soviet Union has harbored an extraordinary ferment that only in the last five years or so has begun to win wide recognition as a powerful phenomenon at the very forefront of world thought. This ferment is the Soviet variant of the international structural-semiotic trend. Engendered during a period of precipitate "catching up" with Western scientific and technological advances, the Soviet structural-semiotic movement developed with amazing speed and force thanks not only to the fortunate conjunction of scientific and political circumstances at the time but also to the availability of a cadre of exceptionally qualified and talented scholars to serve as its originators. Although always subject to the vicissitudes of a strongly ambivalent attitude in its regard on the part of the Soviet officialdom, the movement gained a steadily increasing, enthusiastic following in Soviet intellectual and academic circles and, as a result, has undergone what might be described as an "explosive" theoretical and methodological evolution, drawing into its orbit a vast variety of fields of knowledge and producing a staggering number of scholarly works. Publication abroad, particularly of works in translation and works written in Western languages, plus participation by some of the movement's moembers in international conferences, eventually secured an even broader base of interest and influence, above all among members of parallel movements in France, Italy, Germany, England and the United States. Very recent years have witnessed a shift in the Soviet Union. Moreover, this latest government "crackdown," however regrettable from other points of view, has had the felicitous side-effect of supplying universities around the world with emigré-scholars whose number includes several of the movement's most eminent representatives. Thus, this remarkable and massive Soviet contribution to the leading intellectual trend of modern times has today assumed an even more formidable, truly international stature.
In its earliest, formative years, the Soviet structuralist-semiotic movement was centered in Moscow where various academic and research institutions of the Academy of Science and of Moscow University accommodated, with varying degrees of tolerance or encouragement, the burgeoning of new ideas and their application. Promninent among such establishments was the Structural Typology Section of the Institute for [x] Slavic and Balkan Studies whose staff was populated with several of the movement's leading figures - V.V. Iganov, V.N. Toporov, I.I. Revzin, T.V. Civjan, T.M. Nikolaeva. Over the years 1956-1964 a whole series of seminars, conferences and symposia provided an ample forum for substantive, wide-ranging discussion that helped shape and give definition to a basic theoretical and methodological program. Contributors to these discussions included both scholars whose interest vitally intersected with those of the movement and who significantly influenced its further development, such as the theoretical linguist S.K. Šaumjan, the logician A.S. Esenin-Volpin, the mathematician A.M. Kolmogorov, and scholars who were to occupy key positions in that development - in addition to the members of the Structural Typology Section already mentioned, A.M. Pjatigorskij, B.A. Uspenskij, D.M. Segal, I.A. Mel'čuk, Ju.K. Ščeglov, A.K. Žolkovskij and others. In 1964, the first of a series of so-called "summer schools" was held in Kääriku, Estonia, under the sponsorship of Tartu University. The event marked a new stage of the movement's greatest cohesiveness and organization; it saw the start of the direct participation of a profoundly influential new leading figure, Ju. M. Lotman, professor of Russian literature at Tartu University, and the establishment from that time on of a second, coequal and collaborative center of structural-semiotic study in Tartu, from which fact the Soviet movement has been known since as the Moscow-Tartu school (or group). It was at Tartu, as well, that the movement began publication of its own, specialized journal, Trudy po znakovym sistemam, of which seven issues has so far appeared.
To say that the Soviet structural-semiotic movement assumed its most cohesive and organized form as the Moscow-Tartu school in 1964 is not, however, to imply that the movement then became a totally unified, monolithic entity. To be sure, there are points of view from which such a description would be justified. There is no doubt, for instance, that the movement presents its most patent solidarity in terms of differences that mark it off from other orientations in Soviet intellectual life. From time to time over the years of its history, the movement has been challenged and obliged to engage in debate and polemics. This apologetic activity, in which a wide circle of the movement's membership joined, has perforce imparted a strong sense of united front. Furthermore, the movement has, to a very marked degree, operated through, and indeed thrived upon, teamwork and intragroup influence enhanced by the many conferences, symposia, "summer schools" and the like held under the movement's auspices. Finally, there is, of course, the movement's inner conceptual unity without which, indeed, it would be impossible [xi] to speak of an intellectual movement altogether and of which the other kinds of unity are certainly to be regarded outward reflexes.
However, it is presicely the movement's inner conceptual unity that is potentially misleading. The commonly shared structualist-semiotic orientation consists in conceptual principles at a high level of abstraction and generation, while, at the same time, in terms of the actual, concrete work and development of the movement, ample scope has always existed for different, partly overlapping, partly divergent and even contradictory "trends within the trend." Virtually all commentators on the Soviet structural-semiotic movement, both insiders and outsiders, have tended to confine their view of the movement as a whole strictly within the perspectives of its abstract conceptual unity, overlooking or minimizing its inner tensions and diversities. Meanwhile, the fact is that such tensions and diversities do plainly exist and constitute just as vital a part of the movement as its abstract unity.
The Soviet structural-semiotic movement is now sufficiently well-established and its claim to serious, world-wide attention sufficiently well-grounded so as no longer to require an exclusively proselytizing or apologetic approach. The present anthology is intended as a step in the direction of full, unbiased study and assessment of this extraordinary Soviet intellectual phenomenon. It contains, in their original language, a selection of articles spanning a good portion of the movement's history, membership, fields of research and variety of ideas and emphases. Needless to say, the selection is far from exhaustive in those regards but the reader is given the opportunity for first-hand acquaintance with a substantial sampling. Each item is prefaced by a concise commentary designed to highlight the specific nature of its contribution; the reader's attention is drawn to certain broader issues concerning the Soviet movement in a brief sketch that follows immetiately below.
In the Soviet Union, as elsewhere, it was the science of linguistics that served as the matrix for the formation and development of the structural approach, and it was the conception of language as a system of signs that led to expanded semiotic dimensions of study. However, not linguistics in and of itself alone was responsible for this development but rather lingusitic thought under the impact of powerful new scientific interest that took delayed, but decisive, effect in the Soviet Union in the late fifties and early sixties. This was paramountly the impact of cybernetics. Naturally, the influence of structuralist programs, already in existence elsewhere, also had a crucial bearing on the Soviet development, but it was precisely cybernetics that opened a broad avenue of access for that influence, as well as for the influence of other modern scientific disciplines affiliated with cybernetics - mathematical logic and [xii] information theory, above all. Indeed, such was its fascination for the Soviet scholars that the idea of cybernetics instantly brought forth virtually a whole new intellectual era infused with an extreme degree of "scientific optimism." As Ann Shukman describes it: "Not only did cybernetics promise modernity and a better future, it also held out the prospect of the triumph of rationality in the man-made brain, and, with it, proof of the omnipotence of human reason; there was talk of poetry by computer, of the 'formalization of the human intuition' ... It seemed that all fields of human activity would at last be opened to rational inquiry, and this with the approval of the authorities." Very soon, to be sure, that scientific optimism met with considerable reaction on the part of the other sectors of the Soviet intellectual community and "the authorities," but its importance as one of the main driving forces of the Soviet structural-semiotic movement can hardly be doubted, nor can it be doubted that that same spirit underlies the movement today, although its present expression is likely to take somewhat more sober forms. It was surely such scientific optimism that promoted and, as it were, guaranteed the validity of that endeavor to concinnate the humanities with the exact sciences which characterizes the structural-semiotic trend in general, its Soviet variant most particularly.
Appropriately enough, in the early phase of the movement's development problems of machine translation or "automatic language processing" occupied the focal point of research. As was true also in the West, the success on the efforts to lay not nearly so much in their practical results as in the theoretical elaborations which, while stimulated by the needs to adapt human language to technology, considerably transcended the original "applied" purposes. Intensive investigations into the theory of formal language modelling let to a fruitful rapproachement between structural-transformational and comparative-historical linguistics and, thereby, set the stage for the whole future course of the movement's development. According to D. Segal, a role of crucial importance in this entire process was played by the polymath linguist V. V. Ivanov:
Ivanov's early works present the picture of structural lingusitics not as an abstract deductive science, but as a complex structure of models which strive to represent the inherent complexity of language as system of systems. This view of structural linguistics became accpeted by many linguists, especially by specialists in comparative linguistics and structural typology. It also served as a cornerstone for the development of structuralism as a complex scientific trend which draws its methods and arguments both from deductive and inductive approaches and which strives to elicit the structure inherent in the data became decisive in the forming of the ideas of Soviet semiotics.
[xiii] At the same time that "the logic of machine translation research led Soviet structuralists to an understanding of the overwhelming role played in linguistics structure by semantics, i.e. that part of the linguistic edifice which is based on relationships with other semiotic systems," thereby immensely expanding the movement's theoretical and investigative pispason, the same logic created a markedly methodological bias toward procedures of formalization and reductionism. Indeed, precisely formalization and reductionism became the cardinal issues in a debate between the structuralists and their opponents that was held on the pages of the journal Voprosy literatury throughout the 1960's. The various opponents shared the common objection to structuralism that, whereas formalization and reductionism are in accord with the requirements of the exact sciences, their application to literary study or other humanistic disciplines risks minimizing or misconstruing or wholly obliterating precisely those qualities that constitute the distinctive nature of the object of study in the humanities, and that, therefore, the structural approach, based on formalization and reductionism, is only of limited value or of no value or even possibly of pernicious effect in the humanities. The structuralists' position contended, contrawise, that formalization and reductionism are essential cognitive instruments in any field of knowledge, literary study or other humanistic discipline being no less than any other kind amenable to their application, as already amply proven by research now at hand, and that, far from limiting or distorting the nature of the objects of study in the humanities, the structural approach opens scientific access to the study of the immense richness and complexity of the humanistic domains and reveals their vital interconnectedness with other kinds and levels of human knowledge. Moreover, V. V. Ivanov noted in his contribution that instead of "reducing" the human to the machine, as so many of the opponents of structuralism seemed to believe it would, the structuralist mehod is in a position to use the machine as a way of measuring and defining the stupendous magnitude of human creativity.
While the structuralists were unimpeachably correct in laying claim to the use and value of advanced theories and methods from the exact sciences in application to literary study or other humanistic fields, and while the unprejudiced eye easily detects the party-line prejudice and sophistry that underlie much of their opponents' argument, it is evident that formalization and reductionism did and do present certain dangers. This was to some extend acknowledged by structuralist spokesmen, and especially noteworthy instance being Ivanov's complaint about the "vague and loose" application of terms by fellow structuralists A. Žolkovskij and Ju. Ščeglov. But the full implications here surely also [xiv] include the fact that abstract, formal schemes, such, for instance, as mathematical set theory or the principle of opposition (so successfully applied in the distinctive features theory), can be manipulated to provide "scientific description" of anything whatsoever. The justification and productiveness of such schemes when knowledgeably and substantively applied are undeniably, indeed provably, high, but their potential for abuse is certainly also high. Enthusiasm generated out of scientific optimism, coupled with innovatory élan and group allegiance, make this potential abuse very real. It can hardly do the Soviet structural-semiotic movement's true magnitude any detriment to suggest that its wide appeal among students and its astounding prolificness have to some degree been conditioned by such abuse. The same may to some degree also be reflected in the fact that almost from the movement's inception its hypotheses have been applied to an extraordinary diversity of topics and materials. However, the abuse of which formalization and reductionism are susceptible is a risk inherent and ineluctable for an intellectual movement which is nomothetic, universalist and pancyclopedic as the Soviet structural-semiotic movement is; the only safeguard against such risk can be, and indeed has been, the superlative capability and knowledgeableness of the movement's principal members.
The combination of the formalization and reductionism of the exact sciences, on the one hand, and a central focus of attention on the traditional objects of study of the humanities, on the other, constitute the basis both for the distinctive character of the Soviet structural-semiotic movement and for its most important differential tendencies. The latter are not merely the result of disparities in relationships between theory and material, inevitable in investigations of broad scope and far reach, but consists principally in crucial methodological and ivnestigative strategies, ranging, for instance, from Hjelmslevian abstract-logical constructions to inductively derived-deductively applied schemes á la Propp, and from generative concepts of complex interrelationships among autonomous unities ("system of systems" as understood in the Jakobson-Tynjanov Theses, for example) to reductionist unitarianism (reductio ad unum) reminiscent of the spirit of intellectual endeavors in the West during the 17th and 18th centuries as exemplified by Ch. Bateux's famous Les Beaux-Arts réduits á un méme principe; here, too, figure the inevitable tensions between what are now usually called "deep structure" and "surface structure" dimensions of study and, correlatively, between synchrony and diachrony. The actual range of variance, almost antipodal at its further reaches, might, perhaps, be most succinctly represented via the name of the eminent Soviet scholars whose influence on the movement has been regarded as decisive by its [xv] own members - that is to say, from, on the one side, the "classicist" mathematician A. M. Kolmogorov to, on the other side, the "romantic" philologist M. M. Baxtin.
The variances and disparities within the framework of the movement do not, of course, compromise the integrity of its general conceptual unity and have, moreover, contributed to the movement's dynamism and further development. Indeed certain key ideas that stem directly from the conceptual core of Soviet semiotics can be seen as efforts to bridge contradictions or surmount antinomies. Such certainly is the doctrine on invariance and transformations, with its dual predictive and reconstructive capability, that has been devised and elaborated by V. V. Ivanov and V. N. Toporov; and such is the effect - in generating a network of relationships among domains of culture, especially the arts, and between those domains and natural language - of the doctrine on "secondary modelling systems" featured most prominently in the work of Ju. M. Lotman and B. A. Uspenskij. The collocation of precisely these two doctrines has in fact powerfully contributed to the formation of the movement's present major focus of attention - the sphere of general semiotic theory of culture and the study of the semiotics of culture of modern times against the background of the archaic and the archetypical.

[2] V. V. IVANOV' "Kod i soobščenie," Bjulleten' ob''edinenija po problemam mašinnogo perevoda, 5, 1957, 48-50.
V. V. Ivanov was among those who most decisevely contributed to the dramatic improvement of the intellectual climate in the Soviet Union during the late 1950's. Despite political barriers and the parochial resistance of powerful academic operators, Ivanov dared to respond to impulses from Western scholarship, particularly from the Harvard-MIT linguistic school and its master, Roman Jakobson, and to recall from oblivion the Russian humanistic tradition which had been suppressed for decades in the name of the scholar-politician, Nikolaj Jakovlevič Marr. Among the first entries in Ivanov's extensive bibliography is his article reviving the linguistic thoughts of E. D. Polivanov, a member of the Opojaz and one of hte most lucid Russian linguists of this century, who was virtually hounded to his death by the Marrists in the late 1930's. Ivanov's article waas published in 1957. The same year, he issued his concise outline, Kod i soobščenie [Code and message] which paraphrases and ingeniously elaborates the first chapter of Jakobson's "Shifters, Verbal Categories, and the Russian Verb," published earlier that year by the Slavic Department of Harvard University. Ivanov accepts Jakobson's far-reaching redefinition of Saussure's antinomy of la langue and la parole in terms of Information Theory and its concrete concepts of both message and the code, two interrelated vehicles of linguistic communication which at one and the same time may be utilized and referred to. Although Ivanov's paper appeared only in mimeographed form and only in a few copies, it exercised a profound impact on the revival of semiotics in the Soviet Union. It introduced the concept and terminology of "code-message" into Soviet scholarly usage and provided the basic framework for the interrelationship of linguistic and poetic studies and for approaching verbal art, indeed all the arts, as communicative systems imparting information.
Today Ivanov's paper is a rarity not only in the West but also in the Soviet Union. Its status as curioso could by itself justify its republication. But even more important is its value as a historical document demonstrating the cultural interaction between Soviet and American scholarship in the late 1950's. Moreover, the impact of Ivanov's paper is still detectable in recent studies of the Tartu scholars and their Moscow colleagues emphasizing the role of information in investigation of human culture.

[6] V. V. IVANOV - S. K. ŠAUMJAN, "Lingvističeskie problemy kibernetiki i strturnaja lingvistika," Kibernetiku na službu kommunizmu, 1, Moscow, 1961, 218-234.
For a long time, semiotics and modern logic, as well as structural linguistics, were banned in the Soviet Union as ideological deviations incomparable with Marxism. However, in the 1950's, when it became apparent that the technological advances of data processing devices were intrinsically related to achievements in those fields, the provincial guardians of the party line loosened their grip to allow the Soviet Union to catch up with the West in the development of the computational sciences and their application to industry, the exploration of the universe and, by implication, also to modern warfare. The term "cybernetics," promoted by Norbert Wiener from the M.I.T., turned into the Russian kibernetika and swiftly became a household word used in both the hard and soft sciences from economics to musicology. It provided a shelter not only for the Marxist theoreticians, concerned with the applicability of things and thoughts, but also for scholars primarily interested in knowledge regardless of its applicability. The first issue of Kibernetika na službu kommunizmu [Cybernetics Called to the Service of Communism], published in 1961 includes not only programmatic articles on the study of messages as a means of controlling machinery and society, but also articles about cybernetics in biology, medicine, psychology and even jurisprudence. It was in such company that V. V. Ivanov and S. K. Šaumjan published their outline of structural linguistics in which they drew attention to Hjelmslev's dualistic doctrine, close to Šaumjan's logical bent, and to the traditions of Opojaz, the school of Russian formal method, close to Ivanov's predilections. The article in its setting is characteristic for the early stages of Russian cybernetics which tried to encompass the most diverse ingredients, sometimes mutually exclusive in nature. The two authors have since that time developed in rather different directions: Šaumjan remained faithful to the radical dualism of the Copenhagen school and pursued its interpretation of Saussure's legacy, while Ivanov has continued in his intellectual growth to take into account the progressive traditions of Russian linguistics and poetics whether cultivated in the Soviet Union or abroad.

[32] Predislovie, Simpozium po strukturnomu izučeniju znakovyx sistem. Tezisy doklakov, Moscow, 1962, 3-9.
Cybernetics and Information Theory, the newly coined terms of American science, have been used in the Soviet Union far more enthusiastically than the term semiotic(s), coined in the 17th century by the English empiricist John Locke and redefined in the 19th century by the American pragmatist Charles Sanders Peirce. The doctrine of sign with its ancient philosophical roots and its susceptibility of dualistic interpretation (viz. something material may stand for something spiritual) has never been wholeheartedly embraced by the conservative Marxists apprehensive of the possible semiotic reinterpretation of the Marxist differentiation between the base and the superstructure. It was the concept of sign that made life difficult in the 1930's for the Russian followers of Ferdinand de Saussure ("sosurianstvo") and also for the Neo-marxist school of M. M. Baxtin, ambitious to propagate semiotics in the name of Marxism. In the 1950's, the spectacular success of cybernetics and Information Theory in the Soviet Union naturally prepared the ground for a more comprehensive understanding of the nature of sign. Finally, in 1962 the Academy of Sciences of the USSR gave its blessing to semiotics by undertaking a role in organizing a Symposium on Structural Studies of Sign Systems in Moscow. The official organizers of the Symposium were two branches of the Academy: the Scientific Council on Cybernetics and the Institute of Slavic Studies. The Symposium had five sections, covering natural languages as sytems, written signs and deciphering, non-verbal sign communication, semiotic modeling, art as semiotic system and structural-mathematical investigation of literature. The introduction to the Proceedings provided a defintiion of semiotics and, at the same time, introduced the interpretation of Saussure by both the Copenhagen and Prague schools, representing, in fact, two mutually exclusive views. The unsigned "Introduction" that has been attributed to V. V. Ivanov, who, however, does not include it in his own bibliographic list. The "Introduction" is reproduced on the following pages photostatically from the Proceedings, published in 1962 by the Soviet Academy of Sciences.

[52] V. V. IVANOV - V. N. TOPOROV, "Postanovka zadači rekonstrukcii teksta i rekonstrukcii znakovoj sistemy," Strukturnaja tipologija jazykov, Moscow, 1966, 3-25.
The basic flowchart of Claude Shannon's Information Theory has excited the visionary fancy of both engineers and the philologists in the Soviet Union. V. V. Ivanov and V. N. Toporov have elaborated it into a model for inductive-deductive textology, applicable not only to diverse types of existing texts but also for the reconstruction of texts which have not been preserved and exist only potentially. In this way the linguistic reconstruction of theoretical protosystems has been supplemented by a program for the reconstruction of the prototexts themselves. Clearly, the optimistic zeal of the 19th century comparatists has found in Shannon's scheme a new impetus promising to improve August Scheicher's famous recosntruction of the Indo-European protofabel by means of new, sophisticated methods of internal projection of the present into the past. It is surely symptomatic that one of Toporov's daring journeys into the Indo-European past was dedicated ot Schleicher's memory and published in the Tartu Trudy, 4 (1969) on the one hundred year anniversary of his death. Originally, "Postanovka zadači..." was conceived as an introduction to Ivanov-Toporov's book Semiotic Modeling Systems of Slavic Languages (Moscow, 1965), but it was first published in 1966 as an introductory paper to the anthology, Structural Typology of Languages, edited by Ivanov. Its general framework provides for a number of theoretical as well as practical problems including deciphering of texts encoded in unknown languages or secret codes. The linguistic methods appear here in complex interaction with the social, as well as the natural, sciences, coordinated in the spirit of empirical rationalism for the noble cause of a modern semiotic encyclopedia.

[76] JURIJ M. LOTMAN, "Dinamičeskaja model' semiotičeskoj sistemy", Institut russkogo jazyka, Moscow, 1974.
The initial stage of Soviet cybernetics and its application to the humanities were markedly influenced by the role of mathematicians and logicians with a natural penchant for abstract detachment from variables and for lucid presentation of complex problems. Gradually, however, the scientific rigor imposed on the humanities has given away to the language of social science or, more precisely, to the historian primarily concerned with the problem of cultural relativism. In the course of this development, the Soviet trend ceased to parallel French "structuralism" and its antihistorical, "Kantian" posture characteristic for Claude Lévi-Strauss and his followers. The main role in this gradual change has been played by Jurij Lotmna, the chief architect of Tartu semiotics of culture and ardent advocate of the conceptual difference between the primary and secondary modelling systems in semiotics. His paper "Dynamic Model of Semiotic System," published in 1974, characteristiclaly rejects Saussure's radical dualism separating semitoics systems as static entities from their history (i.e. their dynamism). In his criticism of Saussure, Lotman embraces the Prague school's insistence that Saussure's static semiotic system is a mere fiction and that the dynamism of history has to be projected into the study of semiotic systems rather than artificially kept aside. Although Lotman generously quotes Roman Jakobson, msot of the quotations are from Jakobson's Prague years rather than from his subsequent search for unviersality of distinctive features in human languages and for poetic invariables of mankind. It is in the name of history, cultural relativism and Hegelian dialectics that Lotman challenges the concept of poetics as an integral part of linguistics, the very fundament of Jakobson's search for grammar of poetry and poetry of grammar. In sharp contradiction to Jakobson, Lotman sees the language of verbal art as a special secondary modeling system which is superimposed on the natural languae and does not belong to the domain of linguistic studies. Lotman's paper is just one of an entire series of studies indicating that the development of Tartu semiotics of culture conceptually deviates from the development of Jakobson's poetics seen as an integral part of linguistics.

[94] JURIJ LOTMAN, "čsto daet semiotičeskij podxod," Voprosy literatury, 11, 1967, 67-70.
For years, the concept of the arts as semiotic systems (i.e. languages for conveying information) has constituted a common denominator of the entire Moscow-Tartu group. Accordingly, the study of art has been considered a branch of cybernetics or Information Theory viewed as a unifying framework for the cooperation of the natural and social sciences. The group's Summer schools and its publications have brought together mathematicians, logicians, psychologists, linguists, Slavic and Oriental philologists, anthropologists, folklorists, theoreticians of literature and historians; therefore, it is only natural that the views of the group have often appeared disparate, amounting to diverse trends. However, the most important challenge to the Moscow-Tartu school has not been internal conflict but criticism from outside, whether conceptual or political. The very attempt to make art an object of [95] scientific observation has been the main target of such criticism. Among its purveyors, the Marxist guardians of the party line have been particularly eager to voice their fear of dehumanisation in the prisonhouse of language. Because of their political influence and demagogic skill, these critics have always been the most vehement opponents of the Moscow-Tartu school from its beginning. It was mainly on their account that Jurij Lotman in 1976 prepared his simplified and visionary defense of the semiotic approach. Its original aim was to contribute to the debate on the interaction between science and art, organized by Voprosy literatury and Voprosy filosofii. Here Lotman defends the theory and practice of the semiotics of art which has once again come under heavy attack that threatends the very existence of the Moscow-Tartu school.

[100] V. N. TOPOROV, "K rekonstrukcii mifa o mirovom jajce (na materiale russkix skazok)," Trudy po znakovym sistemam, 3, 1967, 81-99.
From its start, the Moscow-Tartu school has been intensely involved in the domain of folkloristics and anthropology, closely following the contemporary French and Anglo-American contributions and, at the same time, continuing the renowned Russian tradition. In fact, the internationally recognized folklorist, Petr Bogatyrev, actively joined the Moscow-Tartu group in its early years, and his participation has personified the bridge to the Moscow and Prague Linguistic Circles which he helped develop during the 1920's and 1930's in close cooperation with Roman Jakobson. Yet, the most decisive impact on the Moscow-Tartu folklorists has been undoubtedly exercised by Vladimir Propp, the author of the famous Morphology of the Folktale and by his profound critic Claude Lévi-Strauss. The extensive bibliography of the Moscow-Tartu folklorists has been entirely dominated by the proppiana applying Propp's ingenious schemes, defending and interpreting his approach or critically elaborating it. The relation between myths and fairytales which has been at the very center of Propp-Lévi-Strauss controversy has challenged V. N. Toporov in several of his studies, including his learned reconstruction of the myth about the divine world egg which, according to Thompson's Motif-Index of Folk-Literature, appears in the folk traditions almost everywhere around the wrold. Toporov shows that the transformed myth also occurs in the Russian fairytales, although Propp's own formalistic interpretation of the formulaic aspects of the fairytales prevented him from uncovering it. Thus Toporov's subtle criticism challenges, in fact, the conceptual orientation of Propp and by the same token demonstrates his own method of internal reconstruction, which attractively suggests a linkage between Russian fairytales and the Upanishads, the concluding portion of the Old Indian Veda.

[120] E. M. MELETINSKIJ, S. Ju. NEKLJUDOV, E. S. NOVIK, D. M. SEGAL, "Ešče raz o probleme strukturnogo opisanija volšebnoj skazki," Trudy po znakovym sistemam, 5, 1972, 63-91.
Eleazer Meletinskij has been the chief defender of Vladimir Propp against those Western critics who have regarded Propp's Morphology of the Folktale as a typical outgrowth of the Russian Formal method rather than an initial stage of structuralism in folkloristics. In his interpretation, contradicting the view of Lévi-Strauss, Meletinskij shows himself in agreement with many American folklorists and anthropologists, such as Alan Dundes who introduced the English translation of Morphology of the Folktale and programmed the book for the computer in the brief that "such techniques might be of interest to those seeking new species of literature based on folk form and content, or those seeking to show the traditional nature and limited number of the combinations of narrative motifs actually found in oral tradition as opposed to the total number of theoretically possible combinations." In the fourth issue of the Tartu Trudy, Meletinskij, Nekljudov, Novik and Segal published an extensive structuralistic interpretation of Propp's approach. An English version appeared in 1974 in Soviet Structural Folkloristics under the title "Problems of the Structural Analysis of Fairytales." "Ešče raz..." is a further elaboration of such an interpretation. It illustrates that not only in the West but also in the Soviet Union, and even in the Moscow-Tartu school, the term "structuralism" has been used in the most elastic fashion providing for many diverse conceptual paths. Clearly, the structuralism of Meletinskij and some of his colleagues is not identical with the structuralism of Bogatyrev, Lotman or Ivanov and Toporov. This could be one of the reasons why the term structuralism is rapidly disappearing from more recent products of the Moscow-Tartu school.

[150] B. L. OGIBENIN, "Signal'naja funkcija v fol'klornom povestvovanii" (typeset for Tipologičeskie issledovanija po fol'kloru, Moscow, 1975).
Propp's spectacular impact on recent folkloristic trends in the Soviet Union is an astonishing phenomenon particularly in view of the fact that Propp's masterpiece, Morfologija skazki, has been virtually ignored for several decades. Ironically, the rediscovery of Propp was clearly triggered by the English edition, Morphology of the Folktale (Prepared by Laurence Scott and Svatava Pírkova-Jakobson), and subsequently by the Western critics of the English edition, particularly Claude Lévi-Strauss. As in the West, so in the Soviet Union, Propp's followers are extremely heterogeneous, including not only folklorists and ethnographers but also linguists, philologists and historians of literature and culture. While some are uncritically devoted to Propp's contribution, others, inspired by it, have critically developed it in their own way. A belated Festschrift for Propp, Tipologičeskie issledovanija po fol'kloru (Moscow, 1975) represents a good survey of the various Soviet approaches enriched by Propp's scholarship. It was for this publication that Boris Ogibenin wrote his "Signal'naja funcija...," an interesting document of his extensive erudition and versatile talent. Although the paper was accepted for publication and typeset, it has remained in its galleyproofs. Ogibenin's decision to apply for emigration was a sufficient reason for exclusion of his paper from the commemorative volume. The present publication photographically reproduces the galleyproofs as they were prepared by the Soviet typographers. Boris Ogibenin is now professor of religion at the Sorbonne in France.

[160] Ju. M. LOTMAN, "O razgraničenii lingvističeskogo i literaturovedčeskogo ponjatija struktury," Voprosy jazykoznanija, 3, 1963, 44-52.
The early years of the Soviet structural-semiotic movement, after its optimistic start on the wave of cybernetics, saw the beginning of opposition and controversy with more traditional sectors of the Soviet intellectual community, especially in the field of literary study. One of the first - and, as it happens, the most persistent and "loaded" - issues was that of the relationship of the new structural poetics to the Russian formal method of the 1920's. The scientific ambitions of structural poetics and direct references to the Opojaz by certain leading representatives aroused suspicions that structuralism was a rebirth of the despised "formalism" of the past. Argument and explanation on the part of the new school became necessary, and its spokesmen typically took one of the two possible tacks: either to prove, on the basis of their opponents' concept of formalism, that structural poetics fundamentally differed from the formal method; or to prove that Soviet structuralism has honorable native roots in improperly understood and appreciated structural aspects of the Russian formalist movement, as well as of other phenomena of early Soviet intellectual history.
The first of these tacks was taken by Ju. Lotman in one of his earliest published contributions to the structural-semiotic trend. Using the assumption that formalism means the neglect of content in favor of form and the dominance of linguistics in th study of verbal art, the author bears down on two main points: the necessity and, indeed, overriding importance of semantic (ideological) analysis because of the special organization of content in a literary work of art and the crucial difference, in precisely that regard, between the concepts of structure in literary science and linguistics. In the course of his argument, Lotman sharply differentiates his approach from the notion of emotional vs. logical language, revived by such Soviet contemporaries as L. Timofeev, and also from certain consequences of the content/expression dichotomy of Hjelmslevian linguistics.

[174] V. A. ZARECKIJ, "Ritm i smysl v xudožestvennyx tekstax," Trudy po znakovym sistemam, 2, 1965, 60-63.
This discussion of the importance of rhythmical series in artistic texts is a formidable challenge, but well worth the effort. Zarekij deals in considerable detail with some of the most fundamental (and controversial) concepts which have been developed by the Soviet Structuralists.
The writer assumes that his audience is already familiar with the basic vocabulary and concepts of cybernetics and information theory, as well as the numerous mathematical and statistical analyses of Russian verse by A. N. Kolmogorov and A. M. Kondratov. A useful account of text rhythms cna be found in Chapter 6 of Ju. M. Lotman's Struktura xudožestvennogo teksta (Brown University Slavic Reprint IX, 1971. Translated as The Structure of the Artistic Text. Michigan Slavic Contributions, No. 7, Ann Arbor, 1977).

[186] A. K. ŽOLKOVSKIJ, Ju. K. ŠČEGLOV, "Iz predystorii sovetskix rabot po structurnoj poétike," Trudy po znakovym sistemam, 3 Tartu, 1967, 367-377.
In the early heady and optimistic years of the Soviet structural-semiotic trend, A. Žolkovskij and Ju. Ščeglov, along with other leading representatives, most notably V. V. Ivanov, set about tracing the new school's links with what now appeared as structural-semiotic precedents and predecessors in the Soviet intellectual past. Selected by Žolkovskij and Ščeglov for such recommendation with regard to structural poetics are V. Šklovskij, B. Ejxenbaum and Ju. Tynjanov (representing the Opojaz), V. Propp and S. Eisenstein.
The team of Žolkovskij and Ščeglov (the two are joint signatories of a number of articles) is famous for applying cybernetic and generative-linguistic categories and terms with exceptional enthusiasm and for a unique expository style which is at once brisk, racy, even funny at times and also heavily technical. Their considerable appreciation for Viktor Šklovskij comes as no surprise, but it is for Sergej Eisenstein, who came closest, in their view, to the generative machine of artistic texts, that their highest praise is saved.

[198] V. V. IVANOV, "O primenenii točnyx metodov v literaturovedenii," Voprosy literatury, 11, 1967, 115-126.
Throguhout its development, the Moscow-Tartu school has followed the progress of linguistics both in the Soviet Union and in the West and has consistently tried to use it as a model for the studies of semiotic communication in general and verbal art in particular. While verbal communication has been regarded as the most fundamental system for conveying information in the human community, the methods of linguistic analysis have been used to make the study of verbal art more scientific and less dependent on capricious ideological evalutation. Of course, this attempt to transfer literary studies from the domain of politics to the domain of science has never appealed to the ideologically committed critics who fear that science would wrest literary studies from their control. This dispute has been regularly channeled through Voprosy literatury. it is precisely in this tribune that V. V. Ivanov has appeared as the most articulate defender of the Moscow-Tartu school. While responding to critics from outside, he also does not hesitate to criticize, in turn, certain trends of the Moscow-Tartu school itself, especially attempts to revive the formalistic line of Viktor Šklovskij's Theory of Prose and of its epigones in Petrovskij's Ars poetics. Moreover, it is evident that Ivanov is hardly enthusiastic about simplistic applications of computers to literary studies, although he himself has been seriously interested in the usage of computers in the domain of humanities. Clearly, in Ivanov's view, the most productive interaction of lingusitics and literary studies appears in the contribution of Baxtin's school in spite of the fact that Baxtin himself during the last years of his life was a regular contributor to Kontekst, where his papers were published in the company of the most astute antagonists of the Moscow-Tartu movement.

[210] Ju. M. LOTMAN, "Stixotvorenija rannego Pasternaka i nekotorye voprosy structurnogo izučenija teksta," Trudy po znakovym sistemam, 4, 1969, 206-238.
In his examination of the "poetic laboratory" of Pusbkin and Pasternak Lotman is able to discover, by a comparison of variant and invariant aspects in successive drafts of certain poems, a fundamental difference in the perception and transformation of reality by the two poets. After deriving five sets of norms which must be obeyed in order to generate a "correct" poetic text, Lotman notes that for Pushkin, and indeed for a great deal of nineteenth-century Russian poetry, certain norms were so automatic as to be incapable of providing artistic information, while others permitted sufficient freedom and variety to enable [211] poets to express their versions of reality. For Pasternak and many other twentieth-century poets, however, the reverse was true. Thus for example, Pushkin generally adhered to norms of the linguistic lexicon and phraseology, and everyday common sense. Pasternak, conversely, felt that such norms obscured reality and sought a different principle. The article is a good example of Lotman's methodology applied in some detail on a specific problem.

[244] B. A. USPENSIJ, "Grammatičeskaja pravil'nost i poétičeskaja metafora," Letnjaja škola po vtoričnym modelirujusčim sistemam, 4, 1970, 123-126.
B. A. Uspenskij, who has written on structure in the visual arts, the structural typology of languages and language universals, treats here the problem of metaphor as an apparent violation of linguistic norms. There is a particular kind of metaphor which is dictated by the phonetic similarities between two members of an ad hoc paradigm and which is constructed by replacing a word whose appearance is anticipated because a reader relies on his sense of correctness and normal usage. The replacement thus creates a tiny, two-membered paradigm which sets the poetic language in opposition to natural/neutral speech, while simultaneously suggesting the deliberate non-use of the latter. Thus Mandel'štam writes "...xodit' po groba, kaks po griby..." ("to go looking for coffins as one does for mushrooms"). Here the principle is laid bare. "Griby" is replaced by a word with a similar arrangement of the sounds g r b. More often, though, the reader must guess the neutral word. For exmaple, "...v glubokom obmoroke vod..." replaces the universally anticipated "...v glubokom omute vod...". Uspenskij notes that this type of transformation suggests one element which might be used to model the unconscious processes of generating a poetic text. Such metaphors, in which a word is both assigned by the usual (paradigmatic) meaning of the expected word, and created by the context and phonetic promting, suggest the existence of other poetic reactions to the normal, "correct" natural language.

[248] I. I. REVZIN, "Grammatičeskaja pravil'nost', poetičeskaja reč' i problema upravlenija," Trudy po znakovym sistemam, 5, Tartu, 1971, 224-231.
I. I. Revzin continues a discussion begun by Ju. M. Lotman and also treated by B. A. Uspenskij in the preceding paper of this collection. The overlall question is one of norms (and hence predictability) vs. actual or apparent violation of norms. Norms may concern grammar, syntax, spelling/pronounciation, but also semantic combinations ("Colorless green ideas sleep furiously") and ellipsis. Revzin finds that poets who focus experimentally on content appear to follow the rule: everything not specificlaly forbidden by a norm is permitted. This point is clarified with reference to strong and weak government among verbal complements. Strong government is always observed, while weak governments is often violated. Thus it seems that certain poets transform the relation "strong vs. weak" in the natural language into the more extreme opposition "forbidden vs. permitted." An advantage of viewing the problem in this way is that an investigator is enabled to discern semantic possibilities (since the choice from among at least two possibilities is not redundant) which have not ordinarily been considered as being the property of language.

[256] G. LEVINTON, "K probleme literaturnoj citacii," Sbornik studenceskix rabot, Tartu, 1973, 47-50.
The topic of this article by G. Levinton is the device of literary quotation: a writer includes in a work of art (in this case poems by O. Mandel'štam) a recognizable quotation from a source external to the work at hand. Levinton is primarily concerned to establish the existence of a "linguistic" (Indoeuropean) sub-text" in many of Mandel'štam's poems, a feature which radically increases the semiotic and semantic content of those poems by pitting the poems' intrinsic language and message against those of the external source.

[262] B. A. USPENSKIJ, "K sisteme peredači izobraženija v russkoj ikonopisi," Trudy po znakovym sistemam, 2, Tartu, 1965, 248-257.
In the field of the visual arts, the theorist-researchers of the Moscow-Tartu school seem to favor early and out-of-the-way manifestations such as prehistoric art, the art and architecture of ancient Far Eastern and Southeast Asian cultures and the art of medieval Christianity. Such investigative territories have appeal, paramountly among other reasons, for the fact that the laws governing them remain moot or, in more pertinent terms, that the works of art in question represent messages the codes for whose full and proper decipherment are unknown (or - which amounts to the same thing - unfamiliar) and have to be discovered or reconstructed. They, thus, afford maximal opportunity for the implementation of the semiotic approach whereby domains of culture ("secondary modelling systems" are studied as "languages" in analogy with natural language.
Among the topics in this field, the one most particularly cultivated by the Moscow-Tartu school is that of old Russian Christian iconography. For B. A. Uspenskij this topic has become one of his central specialities. In the article presented here (the first of a series on the same general topic produced by Uspenskij over the years), he focuses his attention on the problem of the perspectival system in early Russian art, understanding that a system of perspective is a convention like that of the use of language to convey information and that the semiotic study of such conventionality can provide "a key to the analysis of the model of the world in the artist's mind."
A number of pioneering ventures in semiotic study of early Russian art preceded Uspenskij's work and have had determinative influence on it; these are, above all, the observations and analyses of P. A. Florenskij and L. F. Žegin, particularly the latter.

[277] B. M. GASPAROV, "Nekotorye voprosy strukturnogo analiza muzykal'nogo jazyka," Trudy po znakovym sistemam, 4, Tartu, 1969, 174-203.
Among the arts, music has been the one least investigated by the Moscow-Tartu school despite the fact that the study of music, with its highly developed formalization from ancient times on, would seem especially attractive for the structural-semiotic approach. The reason for this, assuming that simple insufficiency of specialized knowledge is highly unlikely, has no clearcut explanation. It may, perhaps, be that the elusiveness of the semantics of music is a problem for whose solution advances in semiotic knowledge of other domains - especially non-verbal domains - of culture are required. Moreover, another - preliminary - problem of considerable complexity, despite the long history of music theory, is the creation of an adequate metalanguage for the study of music.
It was to the second of these problems that B. M. Gasparov devoted the article "Nekotorye voprosy strukturnogo analiza muzykal'nogo jazyka." As the title already suggests, Gasparov's analysis has its starting point in structural linguistics, especially generative theory with which it shares the ambition of constructing a model that would generate all the texts (actual and potential) of the given language and nothing but the text of the given language.
Convincingly identifying the inadequacy of the conceptual (and terminological) system of traditional music theory in its purely taxonomic character, Gasparov sets out to design, with the help of distrbutional analysis, a system which is hierarchical and functional. In view of the immense complexity of musical structure (and the paucity of studies in the semiotics of music), Gasparov confines his study to the level of harmony only and, moreover, with the style of the period of the early Beethoven as its frame of reference.
The problem of musical semantics has also been a target of Gasparov's semiotic enquiry: it was to that topic precisely that he devoted a paper read at the First Congress of Semiotics of Music, held in Belgrade in 1973.
The article appears in English in Proceedings of the First Congress of the Semiotics of Music, Centro di Iniziativa Culturale, Pesaro (Italy), 1975, 183-196. It has been reprinted (with certain corrections) in Dispositio (Special issue: Soviet Semiotics of Culture), 3, Ann Arbor, 1976, 247-262.

[308] D. M. SEGAL, "Problema psixologičeskogo substrata znaka i nekotorye teoretičeskie vozzrenija S. M. Èjzenšteina," II letnaja škola po vtoričnym modelirujuščim sistemam, 3, Tartu, 1968, 21-26.
Various aspects of cinematic arts have attracted the attention of semioticiams in the Soviet Union. V. V. Ivanov and Ju. M. Lotman, two of the most important figures in the movement, have written extensively on the language of cinema. But perhaps no one had done more theoretical work in the field than Eisenstein. His extensive writings are now being mined by semioticians, especially by those who are concerned with the semantics of visual signs. D. M. Segal discusses the hypothesis, advanced by Eisenstein, that there exists an objective structural resemblance between an aesthetic object and human reaction to such an object. Additionally, Eisenstein felt that at the initial stage of an emotion, particularly of a condition best described as "ecstatic," human beings do not differentiate between signifier and signified. In other words, ecstasy is a state in which feelings have not yet found a means of expression: content is searching for a suitable form. This clearly poses difficulties for directors (and actors) in films, since a film character must always have some sort of expression. One punningly acute solution suggests that an ugly (bezobráznoe) expression best renders a formless (beźobraznoe) emotional state.

[314] V. V. IVANOV, "O strukture znakov kino", Tezisy dokladov IV letnej školy po vtoričnym modelirujuščim sistemam, Tartu, 1970, 117-122.
V. V. Ivanov discusses a number of ways in which the cinema has developed its own system of signs. Among those which he treats are the close-up, metaphoric and metonymic cinema, the shot, montage and the internal monologue. The article is one of a great many which the Soviet Structuralists have written on the language of cinema. The topic is particularly interesting to them both because of the numerous theoretical pronouncements made by Eisenstein and because of the special problems of cinema which employs natural language and visual language at the same time. Here and elsewhere Ivanov is quite terse, even cryptic, in his treatment of the categories under discussion. A more detailed survey of cinematic language, the inventory of signs and sign systems in cinema, may be found in Ju. M. Lotman's Semiotics of Cinema. The chronology involved suggests that Lotman made considerable use of Ivanov's suggestions.

[320] V. M. PETROV, N. E. PRJANIŠNIKOV, "Zametki o nekotoryx osobennostjax peredači prostsranstva tradicionnymi formami iskusstva vostoka," Letnjaja škola po vtoričnym modelirujuščim sistemam, 4, 1970, 127-132.
P. A. Florenskij, whose pioneering structural-semiotic ideas received recognition - and publication - only posthumously, starting in the 1960's, seems to have made a special impression on Russian students of the visual arts with his observations on inverse perspective in medieval painting. The students in question are ones almost invariably concerned with non-Western, most often Asian, art the perspective system of which present problems similar to that of European medieval art. Two of these students, V. Petrov and N. Prjanišnikov, supply a typical example of this trend with their study of certain traditional techniques of space projection in Eastern art as demonstrated on the material of one particular genre in Japanese engraving. Like B. Uspenskij, the two authors hold the view that a system of perspective in art is semiotically correlative with the whole system of civilization in which it arises and that, therefore, study of perspective in art may lead to broad culturological conclusions. In pursuit of these ambitious aims, Petrov and Prjanišnikov draw not only upon the ideas of Florenskij, but also importantly implement the notion of culture and aesthetics of "identity" (toždestva) developed especially by Ju. Lotman and, curiously, also theorize in terms of, and with explicit reference to, Viktor Šklovskij.

[326] Ju. M. LOTMAN, "Xudožestvennaja priroda russkix narodnyx kartinok," Narodnnaja gravjura i fol'klor v Rossii XVII-XIX vv., Moscow, 1976, 247-267.
History has sometimes belied D. A. Rovinskij's sarcastic observation of some 90 years ago that the chapbooks and popular tales of 17th and 18th century Russia have outlived the fame of the Kantemirs and Sumarokovs who held them in such contempt. The creations of both the high and low cultures of the 17th and 18th centuries have received a considerable revival of interest in modern times and especially in recend decades. One manifestation of this interest was the conference held in Moscow in 1975 to mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of D. A. Rovinskij, author-compiler of the five-volume opus, Russkie narodnye kartinki (St. Petersburg, 1881), whose own game rests with the woodcuts and engravings he so lovingly and diligently collected and introduced for serious appreciation to the Russian intellectual community at the end of the 19th century.
Ju. Lotman's contribution to that conference, reprinted here, endeavors, now that the artistic worth of the "lubki" is no longer at issue, to point our the cultural context in which that artistic worth must properly be seen. That context is not the world where the "consumer" contemplates and makes judgements about a work of art but "a special atmosphere of complex, generically undifferentiated playful artistry" where the consumer "plays with and at the text." Thus, Lotman's analysis functions less as a tribute to D. A. Rovinskij than to M. M. Baxtin whose concepts of carnivalization and "smexovaja kul'tura" are centrally implemented here.

[344] A. A. ZALIZNJAK, V. V. IVANOV, V. N. TOPOROV, "O vozmošnosti strukturnotipologičeskogo izučenija nekotoryx modelirujuščix semiotičeskix sistem," Strukturnaja tipologija jazykov, Moscow, 1962, 134-143.
Despite the modulated and qualified title, A. Zaliznjak, V. Ivanov and V. Toporov have applied the formidable combination of their knowledge and talents to elaborate a program for the structural-typological study of modelling systems that broadly anticipates the whole future course of the Soviet structural-semiotic movement. The authors have chosen to tie their discussion to the particular topic of religion, seeing religion as a sign system with minimal abstraction and maximal modelling capacity. But it is clear that religion functions here as an expeditious point of reference for the construction of a general program whose purpose is shrewdly summed up in a comment on this article by Ann Shukman: "To study a complex social or cultural phenomenon as a modelling system in fact opens the way to the analysis of it as a system, on an analogy with a linguistic system, with its differential features, syntagmatic and paradigmatic relationships. This is what the three authors propose: a synchronic study of religions in which relationships would be more important than facts." A number of aspects and ramifications of this program are examined by the authors, certainly the most curious of which is the problem of the relationship of study and object of study and the special complications that arise when both instrument and object are human beings. The author's high concern for scientific objectivity leads them to posit special value for unconscious data and a special role in eliciting and interpreting such data for psycho-analysis.

[355] Ju. Ja. GLAZOV, "Monogamnaja sem'ja kak znakovaja struktura," Letnjaja skola po vtoricnym modelirujašcim sistemam, 2, 1966, 53-65.
The diverse and often conflicting trends within the Moscow-Tartu group have been particularly typical for its Summer Schools on secondary modelling systems. The first Summer School met in 1964 at Kääriku in Estonia and officially established the cooperation of scholars from Moscow and tartu interested in exploring the vast potentials of the semiotic framework. Chracteristically for the early optimism of the Moscow-Tartu semioticians, the first Summer School was devoted to problems ranging from epistemology of semiotics (both linguistic and extra-linguistic systems) to parapsychology, mythology, semiotics of human behavior and card games and, especially, semiotics of art, including topics as diverse as Indian music, medieval Russian icons, the detective stories of Agatha Christie and the limericks of Edward Lear. In this opening statement, Jurij Lotman explains the comprehensive scope of the program, critically rejecting the dualistic attempts in semiotics to isolate the signifying means from the signification and the diachrony of semiotic systems from their synchrony. In fact, one can read it as programmatic distancing from the conceptual development of semiotics in Western Europe, particularly in France. The emphasis on the historical aspects of semiotic systems became even more pronounced the following year in the second Summer School devoted to the textual typology, semiotics of folklore, oriental mythology, personological and behavioral problems, and especially to semiotics of culture which became the trademark of the Tartu group. It is noteworthy that among the guest speakers of the second Summer School was Roman Jakobson who gave a lecture on Radiščev, the hero of Lotman's pre-semioric and pre-structural writings on cultural history and ideology.
It was during this second Summer School at Kääriku that Jurij Glazov presented his paper, daringly stretching the concept of semiotic system to comprise the monogamic institution of family life. Such a system, of course, is not a mere abstraction, produced by the classificatory power of logical mind; it is a living system naturally endowed with historicity through incessant change of time and capable of generating new life while constantly decaying. Obviously, such a semiotic system is profoundly different from any natural language with its phonology, lexicon and grammar. The difference is so vast that it challenges virtually every comprehensive definition of a semiotic system and makes it clear that the Moscow-Tartu school of semiotics has not been afraid of testing the very limnits of semiotic concepts.

[364] Ju. M. LOTMAN, "Semantika čisla i tip kul'tury," Letnaja škola po vtoričnym modelirujuščim sistemam, 3, Tartu, 1968, 103-109.
Numbers have always exercised a powerful effect on the human imagination precisely because the ordering and organizing instrumentality of numbers has modelling capability. The Moscow-Tartu theorists and researchers of modelling and modelling systems inevitably have included the topic of numbers in their program. One especially notable instance was the Third Summer School on Secondary Modelling Systems in 1968 where an entire section was devoted to "Number and Culture." The papers presented ranged over etymology, mythology and ritual, geometric-architectural representations and world model, alchemy, and so on. The first of the articles - presumably, the section's introductory paper, is Ju. Lotman's "Semantika čisla i tip kul'tury." Lotman here poses the general problem of the correlation of number (in its modelling capacity) with overall organization of culture, of which two basic types are distinguished: paradigmatic and syntagmatic. Of the two, only number and the paradigmatic type of culture is examined at any lenght, with special focus of attention on the isomorphism of meanings on different levels.

[370] Ju. M. LOTMAN, "O tipologičeskom izučenii kul'tury," Stat'i po tipologii kul'tury, Tartu, 1970, 86-98.
Inspired by the semiotic implications of cybernetics and structural linguistics, the theoretical endeavors of the Soviet structural-semiotic movement were always toward "systems of systems." Given the especially strong humanistic, even basically literary, bent of the Soviet scholars and their doctrine on secondary modelling systems, it was virtually inevitable that the central system of systems for investigation by the school would crystallized as the problem of culture. A powerful conditioning factor was undoubtedly acquaintance with the structural anthropology of Lévi-Strauss. Native traditions in semiotics of culture were certainly not lacking but these had to be gradually revived and reassessed before making a contribution, as was most graphically the case with the long discredited school of N. Ja. Marr.
A good deal of the initiative and the impetus for this development came from Ju. M. Lotman who, partly in collaboration with B. A. Uspenksij, produced a series of path-breaking enquiries into semiotic theory of culture over the years 1969-1971. Three of these articles have been chosen for reprinting in the present collection. The first one, which immediately follows, originally appeared in 1969 under the title, "O tipologičeskom izučenii literatury." In its version of one year later, the article includes the whole of the original but expanded by a few extra pages and a set of conclusions. The notable shift in the article's title from literature to culture is, for one thing, highly symptomatic of the conceptual evolution of the Soviet school and, for another, is already fully justified in the text of the original version, inasmuch as the intention of that text was to counteract precisely the tendency of literary scholars to describe all cultural contexts from familiar to contemporary poitns of view.
Lotman aptly demonstrates that the contemporary and the familiar are actually very much a part of the same problem as the remote and unfamiliar. The problem so conceived, while it avoids simplicism and distortion, brings about formidable difficulties for objective study. Lotman presents a careful outline and demonstrates of how the typological approach can, and alone can, surmount these difficulties.

[387] Ju. M. LOTMAN, "O dvux tipax orientirovannost kul'tury," Stat'i po tipologii kul'tury, Tartu, 1970, 86-98.
Like the immediately preceding one, this - much briefer - contribution of Ju. Lotman's to the semiotics of culture also stems from, and retains, a focus of interest in literature. At the same time, Lotman here draws up a terse and shrewd concpectus for a program of far-reaching "culturological" inquiries - inquiries to which he himself subsequently turned.
Using a set of incisively sketched distinctions, Lotman postulates a major opposition between communication involving different addresser and addressee and autocommunication where the addresser and addressee are one and the same (not necessarily only an individual person but also, for example, a nation). It, of course, is this opposition to which the two types of cultural orientation in the title refer.
A vital aspect of the article considers the value of the model communication/autocommunication for questions concerning poetry vs. prose and fundamental contrasts between literary periods and trends. Reverberations from, and counterpoint with, ideas from studies by Roman Jakobson, particularly his "Linguistics and Poetics," in distinctly felt here and was, as a matter of fact, made explicit in Lotman's later, follow-up article, "O dvux modeljax kommunikacii v sisteme kul'tury." The psychological dimensions of the topic, only briefly alluded th here, were also later separetely elaborated in a striking essay on psychoanalysis: "O redukcii i razvertyvanii znakovyx sistem (K probleme "Frejdizm i semiotičeskaja kul'turologija')."

[390] Ju. M. LOTMAN, "Problema 'obučenija kul'ture' kak ee tipologičeskaja xarakteristika," Trudy po znakovyum sistemam, 5, Tartu, 1971, pp. 167-176.
The third of Ju. Lotman's contributions fo the semiotics of culture reprinted in the present collection appeared as an excursus to an article jointly signed by Lotman and B. Uspenskij and called "O semiotičeskom mexanizme kul'tury." Whereas the latter exposited a program of semiotic views on culture as a "generator of structuredness" and a sign system which includes sign-consciousness as "one of its basic typological characteristics," the article that follows aims to develop certian aspects of that program, concentrating on the problem of cultural inculcation with a further narrowing of focus of attention to "automodels" of culture. These topics are examined from the binary point of view which projects, on the one hand, a culture of texts (or precedents, examples, etc.) and, on the other, a culture of grammars (or rules and regulations, instructions, etc.), thus establishing a crucial analogy between cultural inculcation and acquisition of language.
Lotman goes on to considerable pains in this article to point out the mistake of equating culture's self-model and its actual mode of existence and the danger of a simple either/or or good/bad reductionism in implementing the binary model for cultural analysis. It was surely for this reason, to some degree, that the material for discussion here (as also in the Lotman-Uspenskij article) belongs very largely to the notoriouusly contradictory culture of 18th century Russia.

[400] I. A. ČERNOV, "Tri modeli kul'tury," Quinquagenario (Sbornik statej molodyx filologov k 50-letiju prof. Ju. M. Lotmana, Tartu, 1972, 5-18.
The turn toward semiotics of culture and "culturology" that marks the development of a new (and the current) stage in the evolutin of the Moscow-Tartu school had already produced sufficiently well-defined positions by 1971 as to be susceptible of comparison with other schemes of theory of culture worked out earlier and elsewhere within the framework of the international structural-semiotic trend. The most representative thinker of the school in this instance was, of course, Ju. Lotman (or more stictly speaking, Ju. Lotman in partial collaboration with B. Uspenskij).
In his brief survey, I. Černov considers three contemporary models of culture that emerge from the studies, respectiely of Claude Lévi-Strauss, Stanislaw Lem and Lotman. While mainly concerned with tracing common patterns and crucial points of intersection and divergence among the three models, he also touches on the subtle and intricate issue of theory of culture as itself a phenomenon of culture. Thus, Černov can speak of models of culture as subculturally conditioned - in the given case, for instance, the subcultures are those of anthropology, cybernetics and semiotics.
Although Černov's position is that culturology is still in a formative stage and far from satisfactory science, he regards the complementariness and interrelationship among the three models as a significant basis for further development.

[411] B. L. OGIBENIN, "Lingvistika i kinezika v rekonstrukcii kul'tury: sledy drevnego rituala peredači znanija v buddizme," Materialy Vsesojuznogo simpoziuma po vtoričnym modelirujuščim sistemam I (5), Tartu, 1974, 91-95.
The emphasis on controlled historical projections and reconstructions has characterized the Moscow-Tartu school not only in studies of modern but also of archaic cultures and mythologies. Although Claude Lévi-Strauss' studies in myth on the universal scale have clearly impressed many members of the group, the need to bring together historical considerations and synchronic typology, rather than to separate them, puts a distinct imprint on the Moscow-Tartu studies in all areas, including studies of world model and cosmology. Historical considerations also characterize Boris Ogibenin's attempt to supplement linguistics with kinesics, studying non-linguistic body motions in their relation to communication. With the help of his brand of historical kinesics, Ogibenin approaches ancient Sanskrit texts and suggests a new interpretation of a set of morphemes displaying a vast semantic spectrum which ranges from certain very concrete to certain very abstract connotations. Ogibenin shows that the semantic spectrum, in fact, has preserved a reference to the performance of ancient rituals, on the one hand, and to their spiritual accomplishment, on the other. Needless to say, in this case, a strictly synchronic or achronic approach is bound to fail, while a controlled historical reconstruction displays attractive explanatory potentials. Thus, Ogibenin's short study acquires methodological importance. At the same time it typifies the Moscow-Tartu response to the dualistic trends in linguistics and anthropology in Western Europe.

[416] E. S. SEMEKA, "Struktura cetyrex- i vos'mičlennyx semiotičeskix modelej mira v arxaičnom iskusstve drevnej Azii" (Accepted, but not published, by Trudy po znakovym sistemam, 6).
Within the Moscow-Tartu school, the orientalists have played an important role by successfully combining linguistics, anthropology and historically sensitive culturology in their investigations. At the same time, their deep involvement in oriental cultures and religions has formed a natural counterpart to the Moscow-Tartu Slavists, whether linguists or literary scholars. Several present and past members of the group are internationally recognized Sancritisists and experts on South Asian languages and cultures. In their investigations they often approach complex semiotic problems related to distinct world views and ideologies constrained by the specific cultures. Some of their studies display clear analogies to the Sapir-Whorf theory of cultural relativism and its intricate relation to verbal communication. In fact, Benjamine Whorf and Edward Sapir are foten cited or referred to, although N. J. Marr and the contributions of some of his student are also being mentioned with increasing frequency.
In her series of studies devoted to mythological types of cultures, Elena Semeka has acquired a prominent position especially as a gifted investigator of symbolism in the quarternary and octonary modelling systems of the world and their intrinsic relation to verbal communication and spiritual life in these ideological worlds. Her astonishing erudition covers Old India, Ancient China and the Near East, as well as Central America with its world modelling systems. The present study was accepted for publication in Trudy po znakovym sistemam, 6, to form a natural sequence to Semeka's paper in Trudy, 5. However, her decision to emigrate from the Soviet Union prevented the actual printing of her paper. Today she is Professor of Anthropology at Boston University in Massachusetts.
  • Dmitri Segal, Aspects of Structuralism in Soviet Philology, Tel-Aviv, 1974, 10.
  • R. Jakobson, "Shifters, verbal categories, and the Russian verb", Russian Language Project, Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, Harvard University, 1957, p.1-3.
  • J. Xenauis, "The logic of proper names", Methodos, v. VII, 1955, N. 25-26, p. 13-24.
  • W. V. Quine, "The scope and language of science", The British journal for the philosophy of science, vol. VIII, May 1957, N. 27, p. 8.
  • R. Jakobson, "Aphasia as a linguistic problem," cb. On expressive language, Worcester, 1955, p. 74.
  • Cf. L. Matejka, "On the First Russian Prologemena to Semiotics" in V. N. Vološinov's Marxism and the Philosophy of Language, New York, 1973, 161-174; "Cybernetics" in L.S. Graham's Science and Philosophy in the Soviet Union, New York, 1972, 324-354.
  • Norbert Wiener, The Human Use of Human Beings, New York, 1954, 15.
  • Cf. V. N. Vološinov, Marxism and the Philosophy of Language, tr. by L. Matejka and I. R. Titunik, New York, 1973.
  • Cf. Ann Shukman, Literature and Semiotics: Study of the Writings of Ju. M. Lotman, Amsterdam, 1977, 11.
  • Style in Language, edited by T. A. Sebeok, Cambridge (Mass.), 1966, pp. 350-377; also very much to the point here is the chapter, "The Metaphoric and Metonymic Poles", Fundamentals of Language, The Hague, 1956, pp. 76-82.


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