• T.N. Potnitseva
Keywords: rococo, playful component, synthesis, paradox, style contrast


The paper focuses on two poetic miniatures  about love  by the English writer of the XVIII th century O.Goldsmith. These miniatures embody the specificity of the writer’s manner and the main artistic and ideological tendencies of the time.  That specificity finds its  expression first of all in the mixture of different styles and pathos – serious and playful. All that  scholars  correlate not only with  Goldsmith’s individual manner but with the aesthetic of rococo. The interest to Goldsmith’s art is  growing nowadays. That is proved by an amount of investigations, dissertations appeared  recently. But what concerns the Ukrainian literary studies one must admit a fair and sad conclusion of D Chik that the creative art of Goldsmith  has not been yet a special object of investigation in  Ukraine. Though his  name and his works where always  touched upon in the context of many Ukrainian investigations of the literature of the XVIIIth century. The priority of the Dnipro University school of the scholars studying the European literary  XVIIIthe c. is certain. The both  verses deal with the specific aspect of love located outside the borders of  “legalized proprieties” but which are so attractive for  the author’s attention due to many causes more than any other of  the  common “morally steadfast plots” about love.  The poems are similar in an obvious two-sided depiction, in an exquisite playfulness which attributes them both  with the style of rococo. Here the female’s or mistress’s qualities and  properties are praised but they are those which  according to the logic of things had to cause only conviction. And thus  a demonstrated intention of moralizing turns into joke. The poems chosen for the  analysis embody the author’ s idea about  microcosm of a man’s existence where  there are its own “crazy laws” and where it is possible to have fun and not to be pessimistic, according to D.Zatonsky’s  judgment, in  one’s reflection about “ sins of men’s attitude to the life”, and where it is possible “to reject decisively regulations and respectability”. All that, without any doubt, made Goldsmith  a forerunner of Romanticism.    The joking verses about love includes in themselves, as it is seen, much of what goes beyond the borders of the topic chosen by Golsmith. “A lovely woman” turns out to be a concretized image of a common recognizable man, one of those    «good people all of every sort»,  for whom so often the writer appeals and whom he loves and    sympathizes with so much. In  investigating the diversity of a man’s essence  Goldsmith  revealed some common  rules of existence and in  different forms of his art the writer  thought about that. In the paradoxical encounter of the serious and  the comic  in the plot of the poetic miniatures  as well as in the style Goldsmith embodies in his own way his  perception and adoption of a human being  what he is with all  his  weak sides and faults.  The playful component of the XVIIIth century writers’ poetry and Goldsmith poetry included  is a sign of a free breathing of a poetic soul which rejects all stereotypes and “rules” as exhausted to the full.  The idea of frailty of life and its finiteness  no matter how lofty the man’s aspirations could be is transformed in  the poetry of a great  mockingbird. The poems quite contrary are full of life and life-affirming pathos. Not rejecting the very thought about man’s mortality Goldsmith calls for a life acceptance in all its appearances. And this call is embodied in the form of  a mischievous game. Goldsmith’s conversation with his reader at that is a sign of a boiling vital energy.


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How to Cite
Potnitseva, T. (2019). ABOUT RECKLESSNESS AND NOT ONLY ABOUT IT (O.GOLDSMITH’S POETIC MINIATURES ABOUT LOVE). English and American Studies, (16), 179-189. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.15421/381925