ymbolist novel about French invasion into Russia written by Danish writer Sophus Michaelis

in Russian

  • Mariia Mikhailova Department of History of Modern Russian Literature and Contemporary Literary Process, Lomonosov Moscow State University
  • Anastasiia Liapina «PricewaterhouseCoopers Audit»
Keywords: Danish literature, symbolist novel, beginning of the 20th century, Napoleon, Russia, War of 1812


his article presents the first detailed analysis in Russian of Sophus Michaelis works. The aim of this study was to attract interest to the works of the unjustly forgotten Danish writer of the early 20th century. Michaelis was very well known in his homeland and Europe, but in Russia during that period his literary reputation has developed poorly. This article reports the results of the research during which it was found that Michaelis is a bright representative of symbolism in Denmark, he started with poetic sketches, then he turned to the prosaic genres and then wrote a symbolist novel «The eternal sleep. 1812» (1912). The paper presents a detailed analysis of this work, which describes the march of Napoleon to Russia and his defeat. Particular attention is paid to the symbols: the sun and the snow. The emperor associates himself with the sun, and he feels its temporary support. The last chapters of the novel are connected by the image of endless snow, which is associated with shroud. The article describes the reaction of Russian reading public to this work. The scientific interest of this article is connected with the fact that it was the first analysis of Michaelis’ works and of one of his best novels. The practical significance of the work lies in the possibility of its use during lectures and workshops about the history of Russian literature of the period, history of Russian criticism and of Danish literature.

Literatures of the Western Europe and the USA