Love on the Final Slopes of Life: Fedor Ivanovich Tiutchev and “The Denis’eva Cycle”


  • Lillian Jorunn Helle University of Bergen



Old age represents a serious contemporary social issue that has also entered literary studies, where “Ageing and literature” has now become established as a critical perspective in its own right. As this article will demonstrate, literature provides unique access to individual experiences of ageing, enabling us to grasp the complexities and contingencies of the experience in ways that quantitative, sociological and medical studies cannot. Significantly, literature can provide a deeper understanding of ageing senses and sensations, including how elderly people experience sensual attractions, love and desire. To exemplify these claims, I will focus on the “Denis’eva cycle” written by Feodor Ivanovich Tiutchev, one of the greatest poets in the classical Russian tradition. Questioning prevalent stereotypes about the experience of passion in the winter of a man’s life, this collection of poems offers a remarkably rich testimony of the senescent subject in love.


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How to Cite

Helle, Lillian Jorunn. 2017. “Love on the Final Slopes of Life: Fedor Ivanovich Tiutchev and ‘The Denis’eva Cycle’”. Bergen Language and Linguistics Studies 7 (September).