The paper deals with the Russian reception of scholarly method and terminology used by Ernst R. Curtius. The essence of his method is a combination of the universal and specific approaches to literature, and he applied this method whether in his early works on individual writers or in his fundamental work on the European literary tradition. This paper pays particular attention to the concept of “topos” borrowed from the classical rhetoric and then reinterpreted by the scholar. It also reveals the similarities and differences between Cur-tius’s “historical topic” and historical poetics as a branch of Russian philology presented in the writings of A.N. Veselovskij and A.V. Mikhailov.
literary tradition; topos; E.R. Curtius; historical topic; historical poetics; A.N. Veselovskij; A.V. Mikhailov; E. Auerbach.