Success as Failure, Failure as Success




success, failure, phenomenon, paradigm, subjectivity, artist, The Beholder” by R.-M. Rilke, the Book of Genesis


The article under studies outlines the parameters of the paradigm “success” in relation to the concept of “category”. Hereby, success is interpreted as an ontological phenomenon, as a creative objective of any activity. The metaphysical parameters of success are outlined through a number of additional concepts-markers: avant-garde (innovation), historical time, goal, conjuncture, context, method, style, leap, boundary, summit, victory, authority, even a lucky coincidence. All of them require compliance with their own criteria. Success can come to authors years and even centuries after their death (Homer, Dante Alighieri, Shakespeare, Friedrich Hölderlin, Byron, Emily Dickinson, Vasyl Stus). The same happens to certain texts that may even be alienated from the author (for example, Scheherazade’s fairy tales, chivalric novels, Ukrainian dumas, which are currently successfully exploited by the genre of fantasy). The transit of such successful themes and texts was recorded by A. Volkov’s school of TPI (last quarter of the previous century). Its representatives agreed that imitation is mainly produced by the success of the original source. Referring to the canonical circle of literary names (for example, those identified by H. Bloom), we observe the lack of argumentation for common criteria for evaluating each of these writers. The most interesting things can happen to an artist in the future, in the shadows, because success is mostly a turning point, not the end of his or her life trajectory. Success as a specific emotional cleansing of the soul, in fact, its devastation, can put a tragic end to a biography. Therefore, when taken together, success and failure appear as an important dichotomous compound, the most essential intentional levers of subjective self-determination. The author’s interpretation of the paradigm of “success” is regarded in this article on the example R.-M. Rilke’s poetic text “The Beholder”.

Author Biography

Olha Chervinska, Yuriy Fedkovych Chernivtsi National University

Department of Foreign Literature and Theory of Literature

Yuriy Fedkovych Chernivtsi National University

2 Kotsiubynsky str., 58002, Chernivtsi, Ukraine


Rilke, R. M. Sonety do Orfeia [The Sonnets to Orpheus]. Translated from the German by V. Stus. Rainer Mariia Ril’ke: virshi, ukraïns’ki pereklady. (in Ukrainian). URL: (accessed: 20.11.2022).



How to Cite

Chervinska, O. “Success As Failure, Failure As Success”. Pitannâ lìteraturoznavstva, no. 107, June 2023, pp. 9-15, doi:10.31861/pytlit2023.107.009.



Literature: Markers of Success