Yuri Lotman

Yuri Mikhailovich Lotman (Russian Юрий Михайлович Лотман, scientific transliteration Jurij Lotman Michajlovič; born February 28, 1922 in Petrograd; † 28 October 1993 in Tartu, German: Dorpat ) was a Russian literary theorist and semiotician. Lotman, who initially specialized in Russian literature of the 18th century, was co-founder of the Tartu - Moscow school of semiotics. Based on the work of the Russian formalists developed Lotman a cultural studies oriented semiotics. Juri Lotman coined the term semiospheres. He summed culture as a hierarchy of systems of signs and made ​​a decisive contribution to semiotic theory of culture. According to him the faculty of the Russian culture at the Ruhr- University Bochum is named, Lotman Institute.

Space by Yuri M. Lotman semantics

A still interesting for the study of literature narrative theory approach developed Lotman in its publication The structure of literary texts. In contrast to other relevant theoretical projects in the field of narrative research is not the temporal structure of the narrative in the foreground, but the spatial organization of narrative texts in Lotman. The structuralist - semiotic space model Lotman has proven to be a practical method for the narrative analysis because of its simple methodology and was popularized by Martínez / bushel in Germany. Lotman's cultural anthropological model of set theory was reformulated by Karl Nikolaus Renner, so praktibael for the analysis of literature, film and other arts and was wide in the semiotic literature and cultural studies rezipiert (Michael Titzmann, Hans Krah, Munich and Passau school).


For Lotman, the terms "event" or " subject " for the summary paraphrase of the action. The global structure of the story is to be mapped, not smaller sections.

A subject has three elements:

In sujet liable texts transgressions take place in sujet free texts not.

For the subspaces of the semantic field oppositions are on three levels to determine:

For Lotman now is this spatial order the organizing element, around which non- spatial characteristics are established. This means that the interior design is a language that expresses the other non- spatial relations of the text.

However Topographic spatial boundaries are only for classificatory border, where they are also coded topologically or semantically. Only classificatory overruns are considered event.

Revolutionary / restitutive texts

Narrative texts can be revolutionary and restitutiv. In revolutionary texts a boundary crossing takes place. In restitutive texts fails crossing the border or will be completed, but then reversed and thus canceled.

Lotman is of the opinion that every cultural order of the world is structured topologically. This means that social, religious, political and moral models are conceptualized about spatial concepts.

This hypothesis is made ​​plausible by research results of cognitive psychology, stating that notions of space act as memory aids and abstract problems that are intended as space models. However, this is not sufficient to prove that narrative texts need to be structured topologically necessary.


Lotmann developed the term semiospheres analogy with the biosphere. The semiospheres is thought of as a closed space, limit within which communicative processes.

As part of the cultural semiotics Lotman designed next to the transmitter -receiver model of communication ( "I - It - channel"), second the "I - I - channel " in which the transmitter and receiver are the same person (car communication). Culture as a so-called collective person 's texts on himself further, in each case primarily the I - It or I - I car- communicative channel are used.