Izvestiya of Saratov University.

Philology. Journalism

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On the problem of cyclization of “Little Tragedies” by A. S. Pushkin

Zakharov Kirill Mikhailovich, Saratov State University

The article proposes a new version of the cycle-forming organization of “Little Tragedies” by A. S. Pushkin, after a brief excursion through the already existing cycle-forming concepts of a group of scenes and plays united in Russian culture under the non-author’s general name “Little Tragedies”. The intra-textual situation of unexpected, spontaneous inspiration of the central characters of the plays included in the cycle is put forward as a binding compositional element. It is this recurring element that accompanies either the beginning of a plot action or, on the contrary, its climax. Walsingham (A Feast in Time of Plague) and Mozart (Mozart and Salieri) are liable to sudden inspiration (for Walsingham, this comes as a surprise, but Mozart is so surprised by the result that he hurries to demonstrate the composition to his “friend” Salieri, unwittingly provoking the envier to a crime). The “improviser” of the love song is Don Guan (The Stone Guest), who spoke to Donna Anna and set out on the path of his inevitable death. The moment of spontaneous inspiration becomes for all three characters a harbinger of the end, however, for Walsingham it is so far hypothetical. The Baron (The Miserly Knight), who is strikingly diff erent from the other three protagonists, also experiences such a moment, spontaneously deciding to arrange a “feast” for himself alone with his wealth. At this moment, he returns to the thought of his heir, which will push him to slander and death. In the conclusion of the article, a parallel is carefully drawn between the mood of the biographical author, who enthusiastically indulged in the work, and the state of the heroes of his plays, who unwittingly “inherited” from their creator the same moment of being intoxicated with sudden inspiration.


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