Izvestiya of Saratov University.

Philology. Journalism

ISSN 1817-7115 (Print)
ISSN 2541-898X (Online)

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Specifi c features of implementing the system of oppositions of landscape imagery in the stories about childhood by I. S. Shmelev 1906–1912

Shestakova Elena Yuryevna, Humanitarian Institute of the branch of the Northern (Arctic) Federal University in Severodvinsk

This article examines the features of how the system of semantic oppositions of landscape images is objectifi ed in the stories about childhood by the writer of the Russian expatriate community Ivan Sergeevich Shmelev, created in 1906-1912. The research material constitutes the works The Sergeant, On Urgent Business, One Night, Gingerbread (the Doctor’s Story), Festive Heroes, Stars, Timid Silence, related to the pre-emigration period of the author’s ouevre. The aim of the work is to consider the artistic principle of antinomy, actualizing a wide range of images, including images of ‘happy childhood’, mellow autumn, night landscape, idyllic summer panoramic landscape, autumn melancholy landscape, ‘sacred’ landscape, spilt innocent blood. All together, they recreate a rich motivic spectrum containing motifs of abundance, spaciousness, peace, blissful silence, contrasted with a dead, graceless silence. The theme of the rebellious revolutionary city in the stories is interspersed with the theme of harmonious unity, opposing the discordant life of man and nature, as well as the themes of death, unjust murder and human cruelty. In the works of I. S. Shmelev, the theme of the unity of children and nature is closely connected with the poetization of the Russian landscape, paintings-images of a rapid children’s run, combined with aerial imagery and the theme of human talent, bestowed by God. In the structure of the artistic space of the stories, a contrasting idea of the ‘inner’ fertile home space fi lled with children’s light, warmth, love, and the ‘outer’ cold, dark space bearing torment and death is realized. Biblical allusions, closely related to the images of stars, among which the image of the Christmas Star stands out, and the Christmas chronotope, are associated with the meaning of the higher, spiritual sphere and the theme of death.


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