Izvestiya of Saratov University.
ISSN 1817-7115 (Print)
ISSN 2541-898X (Online)

Literary criticism

Pestel vs. Pestel: L. Zorin’s tragedy The Decembrists and B. Okudzhava’s novel Poor Avrosimov

This paper undertakes a comparative analysis of two interpretations of Pavel Pestel’s personality and fate in the literature of the late Khrushchev thaw. The contribution of the peer writers to the liberation of cultural and historical memory from offi cial dictatorship is discussed, the basis of their ideological similarity is shown: this is the awareness of the fatal problem of morality and revolution (Zorin).

E. G. Polonskaya and K. A. Fedin: To the history of the relationship

The article analyzes the correspondence of E. G. Polonskaya and K. A. Fedin, members of the literary group Serapion Brothers, formed in Petrograd in 1921. The short but bright period of the existence of the association is still of interest to many researchers. Particularly relevant is the study of documentary sources, which make it possible to fi ll in the factual gaps in the history of both the Serapion fraternity itself and the relationships of its individual members.

The “eschatological word” in Nikolai Zabolotsky’s poem A City in the Steppe

The article analyzes the poem by Nikolai Zabolotsky A City in the Steppe, which was written by the poet after returning from exile in 1946. The poem unfolds before the reader a grand panorama of the Kazakh city of Karaganda. The city appears as a kind of epic and even mythological City that has replaced the timeworn era. It is shown that there are several metaphysical layers in the plot of the poem: along with the description of the real city of Karaganda, the biblical symbolism of both the Old and New Testaments is present in the text.

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

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.

“And the stars serve you”: The sun, the moon and stars as the external outlines of meaningful constants in the works of Protopope Avvakum (Based on the texts of diff erent genres)

The article deals with the identifi cation of semantic constants in the corpus of the texts of Protopope Avvakum, which manifested themselves as a characteristic feature of his worldview with the help of certain resources of the language system. In this regard, the main attention is paid to the substantives “the sun”, “the moon” and “stars” as the external outlines of associative links that arise in a number of works. At the same time, the article considers only those cases where the indicated lexical units are part of a syntactically built sequence.

Genre modifi cations and “search for a genre” in Timur Kibirov’s novel The General and His Family

Genre defi nition of Timur Kibirov’s The General and His Family caused disagreement among literary critics. The range of opinions concerning the defi nition of the novel’s genre include historical novel, family saga, cento novel, the novel about psychology and morality of the late years of the USSR. This article is concentrated on the novel’s genre defi nition. The genre framework of the text is the epoch-standard local family story depicted against the background of massive Soviet history.

Early works by Andrey Nemzer: To the problem of defi ning the author’s status

In the article the publications of the literary critic and historian Andrey Nemzer which appeared in the 1980s in the journal Literaturnoye obozreniye (Literary review) are analyzed. The articles of this period dealt more with historical and literary works and to a smaller degree with literary-artistic ones. The aim of this work is to identify the author’s status. A range of arguments is off ered proving that Nemzer’s contributions on the pages of the journal are strictly of literary-critical nature.

John Woolman’s image in the English non-fi ction in the 1850–1940s: Hagiographical motives

John Woolman, an 18th century Quaker preacher, is known in the history of American literature for his spiritual autobiography titled The Journal (1774). The 1850–1940s is a period when Woolman’s autobiographical character attracts the attention of British and American critics and essay writers. They publish a signifi cant number of non-fi ction texts, which contain numerous elements of hagiography in Woolman’s portraiture, depicting him as a saintly proto-abolitionist fi gure.

N. V. Gogol’s motives in the Russian plays at the turn of the 20–21st centuries (Pannochka by N. Sadur / Viy by V. Sigarev)

The attention of the playwrights and theatre to Gogol’s prosaic text opens new forms of understanding of the classical text, and allows to find in it both deeply personal author’s content and something relevant to the society of a diff erent time. In the plays Pannochka by N. Sadur and Viy by V. Sigarev, the transformation of Gogol’s motives reveals the deep meanings of the story. These are Gogol’s favorite motives of a vague fear of women, eschatological forebodings, the fear of oblivion.

Studying the works of Vasily Shukshin in Chinese literary criticism

The subject of this work is the main themes and ideas of Russian country prose – the school that most fully refl ects the essence of the Russian national mentality. Ethical issues are an integral part of the works of Vasily Shukshin. V. Shukshin’s novellas represent the wisdom, virtue and life experience of a Russian villager, an attempt is made to identify the spiritual foundations. Writers strive to fi nd the foundations of the peasant world. Vasily Shukshin’s works are known not only in Russia, but all over the world.