The historical parable “Lunin, or the Death of Jacques” by Edward Radzinsky: The principles of parabolization

Abstract: 

The article deals with the principles of creating a dramatic parable using the system of intertextual techniques of the plot construction. Parable plays are traditionally based on the rethinking of myths, folklore, historical events, and literary plots. This material is the easiest to parabolize. In a parabolic play, the plot is limited to certain frames of space and time, depicting a real or fictitious environment, which has a casual character. At the same time, this type of story has a moral, or a lesson, which is related to the intellectual, systematic, or theological understanding of the plot.

The article considers the principles of parabolization based on E. Radzinsky's play “Lunin, or the Death of Jacques”. By means of several levels of intertextuality, the play creates a binary opposition between history and modernity. A feature, characterizing the plot construction of the parable play, is the two planes, in which the events take place: in reality and in mental reality – in the hero’s reminiscences. This technique makes it possible to use different levels of citation: literary texts, Lunin's letters to his sister, and historical jokes. In Lunin's imagination, all characters are reduced to four figures, eternal images: Caesar, Abel, Cain, and Mary. This functionality provides an opportunity for generalization.

The playwright first appropriates the historical material of the play, makes it familiar, then projects one historical epoch onto another, and generalizes it - typologizes, that is, establishes a regularity, translates it into an eternal plane.

Key words: 

Radzinsky, dramatic parable, parabola, intertextuality, binary, citation.

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