A long road of Russian generals: Between the truth of fact and the truth of life


The article gives a literary interpretation of the Civil War memory and its heroes in contemporary Russian fiction. The subject matter of our analysis is pieces of writing where historic content is represented by a text – documentary or functioning as a document: the novels “The Winter Road. General A. N. Pepelyaev and Anarchist I. Y. Strod in Yakutia. 1922–1923” by L. Yuzeffovitch and “Soloviev and Larionov” by E. Vodolazkin.

The Russian readership perception is characterized by a visible interest in non-fiction. With all the differences in the writers’ personal styles (L.Yuzeffovitch’s narration is based on a document and represents non-fiction, whereas the piece of writing by E. Vodolazkin is built upon pseudo scientific-detective intrigue), both of them possess research pathos and understanding of the need to artistically resolve the ontological conflict within the unified Russian history. The article makes an attempt to analyze the poetics of literary works and particularly to evaluate the constructive plot-generating role of a documentary text (or claiming to be as such) as a method of reconstructing a story in the fictional space of the novels.

This research enabled us to specify different levels of the literary work construction and various readers’ receptive positions as well as to justify the humanistic concept of the authorial view of man within the limits designated by historical circumstances.

Key words: 

historic content, documentary text, non-fiction, writing style, L. Yuzeffovitch, E. Vodolazkin.

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