Literary Studies

Ideological and artistic singularity of R. Mukhamadiev’s novel “Kүзачкысыз буран” (“The Impenetrable Blizzard”) (2016)

Abstract: 

The article examines the genre features of the novel “Күзачкысыз буран” (“The Impenetrable Blizzard”) by R. Mukhamadiev (2016). The author of the novel is known in Russia and abroad as a talented prose writer, critic, and public figure. This work is a tribute to the memory of Turan Yazgan who led “Turan”, the Foundation for Studies in the Turkic World, for many years. According to the genre, this is both a fictional and documentary novel. R. Mukhamadiev gives a fictional interpretation of the biography of the Turkish public figure. The book has a great educational potential. It reveals the outlook origins of the ardent patriot of the Turkic peoples. The author of the novel emphasizes the role of the family in shaping Turan Yazgan’s world outlook. His work is a fusion of objective and subjective principles. Facts from the protagonist’s life and his activities are combined with the author's autobiographical material. R. Muhamadiev documented his interpretation of the events in the 1990s in Tatarstan and the contacts with Turkey. This allows him to philosophically comprehend the problem of “man and time”. In the novel, the image of Turan Yazgan is created due to the interaction and interpenetration of the “spatial form of the hero”, his “temporary whole”, biographical, everyday, historical, and cultural contexts. The unifying element here is the “semantic whole of the protagonist”, the concept of a creative personality. The fictional structure of the novel and its poetics are intended to emphasize the idea of the Turkic world unity, which is reflected in the composition of the work, in the system of its leitmotifs and images.

Key words: 

Tatar literature, genre of a fictional-documentary novel, Rinat Mukhamadiev, Turan Yazgan, Tatar-Turkish contacts.

German cultural codes in the performance “Karl and Anna” based on Leonhard Frank’s play (“Masterovye” Theater, Naberezhnye Chelny)

Abstract: 

In May 2016, the premiere of the theatrical production “Karl and Anna” based on the play by Leonhard Frank, a 20th century German writer, took place in the Russian Drama Theater “Masterovye” (the city of Naberezhnye Chelny). Frank wrote his novelette “Karl and Anna” in 1927 and later turned it into a play. Both the novelette and the play are among Leonhard Frank’s best works in terms of their artistic merits. Their main theme is love and war. The action takes place in Germany during World War I. The story of Karl and Anna sounds like a parable, its language is universal and understandable to any viewer in any country. Nevertheless, the theatrical production created by “Masterovye” turned out to be very “German”. Director Denis Khusniyarov introduced a number of German cultural signs, which helped to build the “German world” on the stage. The article is devoted to the phenomena of the German artistic culture, which are included in the fabric of the play “Masterovye” and shape its aesthetics. The author aims to reveal the cultural codes used in “Karl and Anna” and show their role in the concept of the production. The author's analysis demonstrates the influence of expressionism, as the most powerful trend in Germany’s arts of the 20th century, on the artistic form of the production. The author shows how the director uses the effect of alienation, the main tool of B. Brecht’s epic theater. The director introduces G. Heine’s poem “Lorelei”, one of the Germany’s iconic poetic works, into the fabric of the production. The author concludes that by using German cultural codes the directors of the production pay tribute to “place and time”. On the other hand, the directors try to discover the universal character of human experiences and convey the dramatic atmosphere, reigning in the world absorbed by the war. Thus, the specific character of the “Masterovye” production is manifested in the skillful change of registers and in the transition from the tragic theme of “love and war” to the universal “formula of love” and from the realities of the “German world” to the panhuman message.

Key words: 

Leonhard Frank, “Masterovye” theater, cultural code, effect of alienation, Brecht’s theater, expressionism, Heine's lyrics.

Mikhail Bulgakov: Perceptions across times

Abstract: 

Based on the historical and functional (hermeneutic) research methods, this article analyzes the main stages of perception of M. Bulgakov’s work in the Soviet (Russian) culture, which makes it possible to trace social and cultural relationships between the writer and the periods of the development of society, to find out its impact on the reader and, vice versa, the impact of axiological and aesthetic positions of the reader on the interpretation of his literary heritage. During the writer’s life, his work was usually evaluated as ideologically orthodox. The so-called “thaw” period was the period of the sensational discovery of the writer. The publication of his novel “The Master and Margarita” (1966–1967) initiated an active interest of literary critics and artists in the works of Mikhail Bulgakov in terms of different arts (theater, cinema, painting, etc.). The post-Soviet era gave him the title of a classic of Russian literature, even mythologizing his image, which causes certain disagreement. A. Varlamov’s novel about the writer, published in the “Lives of Outstanding People” (Russ. “Zhizn’ Zamechatel’nykh Liudei”) series, though deep and scientific, is not devoid of the biographer’s subjective vision of both the text and the fate of his character. Finally, today’s interpretation of M. Bulgakov’s work is getting increasingly media, popular, mass culture, which actively transforms the writer into an advertising brand. The names of cafés and restaurants, real estate agencies, a kitsch astrological novel by P. Globa, etc., using the fate of the Master and his characters, obviously have a purely commercial purpose.

Key words: 

hermeneutic method, M. Bulgakov, interpretation, classical literature, mass culture, literary brand.

The image of America in “The Clockwork Testament or: Enderby’s End” by Anthony Burgess

Abstract: 

This article examines the image of America presented in the novel “The Clockwork Testament or: Enderby’s End” by A. Burgess. The image of America is conceptualized from the position of a cultural and ethnic distance. The US is represented both as the nation-“rival” and culture-“successor”. A. Burgess depicts America, a former colony of the British Empire, as an immature country, which is not ready for self-governing and which is characterized by psychological infantilism manifested in an emphatic abdication of authority and traditions inherited from its ancestors, representatives of the Old World. The psychological immaturity of the American nation is also illustrated by the common features of the country, such as violence, hostility, and emotional intemperance. In the novel, they are personified in the American young generation, the students, with whom the protagonist of the novel, an English poet named Enderby, has to work. Enderby, like his creator, defines the American model of behavior as an overpermissive one, which results in a complete lack of self-discipline and of desire to gain knowledge that leads to tragic consequences: the low level of education among the American population and the substitution of notions in society. However, A. Burgess, like his literary hero, sympathizes with Americans, as he believes that the reasons for the formation of this national character, is the state system of the United States, based on the idea of uniqueness developed from the idea of freedom and rejection of the past.

Key words: 

Anthony Burgess, Enderby, English literature, image of America, nation-“rival”, culture-“successor”, national character, cultural distance.

The cultural stratum of Oleg Choukhontsev’s poem “It’s nice to be a young officer…”

Abstract: 

This article is a part of an overall study of the prominent modern poet O. Choukhontsev’s poetry (1938) analyzing his poem “It’s nice to be a young officer…” (1974). This work is one of the so-called “Crimean” poems. In the poet’s artistic world, the southern land of Crimea is contrasted to a cold metropolis. This is the space of creative freedom, love and culture, as well as an ideology-free space. For the poet, freedom means not only falling out of a particular historical chronotope, but also a way out of time in genera l– the eternity seems to reign in Crimea. The real contact with the land of rich historical, cultural and religious traditions, taking their origin in antiquity, creates the feeling of breaking personal and temporal boarders. Choukhontsev tries to capture this subtle but no less distinct emotion in his Crimean poems.

Choukhonsev’s poem is related to the tradition of “infinitive poetry”, which focuses on the theme of the speculative compensations of unrealized desires, possibilities, and variants. But the poem goes beyond the infinitive complex, limited by “the character’s agency in a fictitious space”. Choukhontsev’s protagonist finds harmony in the real world, being satisfied with minimal needs.

The poet’s goal is to create a kind of Utopia. The prosaic primary source (Bunin’s memoirs about Chekhov), merging with a complicated unity of poetic motives (from Horace to the authors of the 20th century), becomes a poem of great symbolism.

Key words: 

O. Chukhontsev, semantics, subtext, verse form, style, historical realities.

The fantasy of myth and the truth of history: K. Ishiguro’s novel “The Buried Giant”

Abstract: 

The article suggests that Ishiguro's latest novel “The Buried Giant” should be read as one of the variants of modern history mythologization. In the literature of the 20th and the 21st centuries, mythology acts as an artistic means, corresponding to a particular concept of the world. The pathos of mythology is the discovery of permanent and important principles hidden under an ordinary surface and kept intact under any historical changes. Unlike Joyce's modernistic novel, where Stephen Dedalus dreams of freeing himself from the “nightmare of history”, Ishiguro uses mythology to reveal deep historical problems of being.

The novel “The Buried Giant” is placed in the wide context of Britain’s legendary history and, to a certain degree, of all mankind. The article indicates the presence of the historical background in the mythological time of fantasy. The novel tells us about the complexity and intricacy of human destinies, about loneliness and repentance, about memory and oblivion, about love and forgiveness. Ishiguro refers to global as well as to personal problems of life, using myths, stories and fantastic motifs as tools. Ishiguro’s novel was written for intellectuals, representing a kind of “science fiction” with a clearly expressed historical background, approaching the genre of parable in the end. In conclusion, attention is drawn to the fact that Ishiguro's novel is the novel of warning, which, in an artistic form, presents the awareness of history as a lesson for future generations.

Key words: 

Ishiguro, “The Buried Giant”, myth, Meletinskii, Gopman, medieval Britain, fantasy, memory, Sir Gawain, Britons, Saxons, dragons.

On preservation of the national color in the translations of fiction (based on the translations of R. Rolland’s “Colas Breugnon” by M. Lozinsky and M. Maksoud)

Abstract: 

The article presents the results of the comparative analysis of Russian and Tatar translations of Romain Rolland’s novel “Colas Breugnon” made by Mikhail Lozinsky and Mahmoud Maksoud. We give specific comparative materials in the context of preservation of the national color in the translation of a literary text. The article focuses on the features, characterizing the reception of “Rollan’s text” in Russian and Tatar cultures, the parameters of its artistic perception and interpretation, and conducts a micro-analysis of the text. Thus, we have proved that M. L. Lozinsky, and M. Maqsoud adhered to the similar view on translation principles. From their point of view, translation should convey not only the “spirit” but also the “letter” of the original.

As a translator, M. Maqsoud was guided by the achievements of M. L. Lozinski. However, in his translation M. Maqsoud, consciously or unconsciously, intensified the semiotic codes associated with traditional Tatar culture.

The article has proved that the transfer of the national color depends on the degree of authenticity of the translation. Both M. Lozinski and M. Maqsoud attached great importance to accuracy in the transmission of artistic images (in terms of semantics and grammatical registration). These Russian and Tatar translations of the novel, “deeply folk at its core”, are full of specific imagery and idiomatic elements, which make it possible to reveal the unique Gallic spirit of the French people.

Key words: 

translation, “Colas Breugnon” by R. Rolland, M. L. Lozinsky, M. Maksoud, literary translation, cultural reception.

Space and time in the philosophical novel “Terra Amata” by J. M. G. Le Clezio

Abstract: 

The article studies the novel “Terra Amata” by J. M. G. Le Clézio, (a Nobel Prize Winner in Literature, 2008) and emphasizes its thematic, genre, and stylistic diversity. In the novel, Le Clézio highlights its philosophical trend and develops one of his most favorite themes: space and time. The writer focuses on the retrospective of the protagonist’s life, from birth to death, through the juxtaposition of the biological and philosophical understanding of Time. Chancelade does not accept the surrounding reality making his denial absolute and extending it to all human existence. The novel conveys the state of profound despair of a man who has lost the anthropocentric vision of the world, which gives rise to the feeling of absolute emptiness and helplessness experienced by the personality. To express a complex range of his hero’s feelings, the writer turns away from the traditional structure of a novel and appeals to symbolism, allegory and metaphors. Original in language and style, the work is more like a poem than a novel. Before Le Clézio, many writers worked in the manner of a detailed letter. However, for him this type of tension and aspiration to break through the “area resembling hell” is minimal. In the formal passages where, according to the general structure, the attitude of the author to the described phenomena should be revealed we see that he remains unconcerned, underlining the impossibility of his intervention. The main thing in the novel is the apocalyptic theme of the transience of human life and the ultimate destruction of the human race. The novel has not been translated into Russian.

Key words: 

biological time, tragedy of being, dichotomy “I” – “Other”, leitmotif of a mirror.

Postcolonial Irish novel: On the gradual loss of identity (based on the novel “What Are You Like?” by Anne Enright)

Abstract: 

This article studies the novel “What Are You Like?” (2000), written by Anne Enright in the postcolonial period. The conflict of the novel centers around the issue of the gradual loss of the ethnic (Irish) identity concept in the context of cross-cultural interactions with Great Britain. Ireland was the first colonial territory conquered by the metropolis of England, which gained independence only in the early 20th century. The long phase of the colonial rule contributed to the fact that in the Irish society ethnic identity has undergone irreversible changes that are a natural consequence of assimilation and acculturation processes of the two cultural codes: English and Irish. The relevance of the paper is due to the fact that modern Irish literature, particularly the works of Enright, have not been extensively studied, hence, they are of great scientific interest to researchers. The writer, whose creative work is characterized by the traits of postmodernism, reveals, in her inimitable style, the problem of the gradual loss of ethnic identity and historical memory, respectively. Doubtless, these issues are relevant not only for modern Irish literature, but also the world literature in general. The article identifies specific methods, associated with the cultural code of the Irish society, which are used to represent the images of the country as a colonizer and the country as a colony, and highlights the allegories and key symbols of the novel.

Key words: 

Anne Enright, postcolonial novel, identity loss, representation techniques, image, symbol, allegory.

Genre and style characteristics of Russian noir (L. Petrushevskaya “The New District. Prague”)

Abstract: 

This article explores L. Petrushevskaya’s story “The New District. Prague”, included in the book of modern Russian small prose “Moscow Noir. The City of Mutilated Utopias” (2011). The analysis of the story represents the genre and style characteristics of the artistic model, which synthesizes the traditions of a black detective narration, a scary tale, and a naturalistic story. The article solves the problem of elucidating the national specifics of the noir and identifies the key features of genre and style-forming factors, which include the organizing role of the author's intonation, the closedness and intentional repeatability of events, the intensity of the atmosphere, the dominant role of the associative background (where naturalistic details predominate), and the introduction of a specific protagonist – a criminal-victim. The purpose of this research is to comprehend the nature of the noir as a synthetic phenomenon, connecting the traditions of Western cinematography, Russian literature, and folklore. The article reveals the key features of such a segment of modern mass literature as the Russian version of the noir, which combines the traditions of small prosaic literary genres based on national folklore traditions. The principles of the analysis, proposed in this article, can be used as a methodological approach to the interpretation of modern works of mass literature, based on or adjoining the noir, though not fully corresponding to the canons of the genre.

Key words: 

noir, black detective story, genre characteristics, style, modern mass literature, artistic synthesis, L. Petrushevskaya.

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