Svetlana K. Kazakova
Association of Art Critics of Russia
Man and the world in the Russian novel – metamorphoses of heroes of "A Common Story" by Ivan Goncharov
Kazakova S.K. Man and the world in the Russian novel – metamorphoses of heroes of "A Common Story" by Ivan Goncharov // Vestnik of Kostroma State University, 2020, vol. 26, № 1, pp. 118–124 (In Russ.). DOI 10.34216/1998-0817-2020-26-1-118-124
DOI: 10.34216/1998-0817-2020-26-1-118-124
УДК: 821.161.1.09"19"
Publish date: 2020-11-15
Annotation: The article proposes a new interpretation of the denouement of "A Common Story" by Ivan Goncharov. Based on the analysis of many implicit details, it is hypothesised that the heroes’ return to their own "I", hidden both from themselves and from the reader in the epilogue of the novel rather than the rebirth of heroes (the "sensitive" nephew and the "cold" uncle). This conclusion changes the perspective of the consideration of "A Common Story" in the context of European literature and considers it necessary to clarify the existing typological characteristics of "A Common Story" (a novel of upbringing, a novel of "loss of illusions"). Ivan Goncharov’s conflict between people and society, which is characteristic of the European romance tradition, gets a more optimistic interpretation: the idea of a tragic, hopeless confrontation between the individual and society leaves the text. The conflict with the outside world is considered in relation to the internal contradictions of the heroes and is overcome on the path to knowing oneself: Aduev Jr. concentrates on "career and fortune", Aduev-uncle refuses service and work for the sake of his wife’s health and hope for a belated gaining family happiness.
Keywords: Ivan Goncharov, "A Common Story", Russian novel, novel theory, demotic novel, epic novel, comparative poetics, ontological optimism, narrative irony.
Funding and acknowledgments: The reported study was funded by RFBR, project number 20-012-00102
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Author's info: Svetlana K. Kazakova, Candidate of Art History, Researcher, Association of Art Critics of Russia, Moscow. E-mail: svka@inbox.ru