Yuriy V. Lebedev
Kostroma State University
Motifs of the crisis of the Russian family and national statehood in the epic trilogy of Boleslav Markevich (“A Quarter of a Century Ago”, “The Turning Point” and “The Void”)
Lebedev Yu.V. Motifs of the crisis of the Russian family and national statehood in the epic trilogy of Boleslav Markevich (“A Quarter of a Century Ago”, “The Turning Point” and “The Void”). Vestnik of Kostroma State University, 2021, vol. 27, № 4, pp. 125-131 (In Russ.). https://doi.org/10.34216/1998-0817-2021-27-4-125-131
DOI: https://doi.org/10.34216/1998-0817-2021-27-4-125-131
УДК: 821.161.1.09"19"
Publish date: 2021-11-12
Annotation: In Soviet times, Boleslav Markevich's novel trilogy was unconditionally considered to be among the most orthodox anti-nihilistic works. However, already contemporary to the author, conservative criticism considered the nihilists to be the artistically weakest heroes of this trilogy. What is in the centre of Boleslav Markevich's narrative, is the historical fate of the Russian nobility, which suffered a crushing defeat during the “great reforms” of the 1860s, rather than nihilists. Boleslav Markevich shows that that defeat was associated with a deep spiritual crisis of the enlightened part of the nobility, which supported the national statehood, with the latter preserving the moral foundations which strengthened the Russian family. In his trilogy, Boleslav Markevich depicts the rapidly growing crisis of those spiritual foundations, which was a fertile ground for flourishing of Russian nihilism. In this case, Boleslav Markevich is close to Fyodor Dostoevsky, who in the novel “Demons” for the first time had showed the continuity between cultural nobles and nihilists who are their heirs, the spiritual children of the latter. The lack of faith in fathers gave rise to nihilism in sons. That is why Boleslav Markevich’s focus is on the nobility rather than on Russian nihilists as, due to which that writer turned out to be a thoughtful art historian.
Keywords: epic composition, artistic “conjugation”, Christianity and paganism, spiritual foundations of autocracy, nobility, crisis of Orthodoxy, nihilism.
Funding and acknowledgments: The reported study was funded by Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR), project number 20-012-00102
Literature list: Markevich B.M. Poln. sobr. soch. [Complete works]: in 11 vols. St. Petersburg, tip. A.M. Kotomina Publ., 1885. Mitropolit Veniamin (Fedchenkov). Na rubezhe dvukh epoch [At the turn of two eras]. URL: https://azbyka.ru/otechnik/Veniamin_Fedchenkov/na-rubezhe-dvukh-ehpokh/4. (access date: 07.08.2021). Pis'ma B.M. Markevicha k grafu A.K. Tolstomu, P.K. Shchebal'skomu i drugim [Letters from B.M. Markevich to Count A.K. Tolstoy, P.K. Shchebal'skiy and others]. St. Petersburg, Tipografiia tovarishchestva “Obshchestvennaia pol'za” Publ., 1888, 369 p. Shchebal'skii P.K. Glava iz istorii nashei literatury [Chapter from the history of our literature]. Russkii vestnik [Russian Bulletin], 1885, № 2. Shchebal'skii P.K. Roman iz epokhi osvobozhdeniia krest'ian [A novel from the era of the liberation of the peasants]. Russkii vestnik [Russian Bulletin], 1882, № 3.
Author's info: Yuriy V. Lebedev, Doctor of Philology, Professor, Kostroma State University, Kostroma, Russia, y.v.lebedev@yandex.ru