Anna A. Fedotova
Yaroslavl State Pedagogical University named after K.D. Ushinsky
The image of Russian national character in the “criminal” prose of Nikolai Leskov
Fedotova A.A. The image of Russian national character in the “criminal” prose of Nikolai Leskov. Vestnik of Kostroma State University, 2022, vol. 28, № 2, pp. 99–104 (In Russ.). https://doi.org/10.34216/1998-0817-2022-28-2-99-104
DOI: https://doi.org/10.34216/1998-0817-2022-28-2-99-104
УДК: 821.161.1.09”19”
Publish date: 2022-05-24
Annotation: One of the key concepts of modern socio-humanitarian knowledge is the category of national character that has already become a classic. The early 21st century in Russia has seen a steady public and scientific interest in the problems of national identity and self-identification, in the issues of ethnic mentality. In the era of globalisation, topicality of their study is increasing – the study of the problems of the national prevents universal unification. The article analyses the specifics of the Russian national character based on the material of Nikolai Leskov’s work of the 1860s, in particular his “criminal” story “The Drought”. The story was first published in 1862 in the magazine “Century” under the title “The Extinguished case (From my grandfather's notes)”. The story fits into a significant number of Nikolai Leskov’s early works, inspired by the theme of the criminal chronicle and, of course, related to service in Oryol city Chamber of the Criminal Court. Using modern methods of text analysis, including the communicative-pragmatic method, the author of the article comes to the conclusion that peasants act as heroes, by the example of which the writer demonstrates the fundamental features of folkish psychology for him. It is significant that when depicting them, the writer emphasises that the national character has a group, social, rather than individual appearance. In Nikolai Leskov’s works, such situations are quite typical and are most often associated with the moral violence of the masses over a loner. Using verbal, bodily and symbolic images, Nikolai Leskov demonstrates that the causes of the negative features of the Russian national character should be sought primarily in social causes rather than in natural or biological factors.
Keywords: Russian national character, national identity, 19th century classical literature, Nikolai Leskov, communication, criminal plot.
Literature list: Angelova N.V. Russkii natsional'nyi kharakter v traktovke N.S. Leskova (k voprosu tvorcheskoi evoliutsii pisatelia) [Russian national character in the interpretation of N. S. Leskov (to the question of the creative evolution of the writer)]. Vestnik Tambovskogo universiteta. Seriia: Gumanitarnye nauki [Bulletin of the Tambov University. Series: Humanities]. 2007, № 4(48), pp. 117–121. (In Russ.) Andreeva V.G. Chelovek i problema antropotsentrizma v russkom romane vtoroi poloviny XIX v. [Man and the problem of anthropocentrism in the Russian novel of the second half of the 19th century]. Verkhnevolzhskii filologicheskii vestnik [Verkhnevolzhskii Philological Bulletin]. 2018, № 4, pp. 13–22. (In Russ.) Anisimova N.N. Natsional'nyi kharakter i natsional'nyi mentalitet [National character and national mentality]. Vestnik Donskogo gosudarstvennogo agrarnogo universiteta [Bulletin of the Don State Agrarian University]. 2019, № 1–2(31), pp. 5–10. (In Russ.) Leskov N.S. Polnoe sobranie sochinenii: v 30 t. T. 1, 3 [Complete works: in 30 vols. Vol. 1, 3]. Moscow, Terra Publ., 1996. (In Russ.) Lukashevich M. “Ia ne vrag Tserkvi, a ee drug… i uverennyi pravoslavnyi”. Tserkovnaia problematika v publitsistike Nikolaia Leskova [“I am not an enemy of the Church, but her friend ... and a confident Orthodox”. Church problems in the journalism of Nikolai Leskov]. Warsawa, Wydawnictwa Uniwersytetu Warsawskiego Publ., 2019. 542 p. (In Russ.) Luchenetskaia-Burdina I.Iu. Osmyslenie russkoi kul'turnoi traditsii v malykh zhanrovykh formakh M.E. Saltykovym-Shchedrinym i N.S. Leskovym [Understanding the Russian cultural tradition in small genre forms M.E. Saltykov-Shchedrin and N.S. Leskov]. Traditsii russkoi literatury i preemstvennost' ikh izucheniia v vuzovskoi i shkol'noi metodike [Traditions of Russian literature and the continuity of their study in high school and school methods]. Iaroslavl', RIO “IaGPU” Publ, 2018, pp. 9–30. (In Russ.) Moiseeva N.A., Sorokovikova V.I. Mentalitet i natsional'nyi kharakter (O vybore metoda issledovaniia) [Mentality and national character (On the choice of research method)]. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniia [Sociological research]. 2003, № 2(226), pp. 45–55. (In Russ.) Munkueva R.B., Serebriakova Iu.A. Poniatie natsional'nogo kharaktera [The concept of national character]. Vestnik Buriatskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta [Bulletin of the Buryat State University]. 2018, vol. 3, № 3, pp. 32–37. (In Russ.) Sviatopolk-Mirskii D.P. Istoriia russkoi literatury s drevneishikh vremen po 1925 g. [History of Russian literature from ancient times to 1925]. Novosibirsk, Svin'in i synov'ia Publ., 2006. 204 p. (In Russ.) Stepanov A.D. Problemy kommunikatsii u Chekhova [Problems of communication in Chekhov]. Moscow, Iazyki slavianskoi kul'tury Publ., 2005. 400 p. (In Russ.) Fedotova A.A. “Za chto u nas khazhivali v katorgu”: kriminal'nyi siuzhet v rannei proze N.S. Leskova [“For what we were sent to hard labor”: a criminal plot in the early prose of N.S. Leskov]. Vestnik Kostromskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta [Bulletin of the Kostroma State University]. 2019, № 2, pp. 114–117. (In Russ.)
Author's info: Anna A. Fedotova, Doctor of Philological Sciences, Yaroslavl State Pedagogical University named after K.D. Ushinsky, Russia, gry_anna@mail.ru, https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9629-6154