Vladimir V. Kolchanov
Derzhavin Tambov State University
Svetlana A. Kosyakova
Derzhavin Tambov State University
Kolchanov V.V., Kosyakova S.A. The catabasis motif in «The Fatal Eggs» by Mikhail Bulgakov. Vestnik of Kostroma State University, 2022, vol. 28, № 3, pp. 117–126. https://doi.org/10.34216/1998-0817-2022-28-3-117-126
DOI: https://doi.org/10.34216/1998-0817-2022-28-3-117-126
УДК: 821.161.1.09’’20’’
Publish date: 2022-08-10
Annotation: The aim of the article is to analyse the motif of catabasis in “The Fatal Eggs” by Mikhail Bulgakov, which seems to be up-to-date, because the literary study of nowadays focuses on studying the mentioned motif in the works of both Russian and foreign writers. The researchers tend to interpret it as an important part of world literature (and world culture in general) mythologeme. In the article, we study the catabasis motif as a travesty that helps the writer to draw the satirical picture of social and political situation that took place in Russian after October Revolution and during the proletariat dictatorship period. In our research, we use not only mythopoetic approach to the literary works or traditional historical and cultural methods of text interpretation; we rather claim that it is of great importance to give some political commentaries on Mikhail Bulgakov’s writing and to draw information from various sources – fiction (for example, a tragic play “Faust” by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe), historiography, cultural studies, religion, numerology and magic of different kinds. These include ancient ceremonial magic; the magic of Western Europe; the magic of Scandinavian and Karelian-Finish runes; the magic that is popular in the Russian villages. In addition, we give the detailed analysis of the main character’s prototype. There are many burlesque parallels between the image of Vladimir I. Persikov and Vladimir I. Lenin, the key figure of Leninian, that would be an important artistic trend of the Soviet literature, but at that time it was only emerging. We characterise “The Fatal Eggs” as a post-symbolistic novella.
Keywords: catabasis, theurgy magic, numerology, parody, allusion, Leninian.
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Author's info: Vladimir V. Kolchanov, Candidate of Philological Sciences, Derzhavin Tambov State University, vla-kolchanov@yandex.ru, https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9755-2378
Co-author's info: Svetlana A. Kosyakova, candidate of Philology, Derzhavin Tambov State University, kosyackova.svetlana@yandex.ru, https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8602-7076