Arcadiy A. Chevtaev
Russian State Hydrometeorological University
History through the prism of adamism: the poem “The Campaign of Alexander in India” by Mikhail Zenkevich
Chevtaev A.A. History through the prism of adamism: the poem “The Campaign of Alexander in India” by Mikhail Zenkevich. Vestnik of Kostroma State University, 2023, vol. 29, № 2, pp. 87–94. (In Russ.). https://doi.org/10.34216/1998- 0817-2023-29-2-87-94
DOI: https://doi.org/10.34216/1998-0817-2023-29-2-87-94
УДК: 821.161.1.09”20”
Publish date: 2023-05-15
Annotation: The article considers the artistic reception of the historical person and her deeds in the poem “The Campaign of Alexander in India” by Mikhail Zenkevich (1909), which was included in the first book of poems of the poet “Wild Porphyry” and clearly demonstrates the specifics of the vision of the events of world history in Mikhail Zenkevich’s poetic picture of the world. The purpose of the study is to analyse the structural-semantic organisation of this text in the aspect of the conceptually realisation of adamism as the ideological basis of the poet’s creative work. The analysis of the poetics of the poem dedicated to the comprehension of the final achievements in the life of King Alexander the Great (the conquest campaign to India and its consequences) shows, that Mikhail Zenkevich conceptualises world history as realisation of anthropological comprehension of the natural origins of the world order. In the narrative structure of the poem, which consists of two plot parts, the deep mechanism of subordination of a human to the “dark” ontological foundations of the universe is revealed. In the 1st part of the text, which tells about the contact of Alexander the Great with the Indian lands he conquered, the approach to the border of the natural-mystical region of the world is explicated. The 2nd part represents the deep consequences of such contact – transformation of the external secrets of a foreign country into the internal “dark” secrets of the human “self”. The attempt to conquer India by King Alexander III of Macedon turns into enslavement (“poisoning”) his personality with primordial chaos and leads the hero to madness. It is concluded that in Mikhail Zenkevich’s “adamistic” mythopoetics the “historical” (royal) man invariably turns out to be “natural” Adam, who feels his “dark relatedness” with the chaos of primordial nature.
Keywords: Mikhail Zenkevich, Alexander III of Macedon, adamism, ancient history, lyrical narrative, micro- & macrocosm, poetics of adamism, structure of plot, artistic ontology.
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Author's info: Arcadiy A. Chevtaev, candidate of philological Sciences, Russian State Hydrometeorological University, St. Petersburg, Russia, achevtaev@yandex.ru, https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6844-8560