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On the originality of elegiac motives in A.P. Chekhov’s short stories and novels

N.V. Kapustin
80,00 ₽

UDC 821.161.1-3           


Kapustin Nikolay V.,

Doctor of Philology, Professor,

Professor of the Russian Literature and Cultural Studies Department

Ivanovo State University



The article deals with the comparison of the motive of remembering typical for the genre of elegy on the whole and those works of A.P. Chekhov which have elegiac motives. The analysis of the topic shows that the motive of remembering in Checkov’s works has been essentially transformed. If we take the romantic elegy (very typical for the works of B. Zhukovsky) the Past plays the greatest role. For Chekhov at the end of 1880s axiological status of the Past is less worthy (“Verochka”, “Mrs. NN’s Narration”, “The Steppe”). According to Chekhov focusing on the Past ignoring the Present can cause the spiritual crisis. We can observe it in the Story “Verochka”. Another difference: Chekhov himself and some of his literary characters realize that human conscience can idealize the Past thus distorting the reality. At last in V. Zhukovsky’s Elegies memory of the Past is the determining motive in life. It smoothes the contrast between the Present and the Past. For Chekhov’s personages warm memory of the Past is just a moment. It does not help to improve the present situation.

Keywords: Elegy, Chekhov, motive, the Past, transformation of the motive.



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