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Message from Fedor Karpov to metropolitan Daniel and the scribe “The beginning of the messages...”: to the question of the interaction of the letter and the scribe in Old Russian literature

M.D. Kuzmina
80,00 ₽

UDC 82.091


Kuzmina Marina D.,

Candidate of Philology, Associate Professor,

Graduate School of Printing and Media Technologies of St. Petersburg State University of Industrial Technologies and Design,

Doctoral student of the Russian Literature Department

Herzen Russian State University



The article raises the question of the interaction of ancient Russian scribes and individual samples of the epistolary genre. A connection is established between the message of Fedor Karpov to Metropolitan Daniil and the scribe “The beginning of the messages...”, created, like the mentioned message, in the 16th century. Both the message and the scribe actualize the intention of business writing, teaching message and secular friendly writing. The first introduces a respectful and complementary tone (the addressee is lower than the addressee), the second — the educational one (the addressee is higher than the addressee), the third is actually friendly (they are “equal”). This allows Fedor Karpov to flexibly conduct an epistolary conversation with the correspondent: to attract him to himself, to inspire confidence, then, already having this trust, contrast his point of view with his own and present it as authoritative, finally, boldly affirm the “equivalence” of both points of view. This is a completely secular, humanistic position inherent to Fedor Karpov, a secular man, a diplomat, one of the early Russian Europeans. He begins to speak with Metropolitan Daniel in the language familiar to Metropolitan Daniel, in the traditions of ancient Russian epistolary communication: he self-abases and exalts his interlocutor, introduces the antithesis “addressee-sinner / addressee-righteous”. His correspondent is characterized as was done in the scribbler “The beginning of the messages...” through his high position, wisdom, enlightenment, purity and beauty of the soul, metaphors of flowering, fragrance and light. Myself — by the principle of contrast. Introduces, like the author of the scribe, the traditional medieval motif of sailing and the image of the ship, raises the question of “helmsman”. But if in the scribe, which focuses mainly on the epistolary communication of the subordinate with the boss and the establishment of relations, promotion on the career ladder, the boss was given the honorary role of «helmsman», then in the message of Fedor Karpov the aforementioned motive and image are reinterpreted in a secular way. The point is that for monks the path lies to the heavenly harbor and “helmsman” is Christ, while the secular man “swims” in the earthly world and hardly needs a “helmsman”, he chooses the path. Supporting his judgments with quotes from the Holy Scriptures (strictly selected and arranged in the text, of course, exactly as the author needs it), Fedor Karpov remains in the Old Russian tradition, approved by the scribe for the epistolary genre. But he is not limited to this tradition. Quotes from ancient literature are adjacent to quotes from the Holy Scriptures in the epistle to Metropolitan Daniel, and the judgment of Aristotle turns out to be much more authentic for Fedor Karpov than, say, the apostle Paul. Thus, from a sphere close to the addressee, the author transfers epistolary communication into his sphere. This secular quotation plan was completely absent from the scribe, but the scribe, offering users, in accordance with the title, only the “beginning” of the messages, provided great opportunities for experimentation. Fedor Karpov, to whom the European individual beginning was so dear, could not help but use them. Based on the scribe, he created, on the one hand, a modern, flawlessly “correct” letter written “according to the rules of rhetoric”, as befits an educated person, and on the other hand, a letter that is very independent, very personal, reflecting his personality. However, there is a likelihood of feedback: perhaps the scribe did not form the basis of the creative experiment of Fedor Karpov, but the epistolary text of Karpov formed the basis of the scribe.

Keywords: scribe, “The beginning of the messages...”, Fedor Karpov, epistle to Metropolitan Daniel, epistolary genre, letter, epistle, Old Russian literature, Old Russian epistolography.



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