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Gospel parables in A.V. Ivanov’s “Tobol” dilogy: axiological and aesthetic functions

Ya.V. Soldatkina
80,00 ₽

UDC 821.161.1-3 


Soldatkina Yanina V.,

Doctor of Philology, Professor,

Professor of the Russian Literature of the 20th–21st centuries Department, Institute of Philology

Moscow State Pedagogical University



The subject of consideration in the presented article is the artistic functions of the gospel parables in the historical dilogy of the contemporary Russian writer A.V. Ivanov. Interest in the historical topic is characteristic of the writer’s entire work, throughout his career he turns to various historical subjects related to the history of the Ural and Siberian regions. In his historical works, Ivanov often resorts to depicting both Orthodox and pagan religious rituals, creates images of ministers of worship, sometimes paraphrases certain biblical expressions, plots, images. But there is still no consensus in Russian criticism about whether Christian motives play an axiological or exclusively decorative role in Ivanov. The purpose of this work is to analyze the axiological and aesthetic functions of the gospel parables updated in the text of the dilogy, since the subtitle to the novel is already a quote from the gospel parables about those invited to the feast and about the workers of the 12th hour. The article establishes that in the general context of the novel, the parables are part of an extensive system of Christian allusions and elements of Orthodox culture, which allow the author to study the nature of moral choice and emphasize the need for a non-violent, merciful attitude to the world and to the “hellish” Siberian realities. The parables themselves, used by Ivanov in “Tobol”, can be classified both by characters whose fate reflects parable plots (Semyon Remezov, Governor Gagarin, Vanya Demarin), and by symbolic meaning: from the vast array of gospel parables, the writer chooses parables of two semantic fields: related to the image of the Kingdom of Heaven and ways to achieve it, and also illustrating the idea of mercy to sinners, which in the novel complements the idea of just retribution (the Last Judgment). Considered in aggregate, the gospel parables allow us to reveal the author’s attitude to the traditional problems of moral choice for Russian literature.

Keywords: Gospel parables, Christian allusions, axiology, symbolism, plot, character, contemporary historical novel, literary tradition, A.V. Ivanov, “Tobol” dilogy.



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