Writer and Eyewitness (Reception of Dostoevsky’s “The House of the Dead” in Literature on Hard Labor and Gulag)
Guzaevskaya Svetlana,  Rodin Kirill
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2020-12.1.2-216-231
Annotation:

The article presents an analysis of the narrative strategy used by F.M. Dostoevsky in The House of the Dead. The presence in the text of the diegetic narraror and the readers' lack of awareness of the realities of hard labor allowed Dostoevsky to create an artistic world that is perceived by the readers as “real”. It is shown that this method was deliberately used by the writer for the “censorship” of the text and the preservation of the distance from the material. The incompetence of the narrator justified the apparent compositional disorder of the text (Goryanchikov is not a professional writer), the subjectivity of his assessment and the lack of understanding of what is happening in hard labor. The text that compares the world of penal servitude, described in The House of the Dead with the real one, is Sakhalin (Katorga) by V. Doroshevich (first publication - 1903). Doroshevich and the heroes of his story, convicts, relate their experience with the experience presented by Dostoevsky. The sequential confusion in readers’ minds of the narrator (Goryanchikov) and Dostoevsky's personality created an indicative figure – “writer in penal servitude” – and gave impetus to the emergence of many imitators, especially from among intellectuals who found themselves in penal servitude. The literary-centric culture of the 20th century allowed Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn to continue using the strategy of the “writer”; having subdued stories told by the victims of Stalinist repression to the author's intention and deprived them of the individual assessments. The article shows that the Shalamov's witness strategy contrasted precisely with this tradition originating in the false perception from the narrative strategy used by Dostoevsky in The House of the Dead.

Information and Communication Channels and Research Libraries
Lavrik Olga,  Glukhov Viktor
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2020-12.1.2-232-247
Annotation:

The role of research libraries in investigation process of their users – researchers and specialists is actively discussed after the transition to digital culture that is especially important for scientific and technical information. Under these conditions, in the system of scholarly communication, the concept of the library as an intermediary that receives and provides users with the necessary information has virtually ceased to exist.

Libraries have lost their social function as the only source of information providing access to documents and information. Accordingly, they have practically ceased to be communication channels between the author and publisher on the one hand and the user on the other (especially for users working in the field of natural and exact sciences. The Internet has become the most relevant communication channel here. In order to understand the importance of the academic or research library, a number of the most important factors determining its activities are considered: internal changes in science, changes in the means of scholarly communication, the development of linguistic means of information retrieval. The authors conclude that this transition is unlikely to be complete, and that the viability of academic libraries largely depends on their rapid response to the information needs of science, changes in communication tools, etc.

“Honor and Preeminence” of Mothers in Dutch Art of the Late XVII - Early XVIII Centuries
Makarova Nina
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2020-12.1.2-248-256
Annotation:

   The article analyzes two pictures by the Dutch artist Arent de Gelder (1645-1727) “Edna Entrusting Tobias with Sarah” (circa 1690, Leiden Collection, New York) and “Tobias Welcomed by His Mother Hanna” (circa 1705, Museum of the Monastery of St. Catherine in Utrecht). The subject of these paintings is associated with the book of Tobit written in Palestine in the II century BC. This book is a part of the Catholic and Orthodox biblical canons; in Protestantism and Judaism it is considered to be apocryphal. The central role in these paintings (by de Gelder) is played by mothers - Edna and Anna, which is uncharacteristic of the works by other Dutch artists who turned to the book of Tobit. It seems that the interest of Arent de Gelder in these female images is related to his (or his unknown patrons) comparison of the texts of the book in the Vulgate of 1592 and the Dutch Bible, published in 1637, and based on the part of the book of Tobit on the Septuagint. In the text of the Vulgate, where there is a difference between the behavior and feelings of the father and mother, the closeness of the position of the spouses is emphasized, that is, the feelings and actions of the fathers of the family are shared by their wives. In the text of the Septuagint, on the contrary, in several places there is a juxtaposition of the behavior of men and women. A careful reading of the Bible in the 17th century Holland was dictated by the idea of reformers that every believer had to read the Scriptures and interpret them to the best of their understanding. The image of the Old Testament characters during this period gained great popularity in the visual arts. The interpretation of biblical scenes and individual images was notable for its direct perception and individual approach to the depiction of the theme of work.

The Biological Spirit of Old Tiflis: Matchmaking, Money, Interpersonal Relations
Simyan Tigran,  Ghazaryan Grigor
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2020-12.1.2-257-274
Annotation:

The paper analyzes the problems of interpersonal relationships such as matchmaking, the relations between men and women; in other words, the authors describe manifestations of the biological “axioms” in human behavior. Besides, domination can also be viewed as an expression of the biological in interpersonal relationships. The object of study of the present research includes the problems of matchmaking, gambling games, entertainment, and feasts.

As empirical material for the given description, the authors consider literary texts from the Armenian literature of the XIX-XX centuries (M. Nalbandyan, S. Shahazis, G. Sundukyan, A. Ayvazyan and others). The paper is an essential part of the “Tbilisi Text of Armenian Literature”, which adds something new to the “Tbilisi Text of the Georgian Literature”. Those two discourses, in their turn, show a certain commonality with the “Caucasian Text of the Russian Literature».

The authors apply a semiotic meta-language; implicitly, they use the theory of the French sociologist P. Bourdieu together with a typological approach, since the analysis is conducted on recurrent motifs, aiming at the identification of general semantic units.

The main thesis of the present paper is the “elevated” Armenian literature of Old Tiflis (XIX c.), which represents one of the central discourses for the critical presentation of the biological in the middle and the lower class of Old Tiflis. The biological and the principles of “wild capitalism” were destroying the families of small and medium tradesmen not only in the horizontal, class dimension (family, interpersonal), but also in the vertical dimension (inequality of social roles).

The analysis of the empirical material demonstrated that money-hunger guzzles spiritual and social values, such as national identity; the idea of statehood is lost, and the center of aspirations of city inhabitants becomes idle lifestyle: food, feasts, building houses, entertainment (home carnivals), matchmaking, etc. Of course, in the paper, the biological is contrasted to the cultural as well. The Armenian society of Old Tiflis had strategically thinking cultural figures, Armenian princely families, patrons, philanthropists (the Bebutovs, Tumanovs, Arguntinians, Alikhanovs, Yevangulyans, Mantashevs, Tamamshevs), who invested enormous financial means for the multiplication of national values (Nersisyan Seminary of Tiflis). Noteworthy is also the investment by great Armenian philanthropists (the Mantashevs) in the education of gifted Armenian minds abroad (Germany, Russia, etc.), who already in the 1920-ies formed the intellectual basis for the establishment of a national university in Yerevan (1919). 

"Guiding Remarks": Some Features of Soviet Literary Criticism of the Brezhnev Era
Savina Tatyana
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2020-12.1.2-199-215
Annotation:

The article analyzes the causes of the crisis of the modern history of Russian literature, the main reasons for which is the crisis of the Russian language in general and the crisis of the academic language in particular. The ideological pressure experienced by Soviet literary criticism as a science of the history of literature influenced not only topics and interpretations of the literary process, but also generated a specific language - a language “infected with Soviet meanings”. The analysis of the language of literary texts of the Brezhnev era of the 1960-1970s implies that the Soviet studies of the history of Russian literature were based on two concepts: “struggle” and “fallacy”. That allowed Soviet literary scholars to describe the literary process in the framework of Soviet ideology, when Soviet literary criticism considered the natural process of democratization of Russian literature in the 19th century as the main stream of revolutionary struggle. The proclamation of “struggle” and “fallacy” as the main engines for the development of literature led to extreme degree of pathos of Soviet literary criticism, which is especially noticeable in the example of studies of the work of 19th-century satirists. A typical example is the Soviet literary scholars’ research on M.E. Saltykov-Shchedrin. On the one hand, the satiric pathos of his works helped Saltykov-Shchedrin to go through the ideological selection of Soviet official literary studies. At the same time, Soviet literary criticism passed by the main feature of Shchedrin's satire: clichés of the official language of any ideology gives many opportunities to play on changing the meaning of the official formula, which leads to its destruction from the inside. The limited set of research topics did not allow deviating from the “general line” of interpretation or broadening the range of problems, which predetermined the results of research in advance. As a result, Russian literary criticism inherited the language from the previous Soviet era, in which it still writes. Even out of external ideological pressure, the Soviet language continues to communicate acquired ideological meanings.

The Music Content and the Craft of Piano Playing
Karpychev Mikhail
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2019-11.1.2-366-377
Annotation:

The article is devoted to the relationship of the content of music with the craft of piano playing. The projection of the categories of musical content on the piano playing requires clarification of the essence of the musical image, which represents the logic of a set of several intonations, and intonation is most often perceived as a musical interval, although intonation can be expressed by a single sound (one musical vertical), isolated in a musical context. A musical pause, disconnected in a musical context, is also perceived as intonation. Intonation can also be represented by a motor or spatial category, namely, a gesture, a movement - swing, fingers position, postures etc. There is a special kind of pithiness of intonation - a smile (jokes, mockery, irony). These very intonations most often occur in Haydn’s opuses, but they are also very expressive in a number of opuses by Debussy, Beethoven, Schumann, and Scarlatti. Piano actualization of this intonation often requires very skillful fingertip playing. The right musical intonation has to be understood as an example of producing speech via the piano. The musical categories themselves, such as musical language, musical text, sentence, accent, reading from a sheet are indicative in this respect. The obligatory conditions for the craft of piano playing, which reflects the music content, are the following: the pianist's awareness of the monolithic nature and at the same time the synthetic nature of the methodological triad “subtext – text – context”; constant auditory control over his/her playing; internal freedom from the fear of public performance, which is the result of absolute confidence in technical capabilities and musical memory of the pianist; as well as the necessity to reveal the composer’s logic of intonations interlinking.

“Picturesque Japan” and “the Yellow Hazard”: on Perception of the Japanese Culture in Russian Symbolism (Fedor Sologub vs. Valery Bryusov)
Tyryshkina Elena
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2019-11.1.2-378-394
Annotation:

The study deals with the mechanisms of perception of the Japanese culture in the works of Russian symbolists, Valery Bryusov and Fyodor Sologub. The Japanese culture came to Russia at the turn of the 20th century not directly but by mediation of the European culture; the visual code and the modeled image of Japan were formed as a paradise lost/found, as a country populated by the “artist folk” due to fusion of arts and crafts and to the idea of artistic skills acquired not as an elitist but mass phenomenon. This mythological model was built basing on the mechanism of substitution, when the Japanese culture was compared to the culture of ancient Greece, to the medieval and Renaissance art. In Russian symbolism, creating the image of Japan as new Hellas became the main principle, including transformation of the concept of Dionysism. In their works and in critique as well, Valery Bryusov and Fyodor Sologub included Japan into the framework of the symbolist myth. In this regard, materials from “Vesy” (the Scales) literary magazine, the “Contemporaneity” cycle of poems by Bryusov, letters, essays, and articles by Sologub, and a fragment from his novel “The Petty Demon” are considered. For Sologub, the concept of the “natural man” raised in the spirit of antiquity and the cult of the beautiful human body were dominant. His attitude was integral and did not change during the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905, which was a rare phenomenon in the society. The attitude of Bryusov was ambivalent, and the aesthetic and political realia generated a certain antithesis in his thinking: the nation of “sophisticated aesthetes” turned into a nation of barbarians threatening the European civilization. According to Bryusov, Russia had a messianic role, and it was destined to rescue Europe from the “yellow hazard”. In his understanding, Russia itself was like a new Roman Empire. It is evident that in the early 20th century the Japanese culture assimilated with the existing mythological models in the symbolist milieu, and the yearning for an ideal became embodied in the creation of an existent /non-existent topos of a miraculous country according to the images of the past cultures. The alien was perceived as the beautiful, to be soon replaced by the contraposition of the dangerous/demonic. This antithesis is archetypal. At that time in Russia, the Japanese studies were in the initial phase of knowledge, and comprehensive cultural dialogue, not implying ready-made answers and clichés, was unfathomable.

Impressionism in V. V. Rozanov’s Philosophical Prose (Exemplified by “The Solitary” and “Fallen Leaves”)
Grushitckaya Marina
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2019-11.1.2-395-405
Annotation:

In Russian culture impressionism is not an isolated genre, instead, it possesses clear individual manifestations. In this paper the author considers specific changes impressionism faces in V. V. Rozanov’s philosophical prose. The article pays special attention to the trilogy “The Solitary”, “Fallen Leaves, Basket One” and “Fallen Leaves, Basket Two”, where he employed impressionist techniques in the form of capturing the dynamics of the moment, impressionist metaphors, the absence of a clear plot, the motives where attention is drawn to the feelings and personal impressions, where the tiniest details are fixed, etc. The author points out three most significant characteristics demonstrating some modifications in impressionism in V. V. Rozanov’s creative work. The first specific characteristic reveals itself in the style synthesis of philosophical and conceptual, emotional and visual expressive techniques demonstrating the reality from the point of view of a person and his/her personal perception of the actual reality. The second specific characteristic is V.V. Rozanov’s attitude to the creation of literary works, which would be impossible without “music in the soul”. The author defines it as harmony in depicting reality, and this definition coincides with the approach of French impressionists to creative work. The third feature is an “impressionist metaphor” running through V. V. Rozanov’s works and defining individuality of this great Russian philosopher’s creative process. The discovered data give a comprehensive understanding of the Russian impressionism uniqueness in the late 19th – early 20th century.

Between Actor-Networks and Virtual Worlds: Save Option in Videogames from the Point of View of Social Topology
Ilin Semen
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2019-11.1.2-419-436
Annotation:

The article aims to analyze save game option in videogames using findings from the field of social topology. The author highlights two main questions. First, what qualities of social space provide players with the possibility to save their game sessions? Second, what consequences for the players’ understanding of videogame space follow from the existence of such possibility? The article proposes answers to the aforementioned questions through the use of topological insights of actor-network theory. Being one of the most important sources for the material turn in social sciences, the actor-network theory emphasizes social meaning of interactions between humans and non-humans. In order to study these interactions the proponents of the actor-network theory have created new, network topology that represents social space as a rhizome of mutable associations between heterogeneous actors. Mobilization of the network topology when discussing save game option in videogames points toward following conclusions. An option, or possibility, of saving the game session in videogames is largely a spatial phenomenon. In order to understand its nature researchers need to follow configurations of network relations that connect varied social actors. There are two main directions to follow. One direction is toward actors and relations that provide the possibility of saving the game session. Another direction is toward actors and relations within the game session that might be actually saved. Following the first direction reveals networks of material conditions of the save game option in videogames. The possibility of saving the results of game session turns out to be an effect of spatial relations between countless material actors. Following the second direction allows to complete the picture by describing the save game option as a node, or an actor, within the videogame actor-network. As such, save game option mediates interactions between players and the aspects of the game session that are meant to be saved. Providing limited means for affecting the game session, the save game option influences on how players comprehend the power of the game rules and the margins of the videogame space.

A. Burganov’s Plastic Modifications: on the Exhibition of the Sculpture Theatre in the A.A. Bakhrushin State Central Theatre Museum
Portnova Tatyana
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2019-11.1.2-406-418
Annotation:

The article analyzes the figurative language of A. Burganov's plastic art exhibited at the exhibition “Sculpture Theater” in the inner courtyard of the A. Bakhrushin Theater Museum. The author considers the trends that, despite a lot of difficulties of their existence, are still developing in accordance with the best characteristic feature of Russian culture such as openness, which is directed straight to the viewer. The compositions presented at the exhibition are considered from the point of view of the plastic synthesis of theater and sculpture, the combination of which in A. Burganov compositions has a strictly individual solution in the wide spectrum of the space-plastic tendencies of the XX-XXI centuries. Considering the space-plastic tendencies in the sculptural work of A. Burganov, the author applies the following methods: a method of artistic and stylistic analysis with the purpose of revealing and theoretical substantiation of the main plastic tendencies in the sculptural works presented at the exhibition; typological method in order to identify and analyze the main modifications of the theater and sculpture in spatially-shaped solutions; method of artistic and psychological analysis of works of art in order to understand the perception of the plastic language of the exhibition in the Theater Museum Courtyard. A. Bakhrushin theatrical art, conceived by the master as a special kind of sculpture, is considered in three modes of interpretation of his works and organization of the exhibition. The author distinguishes the following aspects of the analysis: sculpture and theater as a new plastic experience, the semantic symbolism of creations, a sculptural theatrical portrait and a sculpture theater in the exhibition space of the A. Bakhrushin Courtyard Museum. The author analyzes the methods, with the help of which A. Burganov draws special attention to image-bearing means of theatrical art. In conclusion, the author shows that the sculpture, by its theme, content, rhythm, deepens and expands the architectural image of the museum as the guardian of the theatrical heritage. In their turn, the creators of the exhibition reveal the profile of the museum, which can develop in different directions, including popularization of modern landscape sculpture. The author notes that the exhibition environment allows to create a specific, individual atmosphere for each sculpture. This is the place, where a viewer can spend enough time alone to understand the plastic expression of the sculptor's idea better.