The letter and the world in the fictional realm of works by S. Esenin, M. Shishkin

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The article investigates the phenomenon of the letter and the word in the essay “The keys of Mary” (1918) written by A.S. Yesenin and the short-story by M.P. Shishkin “Calligraphy Lesson” (1993), and also in his essay “The Saved Language” (2001). The given articles reveals common and opposite theses between art and linguistic concepts proposed by Serguey Yesenin, a poet of the Silver Age, and Mikhail Shishkin, a writer of the XXI century: they both see the letter as a microcosm, point out the anthropological perception of the letter, and emphasize the creative potential of the word. Yesenin and Shishkin correlate the “living life” of the word with a consistent action, in which there is a beginning, a climax, a conclusion. The plot of “Calligraphy Lesson” develops following the graphic logic of the letter, the narrative about the life of the law writer is moving towards a full-stop. In the “Keys of Mary”, on the contrary, the alphabet plot develops as a story of individual: from the intuitive perception of self to self-discovery. With the explicit anthropological sense of the alphabet, both Yesenin and Shishkin establish their hierarchy of values where a person doesn’t play the main part. Letters and words in the Yesenin and Shishkin’s aesthetic system go far beyond the limits of their cognitive functions. Both Yesenin and Shishkin develop the idea of a word as national cultural memory. The philosophy of the words as presented by both writers is considered as following the stylistic tradition of Epiphanius the Wise.

About the authors

Natalya Mikhailovna Solnceva

Lomonosov Moscow State University

Author for correspondence.
Leninskie Gory, 1st Humanities Building, Moscow, Russia, 119991

doctor of philological science, professor, Modern Russian Literature Department

Marina Alexandrovna Khlebus

Lomonosov Moscow State University

Leninskie Gory, 1st Humanities Building, Moscow, Russia, 119991

PHD student, Modern Russian Literature Department


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Copyright (c) 2017 Solnceva N.M., Khlebus M.A.

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