PAIN: the Word, the Image and the Concept in the Dostoevsky’s Thought and Speech Space

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The article is devoted to the study of the linguistic expression of the phenomenon of pain in the texts of F.M. Dostoevsky. The material of the analysis is the texts of works of fiction, journalism and letters of the Great Russian writer. The study of Dostoevsky’s texts is preceded by an analysis of entries in explanatory and specialized dictionaries and encyclopedias, including articles in the “Dictionary of Dostoevsky’s Language”. The relevance of the study is determined by the approaching bicentennial of F.M. Dostoevsky, in whose works the phenomenon of pain has become one of the important subjects of the image. The specificity of this work lies in the reliance on linguistic methods of studying the phenomenon of pain while maintaining the interdisciplinary focus of the research as a whole. Various associative connections of the word “pain” and its derivatives in the contexts of the writer’s works of different genres are being studied. At the initial stage, the selection of material is carried out by the method of continuous sampling using the DiaWin software system of the Department of Experimental Lexicography of the V.V. Vinogradov Russian Language Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The material thus obtained, is subjected to a multilevel analysis, in course of which the specificity of the conceptualization of pain in language and culture is revealed and the features of the depiction and interpretation of the phenomenon of pain in the discourse of Dostoevsky and his characters are revealed. Conclusions are formulated about the stable associative connections of the lexeme “pain”, the specificity of the linguistic depiction of various states of pain in the writer’s texts is revealed, the original interpretations of the concept of pain in the discourses of heroes-ideologists are analyzed. As a result, the analyzed phenomenon appears in multidimensional illumination. The general structure of the frame is established. The relationship between external symptoms and internal sensations of physical and mental pain is revealed. It is postulated that the explication of the concept of pain by a native speaker is fraught with significant difficulties, since pain is introspective and subjectively experienced. This special state is experienced and lived on. The contextual combinations of meanings of the word “pain” in Dostoevsky’s texts are highlighted. The specificity of the figurative representation of pain situations in the writer’s works is revealed. The increments of meaning characteristic of Dostoevsky’s contexts are analyzed. As a result, pain is interpreted as a complex phenomenon of language and culture and an important concept in the discourse of F.M. Dostoevsky.

About the authors

Alexey V. Varzin

Moscow Pedagogical State University (MPGU); The Kosygin State University of Russia

Author for correspondence.
ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6395-2031
1/1, Malaya Pirogovskaya Str., Moscow, Russian Federation, 119991; 33, Sadovnicheskaya Str., Moscow, Russian Federation, 117997

PhD of Philological Sciences, Associate professor, Associate professor of the Russian Language Department, Moscow Pedagogical State University; Associate professor of the Department of General and Slavic Philology, The Institute of Slavic Culture, The Kosygin State University of Russia


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