The image of a dragon in the poetry of N. Gumilev: Chinese subtext

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The article discusses the image of a dragon in the poetry of N. Gumilev. New in the work is the hypothesis on the intertextuality of the poems by N. Gumilyov “The Poem of the Begining” and A. Tolstoyʼs “Dragon”. The Chinese subtext of the image of the dragon in the poetry of N. Gumilev is grounded. The relevance of the topic is due to the development of the study of the mutual perception of Russian and Chinese cultures in the space of a poetic text. At the same time, the problem of reception of the image of China in the poetry of the Silver Age remains not yet fully understood. The objectives of the study were to identify, describe and interpret the Chinese subtext of the image of the dragon in the poetry of N. Gumilev; consideration of the authorʼs reception; comparing the perception of the image of the dragon in the culture of Russia and China. The results of the study showed: the frequency of the image of the dragon in the poetry of N. Gumilyov, the poet’s use of this image as originally Chinese; the relationship of the description of the image of the dragon in the works of N. Gumilyov and A. Tolstoy; the poet’s appeal to Chinese mythology and hieroglyphic writing. The author’s reasoning and conclusions are based on critical research, a comparison of two cultures. An analysis of the poetic works of N. Gumilev was carried out in a semantic aspect using the method of text parallels. The study of the image of the dragon in the poetry of N. Gumilev allows to approach the worldview of the culture of the Silver Age on one more side.

About the authors

Polina V. Porol

People’s Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University)

Author for correspondence.

postgraduate of Department or Russian and Foreign Literature

10 Miklukho-Maklaya St., bldg. 2, Moscow, 117198, Russian Federation


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