Vitebsk as a local text

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The paper is devoted to the analysis of the image of Vitebsk in the works of Russian-speaking poets of Belarus. The research material is poetic texts of Russian-speaking poets of Belarus, which touch upon the spiritual, natural, material, cultural, historical realities of Vitebsk. The main general scientific methods of observation, description, analysis and interpretation were used in the work. It is proved that the study of the concept of “city” is based, first of all, on the relationship of a particular person and social realities: the city as an extension of a person to the outside world - social, collective, cultural, the city as a “condensed” information and semantic space. Vitebsk is one of the oldest cities in Belarus. According to legend, the city was founded by the Kiev Princess Olga in 974. Dvina is often mentioned in poems. Vitebsk appeared at the confluence of two rivers - the Western Dvina and the Vitba, from which the name of the city came. The ancient name of the Dvina is Eridan, Homer, Hesiod, Nestor the chronicler wrote about it. In the poems of Belarusian poets, she appears in the image of a nurse, a protector, a wise and mysterious woman. The article says that Vitebsk is rightly called the cultural capital of Belarus. The works of Vitebsk poets reveal precedent names that are significant for the history and culture of Belarus, as well as for the world cultural space. Marc Chagall, Vasily Kandinsky, Mstislav Dobuzhinsky, El Lisitsky, Kazimir Malevich worked in Vitebsk. Not far from Vitebsk, the Russian painter Ilya Repin lived in the Zdravnevo estate. I.I. Sollertinsky created his musical masterpieces, M.M. Bakhtin lived and worked in Vitebsk in the thirties. Thus, in Russian-speaking Belarusian poetry, the image of Vitebsk appears as an ancient city, a native home, a spiritual place, a city of creativity, art and inspiration. The study of a local text is a topical interdisciplinary problem that allows not only to outline the conceptually significant features of the semantic complex of a particular locus, but also to establish its etiological and teleological significance for an ethnic group. After analyzing the corpus of texts of Belarusian poets, we came to the conclusion that the image of Vitebsk is attributed to such semantic characteristics as “nurse city”, “protector”, “wise woman”. The paradox lies in the fact that a city with a masculine toponym absorbs alternative gender parameters, which expands the previously explored virgin cities and harlot cities by introducing the features of a beloved city.

About the authors

Elena Yu. Muratova

Vitebsk State University named after P.M. Masherov

Author for correspondence.
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5246-8911

Doctor of Philology, Professor, Professor of the Department of General and Russian Linguistics

33, Moskovsky ave., 210036, Vitebsk, Republic of Belarus


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Copyright (c) 2022 Muratova E.Y.

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