THE ORTHODOX CODE OF CONTEMPORARY RUSSIAN PROSE

Irina Bagration-Moukhraneli

Abstract


Modern Russian narrative literature actively assimilates traditional church literary genres. Some of the best Russian novels of the 21st century (by authors such as Alexander Chudakov and Eugene Vodolazkin) are genetically linked to hagiography, while Maya Kucherskaya adapts the genre of patericon.
Similar processes are characteristic of modern Russian elevated poetry. Timur Kibirov’s collection, Greek and Roman Catholic Songs and Nursery Rhymes, reflects the Evangelic realities of a new era. In his poetry collection Tsaritsa Subbota, Sergei Kruglov turns to the Old Testament. Alexei Ushakov, Olga Sedakova and Sergei Averintsev are brilliant poets who, in their poetry and translations, turn to the religious and philosophical paradigm.
The current stage of spiritual Russian literature differs from the post-Perestroika period. The Russian poets and writers of the latter were inspired by the very possibility of freedom and the opportunity to address theological topics and problems and bridge the gap after 70 years of silence. Today, Russian writers feel more confident in the realm of theological problems. They need it to cover current events and contemporary life.
The literature of the 21st century “came out of the ghetto” and has accumulated some experience, which enabled it to become prose.
The main character of Chudakov’s novel of modern Christian prose first gives a new understanding of the actual tradition of Russian literature – a picture of the world from today’s point of view, and the ways and methods of its description. The predecessors of the literary process today are not so much Dostoevsky and Tolstoy with their novel form, but rather –Old Russian writers such as Leskov, Chekhov, and to a certain extent Bunin. Most writers create cycles of stories, united by a single protagonist or author’s narrative. All of them are aimed at filling the lacunae of the Soviet era, reviewing and giving fullness to the picture of the world in new historical circumstances.

Keywords


Orthodox code, elements of existential literary structure, modern literature, prose, hagiography, patericon

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.13165/SMS-17-9-2-06

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"Societal studies" ISSN online 2029-2244 / ISSN print 2029-2236