Елизавета Филипченко

Выпускница государственного Арктического университета по специальности “Отечественная Филология”. Самое главное, что может быть в жизни филолога – это литература. Я – это не исключение. Больше всего я люблю работать в жанре критических эссе, посвященных творчеству выдающихся писателей разных времен и литературных направлений.
Мои творческие вдохновители – это книги. Каждая прочитанная книга – это шаг к новой ступени в мире литературы.

Литературно-критическое эссе “Mythology Andrew Gelasimov novel “Steppe Gods”


The novel “Gods of the Steppe” by Andrei Gelasimov is a classic example of the historical novel, which depicts not a person on the background of historical events, but rather the people within whom that world history is happening. The protagonist, Petka, is a mischievous boy who lives in a small village of the Far East, and who spends all his conscious childhood in wartime. He remembers how the men were taken to the Great War in 1941, and for some reason, then do not come back from it, he sees there is less and less food every year, and sees the soldiers, whose number are always increasing. Gelasimov brilliantly puts the reader in a child’s brain. Children’s images are the best way to reveal the author’s idea and intention. Gelasimov puts the additional characters into the story as means of continuation. And the children here, in a way, are also used as the answer to the rhetorical question: “how can a person live after the war?”.
Their actions, their antics largely determine the future of the whole country, not just the village. Unlike adults, children see more and understand everything that is happening around them on an intuitive level. A young mind’s look at the harsh world is not a new trend in the historical novel, but rather a traditional approach to the depiction of reality. However, it is important to note that before the child characters in literature have been directly involved in action. In the image of the military present of socialist realism children often perform various feats, helping soldiers, so that a strict ideological line was always felt. Here children are the most important link of the plot: the protagonist Petka and many other children from Razgulyaevka are used to describe the overall relationships in the Trans-Baikal settlement.
Like adults, they fully participate in the village life, adults’ negativity and the hardships of life are transferred to them, with their help they’re trying to humiliate each other, and even do physical harm. Not far from the village Razgulyaevka there is a military camp, where a second protagonist of the novel – a prisoner surgeon Hirotaro writes notes to his young children to Japan each day. And because of those notes, we learn about the past of his family, and alongside, about how his Japanese spirit was tempered. Thus, the children serve as the main reason for the written confession of Hirotaro, without which we would not have learned so much about him and his country. Author of the novel skillfully plays the historical line, as the home of this prisoner of war is the city Nagasaki, the sad fate of which is already known to the reader. Exhausted by war and camp life, this man tries his best to live so that he could again see his sons. But there is not much time left before the terrible bombing of Japanese cities, and the children of Hirotaro will never see his old notebook or himself.
In addition to the historical line, there is a profound psychological and mythological context in the novel. The name “Gods of the Steppe”, at first glance, may seem chosen totally random, serving only to create some vivid artistic image. However, if you go beyond the intertextual level of the novel, the reason for the introduction of a wolf pack becomes clear. Petya picks up the wolf cub and raises it as a home dog, thus breaking the fundamental law of nature, because other animals feel the presence of a wild and terrible hunter with them and do not think of it as a guard dog. In eastern mythology, the wolf is a guide to the world of spirits, shadows and evil. Some local Far Eastern nations, next to whom a village where Petya lives is located, believed that throwing the wolf’s skin around you can connect you with the world of the dead. A terrible time of war is exactly the door that a person opens up into a terrible dimension of death and evil. Life in a war can be compared to the survival of the beast – in such terrible conditions humans often gain some animalistic traits, the so-called beginning of Jung, which was described in the novel of H. Hesse “Steppenwolf”.
It is not accidental that the boys sometimes behave like cubs – hunt for food, attack each other and reject the weak, like a sick boy Valery, who was a friend of the main character. Mythology of the novel is built in such way that the author constantly gives us the vector of perception and understanding of his work. Petka combines two elements: a beast and a human, but he’s always subject to the laws of nature, which means that when you need to show humanity, he always follows this rule. Seeing how his friend Valery suffes from the agony of death, Petka steps over his fear, runs after locked in solitary confinement Hirotaro, thus saving both. He seemed to know that the ancient gods of Buryat will definitely respond, if you live by their laws. When he has to give something, he gives, and when he feels that he is needed, he always responds. He fearlessly gives the previously saved cub to its mother and the wolves leave, red sun sets over the transbaikalian steppe, which marks the triumph of the forces of nature over human pride and cruelty. Together with the Japanese Petka, like the ancient shamans, merge in a dance, meeting the tanks and planes at the tail-end of the most destructive war in human history.

Очень плохоПлохоУдовлетворительноХорошоОтлично (1 голосов, средний бал: 4,00 из 5)