The Gift as a Memory: The Logic of Exchange in Bulgakov's Works
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Abstract: On the material of the short story «Towel Embroidered with a Rooster» and the novel «The Fatal Eggs» the author shows how the concepts of gift and memory are connected in Bulgakov's works and how through the exchange of the gifts Bulgakov's characters are endued with the memory. In «Towel Embroidered with a Rooster» the young doctor metaphorically swap gifts with a missing Leopold and the patient. He inherits the Leopold's hospital with all professional equipment and then takes off a girl's leg, saves her life, receiving as a token of gratitude the towel with embroidered rooster. In «The Fatal Eggs» innovator and poultry-breeder Rokk adopts the memory and the snake eggs along with cameras of herpetologist Persikov. Memory in the novel is regarded as a magical heritage connected with the place and the spirit of the donor. In the article the memory is also actualized as a mechanism of text generation where each original text reveals its origins and represents a cultural tradition replaced by various equivalents. In «Towel Embroidered with a Rooster» this equivalent is a towel, while in «The Fatal Rggs» these are the eggs and the optical chamber. These objects are linked to the text; they represent text's analogy and form a metadescriptive level. In a parallel to shown memory artifacts Bulgakov's text by itself is a model of cultural memory.
Key words: CULTURAL MEMORY, GIFT, EXCHANGE, MODEL, THE TEXT, THE METATEXT, A PARODY
Ivanshina, E. A. The Gift as a Memory: The Logic of Exchange in Bulgakov's Works / E. A. Ivanshina. In Philological Class. 2015. №4 (42). P. 7-11.