VASSILJEV’S «ANCIENT RUSSIA NOVELS» AS A NEW CYCLE IN THE EVOLUTION OF HISTORICAL PROSE AT THE TURN OF THE MILLENNIUM
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Abstract: The article addresses B. L. Vassiljev’s concept of history and ways of introducing it into his historical novels of 1996–2010. In his «Ancient Russia Novels» cycle the author developed a unique version of the origin of the Russian state. The present paper discusses basic typological features of the XIX–XX century Russian historical novel, including the focus on accuracy of historical detail and search for factors determining the historical process (such as national, social, economic, moral ones). The analysis of the novels «Prince Oleg Prophetic», «Olga, the queen of the Rus» and «Prince Vladimir» demonstrates their author’s conscious refusal to implement the traditional strategies of historical fiction. B. L. Vassiljev created a schematized picture of the Dark Ages, abounding in anachronisms, with an intricate plot unraveling in a conditional chronotope. At the same time, B. Vassiljev is consistent in reflecting the conventional version of history, encompassing social, economic and psychological factors of the historical process. This combination creates an entirely new literary strategy focusing on modeling the past, rather describing or explaining it. The artistic experiment aims at demystifying the role of an individual in history and discovering mechanisms of the historic process. The results of the research are relevant for studies of the modern historical novel, describing the mentality of the turn of the millennium, as well as teaching literature to university students of philology.
Key words: HISTORICAL NOVELS, CONCEPTS OF HISTORY, REPRESENTATION OF HISTORY, RUSSIAN LITERATURE
Lobin, A. M. B. L. Vassiljev’s «Ancient Russia Novels» as a New Cycle in the Evolution of Historical Prose at the Turn of the Millennium / A. M. Lobin . In Philological Class. 2016. №4 (46). P. 69-73. DOI 10.26710/fk16-04-10 .