THE SITUATION OF MURDER IN V. MAKANIN’S NOVEL «UNDERGROUND, OR THE HERO OF OUR TIME»
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Abstract: The plot of the novel «Underground, or Hero of Our Time» (1998) by V. Makanin includes the repeated murders, which are interpreted as a secret means to defend the character’s «I» by the main character himself rather that a kind of social or existential rebellion. In the article, the situation of murder is contrasted with the similar events described in classical Russian literature: the plot of murder and repentance of Raskolnikov (novel by F. M. Dostoyevsky «Crime and Punishment»); the duel of Pechorin and Grushnitsky (the novel by M. U. Lermontov «The Hero of Our Time»). The study revealed the difference in the motives (it is not verification of the idea, but verification of literary plots, it is not verification of one’s conformity to the main idea, but the offended dignity or the preservation of the reputation of «ageshnik», nonconformist). There are some differences in the act of murder (its arrangement, reduction of affect). There are also differences in investigation and concealment of murder. The detective plot in the novel «Underground, or Hero of Our Time» deconstructs the psychological game in the novel «Crime and Punishment», which pushes the hero's repentance: Makanin's priority is to concealment of the crime and preservation of freedom from an external imperative (from social punishment). The modern hero still wants to tell someone the truth, not to express repentance, but to be forgiven and understood, which is impossible. Conscious allusion to the famous literary plots is aimed at their verification, it shows the loss of absolutes in the minds of the man of the twentieth century, turning them into «plots». Exemption from the external imperative (God, literature, society) explains the repetition of the situations of murder, experience does not stop Makanin’s hero from «striking» to defend his self: «concealment» of the first murder makes it possible to kill again; but protection from repentance in the second murder, returns to the stream of life and dissolves the hero’s «I» in the «dormitory».
Key words: NOVELS, RUSSIAN LITERATURE, RUSSIAN WRITERS, WRITING, LITERARY PLOTS
Malkova, A. V. The Situation of Murder in V. Makanin’s Novel «Underground, or the Hero of Our Time» / A. V. Malkova . In Philological Class. 2017. №1 (47). P. 74-83. DOI 10.26710/fk17-01-13 .