A. N. Radishcev and N. M. Karamzin in the Ideological Context of “The Captain’s Daughter” by А. S. Pushkin
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Abstract: The novel “The Captain’s Daughter” by A. S. Pushkin is analyzed in the context of ideological and creative dialogue with A. N. Radishchev and N. M. Karamzin. The last chapter of the novel (‘Judgment’), in which the yearlong dispute with Pushkin’s forerunners is summarized, has become an object of scholarly investigation in this study. A hypothesis is posed that Pushkin’s novel goes back to the ‘teaching for king Merykara’genre. “The Captain’s Daughter” has associations with the texts directly addressed to the authorities – the novel “A Journey from St Petersburg to Moscow” by Radishchev and “A Note on Ancient and Modern Russia in its Political and Civic Respects” and “The Manifesto” by Karamzin. A trip from ‘Sophia’to ‘Chernaya gryaz’is depicted in “A Journey from St Petersburg to Moscow”, and Sophia station becomes the last point of Masha Mironova’s odyssey in “The Captain’s Daughter”. Thus Pushkin unfolds a spatial as well as a semantic vector in his work. Foreseeing the doom of Radishchev’s poetry, the poet follows the example of Karamsin and outlines a program of state governance. Pushkin addresses Nicolas I through the image of Catherin II, reminding the former about the most important principles of monarchy, hereby reviving “The Manifesto” by Karamsin. The ideological positions of Radishchev and Karamsin are compared rather than opposed to each other in the novel, because Pushkin considers it important to mark and bring together the two poles of Russian history and culture. On the basis of numerous examples, the author of the study shows that the finale of “The Captain’s Daughter” contains historical allusions, which refer the readers to the tragic episodes in the history of the Russian state – the arrest and trial of Radishchev and the execution of Decembrists on July 13, 1826. These two historic events are closely bound up with the autobiographical plot which is inseparable from Radishchev and Karamsin’s fates.
Key words: AUTHOR’S POSITION; LITERARY GENRES; LITERARY PLOTS; INTERTEXTUALITY; HISTORICAL NOVELS; RUSSIAN WRITERS; LITERARY CREATIVE ACTIVITY; HISTORICAL ALLUSIONS
Zvereva, T. V. (2020). A. N. Radishcev and N. M. Karamzin in the Ideological Context of “The Captain’s Daughter” by А. S. Pushkin. In Philological Class. 2020. Vol. 25 ⋅ №1. P. 41-50. DOI 10.26170/FK20-01-04.