Graphic Novel Adaptation of “And Quiet Flows the Don” by M. Sholokhov (the Russian-Serbian Comic Strip “The Cossacks”)
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Abstract: The article deals with the graphic novel “The Cossacks: A novel about the life of the Don Cossacks” by S. Soloviev published in Belgrade in 1938–1939. This is a kind of adaptation of the first two books of Mikhail Sholo- khov’s novel “And Quiet Flows the Don”. The graphic novel under review is one of the first creative products of the ninth kind of art in Serbia and is connected with the emergence of this phenomenon in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. Its publication laid the foundation of the famous “Belgrade School”, which developed the European traditions of graphic literature. The interest of the Yugoslavian community in the Cossacks and in Sholokhov coincided with the publication of the graphic novel. The study shows the conditions, under which the Russian-Serbian graphic novel was created, and analyzes its structure, plot lines, characters and etymology of the names. With reference to Sholokhov’s “And Quiet Flows the Don”, the graphic novel “The Cossacks” may be considered as a kind of pastiche – a plot contamination of epic story about real events with an adventurous narrative. Of particular interest is the artistic-conceptual presence of the elements of Sholokhov’s artistic world in the sphere of synthetic art. There are significant esthetic differences between the epic novel of Sholokhov and the graphic novel of S. Soloviev. Still it is possible to find attempts to preserve the language of the characters and the specificity of the author’s speech. The outcome of the adaptation of Sholokhov’s masterpiece can be presented in the following way: a transformation of the literary text into a visual-narrative discourse takes place in its course. The visual-narrative unity of the comics about the Don Cossacks makes it possible to unite separate scenes and dialogues into a holistic picture. A new, postmodern method of packing the meanings – a special form of realization of a folklore mythopoetic kind of worldview – is created. “The Cossacks” is based on the poetics of a comic strip, the essence of which boils down to an adventurous plot focusing on the unity of character and speech. In this interpretation, the graphic novel, being a complete modification of the text of “And Quiet Flows the Don”, remains on the marginal pages of Sholokhov studies. Nevertheless, it contains a significant communicative, cognitive and literary-artistic potential and is a successful attempt to build a certain cultural bridge between the two Slavic peoples.
Key words: RUSSIAN EMIGRATION; COMICS; GRAPHIC NOVELS; THE COSSACKS; LITERARY CREATIVE ACTIVITY; RUSSIAN WRITERS; SERBIAN LITERATURE
Kosanovich, B. R. (2020). Graphic Novel Adaptation of “And Quiet Flows the Don” by M. Sholokhov (the Russian-Serbian Comic Strip “The Cossacks”). In Philological Class. 2020. Vol. 25 ⋅ №1. P. 123-132. DOI 10.26170/FK20-01-12.