Dante as a Hidden Reason for Dispute: to the Issue of the Conflict between I.A. Goncharov and I.S. Turgenev
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Abstract: The question of the reasons and nature of the conflict between I. A. Goncharov and I. S. Turgenev, although he has his own impressive history of study, at present deserves close attention especially in view of new data associated with the role of Dante in the formation of Goncharov’s novel genre. The article proposes to correct the idea of the “Goncharov school” (V. A. Nedzvetsky) in Turgenev’s practice and determine the boundaries and degree of influence of Goncharov’s novel ideas on Turgenev’s novels. It is shown that by the time of close communication between the two writers in 1855, Turgenev was not disoriented as a novelist. He had a clear idea of what a Russian novel should be and how it differs from a Western European novel. He had his own novel experience, which reveals the movement of Turgenev as a novelist towards the “Faustian plot” as a variant of the “plot of salvation” demanded by the “plot space” (Yu. M. Lotman) of the Russian novel. A variation of the “plot of salvation” was Dante’s “The Divine Comedy”. It was this plot model, which presupposes the “rehabilitation” or “awakening” of the sinner to a new life, not “behind the door of the coffin,” but today and now, that Goncharov used as the basis for the architectonics of his type of novel (both the novel trilogy as a whole and each of its novels). With a high degree of probability, it can be assumed that Dante’s themes and ideas, above all the idea of a new life and salvatory female love related to absolute love, in Goncharov’s interpretation were heard and perceived by Turgenev. Hence his second completed novel, “The Noble Nest”, although it was seemingly based on plot elements close to the novel “Rudin”, was fundamentally different from it and gravitated not to the Faustian novel model, which was more characteristic for Turgenev, but to Dante’s one, not very typical of him. The article also touches on the question of the perception of “The Noble Nest” by contemporaries, which demonstrates that they just saw in this book not so much a tragedy, but a story about the hero’s new life. However, Goncharov’s reaction to the publication of “The Noble Nest” and the organic nature of the Faustian coordinate system for Turgenev’s creative thinking led him away from Goncharov’s novel ideas. “The Noble Nest’is presented in the article as the only experience of Turgenev in the “school” of Goncharov and as a novel text by the writer, which stands out significantly from his novel practice.
Key words: Russian literature; Russian writers; literary creative activity; literary genres; literary plots; novels; Italian literature; Italian poets; Italian poetry; poetic creative activity; creative conflict.
Belyaeva, I. A. (2021). Dante as a Hidden Reason for Dispute: to the Issue of the Conflict between I.A. Goncharov and I.S. Turgenev. In Philological Class. 2021. Vol. 26 ⋅ №1. P. 190–205. DOI 10.51762/1FK-2021-26-01-16.