Around Minich: About the Hidden Plot in the Captain's Daughter by A. S. Pushkin
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Abstract: An independent theme connected with the name of Count Khristofor Antonovich Minikh (Burkhard Christoph Graf von Münnich) is highlighted for the first time in the novel ‘The Captain’s Daughter’ by A. Pushkin. The paper proves that the German field marshal’s fate is connected not only with Pushkin’s reflections on patterns and regularities of the Russian history but with a ‘biographical theme’ as well. Firstly, Kh. A. Minikh unites two lines of Pushkin’s family ascending to the names of Abram Petrovich Gannibal and Lev Alexandrovich Pushkin. Secondly, A. Pushkin traces correlations to his own fate in Kh. A. Minikh’s fate. The author of the paper believes the problem of moral obligation repay to be the key one in the novel. While working on ‘The Captain’s Daughter’, A. Pushkin was resolving some crucial issues related to his relationship with the authorities. For the first time the memoirs by Kh. A. Minikh written during his last years for Catherine II (‘An Essay Defining the Form of Government of the Russian Empire’ (1774)) are used in connection with Pushkin’s last novel. The researcher demonstrates that A. Pushkin’s understanding of the Russian history ascends to Kh. A. Minikh’s conclusions. Thus, the 18th century history became a kind of a mirror for the poet peering into which he tried to understand the contemporary life as well as himself.
Key words: Russian literature; Russian writers; literary creative activity; literary genres; literary plots; literary characters; historical novels; biographical plots; allusions; Decembrists.
Zvereva, T. V. Around Minich: About the Hidden Plot in the Captain's Daughter by A. S. Pushkin / T. V. Zvereva. In Philological Class. 2021. Vol. 26 ⋅ №1. P. 161–168. DOI 10.51762/1FK-2021-26-01-13.