Article: PDF
DOI: 10.51762/1FK-2021-26-03-05
Abstract: The article examines the intertextual constituent of the short story by I. A. Bunin “The Case of the Cornet Elagin”. It is shown that Bunin’s short story seems to lead a dialogue with the novel by F. M. Dostoevsky “The Karamazov Brothers”. The article reveals not only the typological and structural similarity of the works, but also direct textual correspondences, which testify to the reference of Bunin-the-artist to the experience of his predecessor. The narrative has a sophisticated composition and unfolds mainly in a question-and-answer form and reproduces the subject structure of the “Judicial Error” and the polyphonic manner of writing. The narrator’s words are interspersed with monologues of the defender, the prosecutor, the main character, and remarks of the witnesses. The speeches of the defender and the prosecutor are presented in the same logic as in the text of the predecessor, both trying to get to the roots of the crimes. At the same time, behind the structural and stylistic similarities, the author of the article sees the closeness between the author’s positions of Dostoevsky and Bunin: both the defender and the prosecutor are far from the truth, since they try to find out what happened, but disregard its spiritual origin. The narrator describes Elagin’s crime exclusively in an erotic context overlooking its spiritual aspect. Creating a “Dostoevsky-style” work is not only an argument in favor of Bunin’s respect for Dostoevsky as a master of artistic expression. It is also an actualization of the meanings of the great novel in a different temporal and aesthetical context performed via the organization of the literary work in terms of style and narration, a sort of writer’s clue to the reader on how to interpret the story. Building a dialogue with Dostoevsky in his short story, Bunin creates an original work, which in its deep content displays special continuity with the experience of the predecessor, associated with the spiritual dimension of the events portrayed. The story “The Case of the Cornet Elagin” is organic in the context of the writer's works that assess the spiritual state of his compatriots in the modernist era.
Key words: Dialogues; literary plots; acting; literary styles; subject structure; Russian writers; literary creative activity; literary genres; literary images; novels.

Для цитирования:

Пращерук, Н. В. В диалоге с Ф. М. Достоевским: о повести И. А. Бунина «Дело корнета Елагина» / Н. В. Пращерук // Philological Class. – 2021. – Vol. 26 ⋅ №3. – С. 55-62. DOI 10.51762/1FK-2021-26-03-05.

For citation

Prashcheruk, N. V. (2021). In a Dialogue with F. M. Dostoevsky: about the Short Story by I. A. Bunin “The Case of the Cornet Elagin”. In Philological Class. 2021. Vol. 26 ⋅ №3. P. 55-62. DOI 10.51762/1FK-2021-26-03-05.

About the author(s) :

Natalia V. Prashcheruk

Ural Federal University named after the first President of Russia B. N. Yeltsin (Ekaterinburg, Russia)

ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4407-5293

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