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Representation of existential character in “The Pyramid” by L. Leonov


The system of characters in L.M. Leonov’s novel “The Pyramid” is considered. The systemic analysis allows referring this novel to existential tradition, which can be found in the juxtaposition of characters' ideas, world views on one hand and existential philosophy on the other. It is believed that L.M. Leonov did not try to describe some existential hero specifically to express a certain system of philosophical concepts. Nevertheless, most of the acute problems of Leonov's time arebest seen through the scope of existential categories: alienation and life meaninglessness; existence in the face of death; self identification within absurd existence. In Leonov's delusional novel there is a special type of character which can be conditionally defined as existential. This type of character in literary tradition is described as lonely, alienated person, living between despair and fear of nothingness. In the novel “The Pyramid” one can find the full spectrum of existential conditions: free-floating anxiety, inescapable loneliness, absurdity and loss of life meaning, limitless despair, "borderline situation", attempts to overcome alienation, fear of death.


existential character; “The Pyramid” by L.M. Leonov; alienation; “borderline situation”; absurd.

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