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Dream in Gaito Gazdanov’s prose as a literary problem


We highlight the problem of dream in the poetics of G. Gazdanov’s prose. We consider dream from the perspective of creativity pragmatics, self-knowledge and its role in the architectonics of the text. We trace the dynamics of the development of the artistic dream representation as an intertextual phenomenon. In the light of literary associations with the works of A.S. Pushkin, F.M. Dostoevsky and E. Poe, dream in G. Gazdanov’s works is defined as the development of the mythologeme Narcissus in the interpretation of A. Gide in the homonymous essay. We analyze the convergence of the dream theme and delusiveness of the real world and the oniric divinology’s influence on the narrative as a whole. The anarrative elements of metanarrative that undermine the evidence of events are described as a system of opposing the current situation to eternity. The author’s position in the novels related to the Civil War and emigration is considered in terms of M.M. Bakhtin’s work “Toward a Philosophy of the Act”. The author’s “outsideness” to the everyday world, delimiting the inverted world of violence from culture, is manifested as “different” to the narrated world. The dream appears as the universals not only in terms of the poetics of possible fictional worlds, but also as a totality in the characters’ development. The acquisition of reality is only possible in the last writer’s works, in altruism as the “awakening” of the characters and in the intention to the state of samadhi. Nirvana as a mode of the author’s “outsideness” “descends” into the characters’ world as a result of “movement of feelings” or “spiritual fire” – the prevailing feature of G. Gazdanov’s works. Thus, the delusiveness dream as a generalizing formant of metanarrative weakens as one moves away from the “horrors of history” as a traumatic experience of participation in a war and the ensuing unsettled-“unnoticed” image of the author. The polyphonism of the voices of the author and the characters in recent novels forms a single narrative field, and here and now it acquires the status of reality as enlightenment, or, in G. Gazdanov’s thesaurus, “rebirth”.


irrealism; ghost; anarrative; metanarrative; Narcissus

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Russian literature

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