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The artistic structure of A.I. Solzhenitsyn’s novel “In the first circle”: principles of organization


The work is devoted to the study of artistic structure specificity of A.I. Solzhenitsyn’s novel “In the First Circle”. We focus on the elements analysis of “circular book building” and parallel plot lines, typology of characters-antipodes. We consider in detail, from the formal-content point of view, the “heading complex” of the novel: title, author’s preamble, dedication, double list of contents. We clarify the semantics of the title variants and the final title of novel. We define the main levels of plot-compositional parallelism. We identify the peculiarities of narrative temporal organization, covering three New Year’s Eve days. We analyze artistic details that help create con-trasting situations. We can trace several cross-cutting motives in the description of the fate of dif-ferent characters. We designate the intersection of storylines affecting the work, love, interpersonal relationships of the characters. We draw parallels between the individual structural elements of the novel, which form the compositional “circular book building” given by the title formula. We define pairs of ideologically and behaviorally similar characters, characters-antipodes and the principles of their typology. We show the importance of parallel elements to create a coherent piece of art. We conclude that the artistic means and techniques used by the writer are directly related to the social and artistic practice of research and embodiment of the Russian national character as the main vector of A.I. Solzhenitsyn’s work.


novel “In the First Circle” by A.I. Solzhenitsyn, circular book building, plot-compositional parallelism, plot lines, characters’ typology

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1. Golubkov M.M. «V kruge pervom». Opyt monograficheskogo analiza [“In the First Circle”. Experience in Monographic Analysis]. (In Russian). Available at: works/?ELE-MENT_ID=672 (accessed 06.02.2021). 2. Solzhenitsyn A.I. Sobraniye sochineniy: v 30 t. T. 2. V kruge pervom [Collected Works: in 30 vols. Vol. 2. In the First Circle]. Moscow, Vremya Publ., 2011, 880 p. (In Russian). 3. Losev L. Poeziya i pravda u Solzhenitsyna [Poetry and truth in Solzhenitsyn]. In: Losev L. Solzhenitsyn i Brodskiy kak sosedi [Solzhenitsyn and Brodsky as Neighbors]. St. Petersburg, 2010. (In Russian). 4. Saraskina L.I. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn [Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn]. Moscow, 2009. (In Russian). 5. Altynbayeva G.M. Tri Gleba Nerzhinykh: k voprosu ob evolyutsii tvorcheskogo metoda A.I. Solzhenitsyna [Three Gleb Nerzhins: on the evolution of the creative method of A.I. Solzhenitsyn]. Materialy Mezhduna-rodnoy nauchnoy konferentsii, posvyashchennoy 100-letiyu so dnya rozhdeniya «Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn: vzglyad iz XXI veka» [Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference Dedicated to the 100th Anniversary of Birth “Alexander Solzhenitsyn: A View from the 21st Century”]. Moscow, 2019, pp. 312-325. (In Russian). 6. Petrova M.G. Sud’ba avtora i sud’ba romana [The fate of author and the fate of novel]. In: Solzhenitsyn A.I. V kruge pervom [In the First Circle]. Moscow, Nauka Publ., 2006, pp. 629-732. (In Russian). 7. Bai Yang. Roman «V kruge pervom»: obshchenatsional’noye i individual’noye v sud’bakh geroyev [The novel “In the First Circle”: national and individual in the fates of characters]. Sbornik materialov Mezhdunarodnoy nauchno-prakticheskoy konferentsii «Naslediye A.I. Solzhenitsyna v sovremennom kul’turnom prostranstve Rossii i zarubezh’ya» [Collection of Proceedings of the International Research and Practice Conference “Heritage of A.I. Solzhenitsyn in the Modern Cultural Space of Russia and Abroad”]. Ryazan, 2019, pp. 28-36. (In Russian).



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Russian literature

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