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Representation of National Religiousness in Leskov's Novel "At Daggers Drawn"

Student: Yulia Kim

Supervisor: Maya A. Kucherskaya

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities

Educational Programme: Philology (Bachelor)

Final Grade: 9

Year of Graduation: 2019

Leskov’s novel “At Daggers Drawn” traditionally remains on the periphery of the author's literary heritage. The “feuilleton” novel, which is usually recognized as a second-rate work, according to Leskov’s opinion as well as to literary critics’ and contemporaries’ papers, is, however, might be interesting thanks to the depiction of religion. Leskov’s thoughts on the national religious consciousness, that build up the artistic “core” of the author's works, are reflected in the novel. The current research paper analyzes the representation of national religiousness, which is presented by rituals (the “ploughing” («опахивание») and “live fire” («живой огонь») rituals), religious motifs and symbols (both Orthodox and heathen), abstract motifs and mystical images. The so-called “supernatural” layer, which coexists with the main plot layer and influences it, was indicated. This paper also attempts to analyze the motifs and the structure of the “ploughing” rite as well as to identify possible sources of its description. Religious markers in the plot of the novel (biblical, evangelical, apocryphal motifs, images, symbols, as well as abstract religious and mystical motifs of a demonic temptation, madness, acting/ masquerade, fire) were revealed. The significance of “prophetic” characters of the novel ‒ their connecting function in the plot, religious, mystical experience ‒ were also analyzed.

Full text (added June 7, 2019)

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