The author discusses inclusion of lyrics in fictional texts. The essay offers classification of song elements in Nadezhda Teffi’s fiction depending on the way of their inclusion to the text, their genre, and semantic connection with the text. It also focuses on how melodic and performative levels of a song are conveyed into verbal form. The author analyses the functions of such elements on different textual levels: ideological and thematic, the level of plot and structure, the level of images and symbols, and highlights the role of these elements in the meaningmaking. The research focuses on the fictional texts by Nadezhda Teffi that include citations from songs (folk songs, romances etc.). It specifically analyzes three short stories “Prachechnaia”, “Oni poiut”, “Lestnitsa” [“Laundry”, “They’re singing,” and “Staircase”]. All three share a common theme — Russian laundresses — and draw from the same folk song “Mamashenka branila za milogo druzhka…” [“My Mom scolded me because of my darling”]. The fragments of this song fulfil different functions in the stories altering the author’s position, changing accents, and giving new meaning to the existing oppositions.
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