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Bogdanova O.A. The Image of the Estate-Museum in the Russian Literature of the 1920s. Studia Litterarum, 2019, vol. 4, no 2, pp. 190–205. (In Russ.)

DOI: 10.22455/2500-4247-2019-4-2-190-205

Author: Olga A. Bogdanova
Information about the author:

Olga A. Bogdanova, DSc in Philology, Leading Researcher, A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Povarskaya 25 a, Moscow 121069, Russia. ORCID ID: 0000-0001-7004-498X

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Received: January 14, 2019
Published: June 25, 2019
Issue: 2019 Vol. 4, №2
Department: Russian Literature
Pages: 190-205

UDK: 821.161.1
BBK: 83.3(2Рос=Рус)6
Keywords: “estate topos”, topoi, modification, 1920s, estate-museum, Nikolay Ognev, M.M. Prishvin, I.A. Bunin, M.A. Bulgakov.


On the example of the novellas by Mikhail M. Prishvin Secular Cup. The 19 th year of the 20 th century (1922) and by Nikolai Ognev [M.G. Rozanov] The Diary of Kostya Ryabtsev (1926–1927) as well as stories Ivan A. Bunin “Non-urgent Spring” (1923) and Mikhail A. Bulgakov “Khan’s fire” (1923), this essay demonstrates evolution but also mutation of the national topic under the influence of historical cataclysms. As a result, one of the most important elements of the “national axiomatics” of Russia, namely the “estate topos” that since the 18 th century and up until the beginning of the 20 th century had preserved constant features, prompted a number of new modifications in the 1920s. One of them is the so-called estate-museum. In the Secular Cup, this modification is promising and has a beneficial effect on Russian life by educating and refining the crowd. In the story by Nikolai Ognev, the landowner estate is part of the exploitative and antiscientific past, and the new Soviet life does not need its heritage. In the story “Non-urgent spring,” Bunin argues that the only true, eternal values epitomized by the estate are absolutely incompatible with the new Soviet reality; “estate culture” has irrevocably abandoned national history. In Bulgakov’s story, the image of the estate is ambiguous: on the one hand, it acknowledges the enduring value of its treasures of art and science, models of behavior and forms of being and everyday life; on the other hand, it criticizes the class egoism of the former owner of the estate. Hence, Prishvin’s estate-museum alone can be recognized as culturally promising for the forthcoming 70-year long Soviet period of Russian history that the country enters in the 1920s.


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