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Article

Империализм и национализм в романе Захара Прилепина «Санькя»

Хитров А. В.

Twenty-two years have passed since the moment when the USSR ceased to exist but Russian intellectuals continue their debates about the meaning of this event. Some of them conceive of this historical moment as the end of the empire and the crisis of national identities. They depict Russian history as the succession of traumatic blows and deep crises. Despite the fact that these interpretations are contradictory very often, they can become founding ideas for some imperialist and nationalist ideologies. In this paper, I analyse an example of the interpretation of this kind. This is a novel San’kia by contemporary Russian writer, journalist and public intellectual Zakhar Prilepin. He is famous as an intellectual who declares his adherence to nationalist and imperialist ideas by Eduard Limonov and Alexander Prokhanov. My question is how the USSR, its end, and the post-Soviet history are interpreted. My principal answer is that the USSR is depicted as an empire, and post-Soviet history is shown as a period of disintegration of spatial, intergenerational, and social connections. The novel’s protagonist Alexander Tishin finds himself between all these elements, namely between the village and the city, between the generation of his grandparents and parents and his generation, between ethnically Russian territory and the territory of newborn Baltic countries. Prilepin’s text manufactures an impression of the protagonists’ reflection about these issues, but I show that their reflection is mere repetition of the same ideas, and their meaning is in the repetition itself.