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Article

Чехов и «чеховское» в романе Б.Л. Пастернака «Доктор Живаго»

Гельфонд М. М., Мухина А.

The article is devoted to the reception of personality and A.P. Chekhov’s works in B.L. Pasternak’s novel “Doctor Zhivago”. B.L. Pasternak’s statements about A.P. Chekhov, reflected in the epistolary and memoirs of different years, clearly show the complex evolution in Pasternak’s perception of A.P. Chekhov. The understanding of “Chekhovian” as the embodiment of everyday life, typical of the young Pasternak, by the mid-1930s was replaced by his interest in the personality of Chekhov and his poetics. While working over the novel “Doctor Zhivago”, A.P. Chekhov becomes for B.L. Pasternak one of the main artistic reference points, as evidenced by his numerous statements. In his effort to “give a historical image of Russia for the last forty-five years”, Pasternak is guided by the “Russian childishness of Pushkin and Chekhov”, the lack of preaching and didacticism. The article consistently commnts on all Chekhovian reminiscences in the novel, which interact with Pasternak’s text in a complex manner. Their consideration shows that Chekhov’s formulas in Pasternak’s novel begin to acquire new meanings; “Chekhovian” is recognized as a world that used to be stable, and with which the collapsing one constantly resonates. At the same time, in Chekhov’s world, perceived by Pasternak, the potential for decay and the possibility of renewal have already been laid, and the possibility of renewal, although the latter will largely respond not in prose, but in verses from the novel. One more aspect of the interaction between the two artistic worlds, is the the fact that Yuri Zhivago is endowed both as a writer and a diagnostician. Polemicizing with the tradition of “healing” inherent in Russian literature, Pasternak makes his character an ingenious diagnostician, which probably resonates with the experience of A.P. Chekhov, who recognized that his writing vision was largely shaped by the influence of medicine. The Chekhovian beginning in the novel is shown at various levels of its organization and constitutes one of the most significant implications of “Doctor Zhivago”. The comparison allows us to conclude that Chekhov was present in B.L. Pasternak’s artistic consciousness, firstly, as an author, structuring the artistic world, and, secondly, as a character – the writer, diagnostician, an intellectual belonging to that “descended from the scene” “environment,” on behalf of which he speaks in his final novel.