15 November 2018
9 November 2018
8 November 2018
V. Shalamov in his "The Kolyma stories" presented a picture of social "hell" in which human sufferings pass a limit beyond which the essence of the person is dissolved and disappears in illusive existence. In this "hell" there is no place for morality: the absolute evil triumphs. However, the hopelessness of "the hell" paradoxically gives chance to preserve fundamental distinctions of the good and evil. This chance is given by understanding of the threat of the spiritual death and by resistance against it. Shalamov constructed a paradoxical and sublime interpretation of personal spiritual immortality which depends on the person's determination to resist against this threat.
The paper deals with intertextual engagement between Varlam Shalamov's short story 'The Handwriting' and the poem of the minor Russian poet of the ninetieth century Fedor Tumanskii 'The Little Bird' which depicts Russian (and world)wide ritual to free a bird at the beginning of spring as a sign of a spiritual delivery. The poem serves as compositional and semantic center of the story, in the form of mise en abyme it contains the expiatory plot of the story – just as bird is freed, Krist (alter ego of the author) is delivered from the death penalty by sudden fit of humanity on the investigator's part.