In article it is shown that the philosophical anthropology undergoes the radical conceptual shift caused by tragical experience of the XX century. The existential anthropology believes special type of communication in "boundary situations" (K. Jaspers) when people reveal in "authenticity", and routine forms of adaptation to reality depreciate. In "existential communication" the essence of the person as the center of reasonable, healthy and good will to life is shown. However "the philosophical belief" in such essence is called in question if living conditions in "a boundary situation" go beyond human. Conditions of the "terrestrial hell" described by Varlam Shalamov in "The Kolyma stories" are that. The experience of the Kolyma penal servitude comprehended through art perception of the writer showed that philosophical anthropology if her concepts are built on the base of an apriorizm or are taken out to the sphere of transcendental, is false and loses trust to itself. The philosophical anthropology in "camp prose" of Shalamov is not an abstract conceptual design, but a part and continuation of a vital context from which the vital destiny of the writer is not separable.
In the ontological bases of this philosophy there is no place eternal and the invariable "human essence" building the person to top of being hierarchy. "The Kolyma hell" does not divide existence and essence of the person and does not oppose them, it establishes between them special connection. The essence has an effect just when hell devastates it. It finds reality at the last boundary of resistance to hell. This anthropology places reflection about the person in "a boundary situation", but does not put it over it.
If this experience is acquired, the philosophical anthropology will not remain former. The reality of terrestrial hell will be its touchstone.
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.
"Semiotics of Scandal" is the third collection of the series "Mechanisms of culture". It presents the materials of an international conference held at the Center for Slavic studies (Sorbonne, Paris). The authors, using different methodologies, analyze different forms of scandal as one of the dominant categories of the literary process, history, and politics.