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Regular version of the site

Book chapter

От «дурного общества» к «Детям подземелья»: как В. Г. Короленко стал детским писателем

С. 97-109.

Children of the Vaults is a cut down version of a story In Bad Company (1885) which, unlike the original, was successfully canonized in school practices and is still considered as V. G. Korolenko’s most famous piece. The following paper deals with the original text and its two key cadet editions: pre-revolutionary (1886), and soviet, completed in 1948 by Korolenko’s daughter N. V. Korolenko-Lyakhovich. Through highlighting and examining meanings and connotations omitted in the short versions the author concludes that pre-revolutionary version of Children of the Vaults differs from the soviet one. In pre-revolutionary version, gothic and social aspects were simplified, as well as the whole image of “bad company”, drawing readers’ attention to children only. In soviet version, certain episodes and remarks were revived according to the original and thus became ideological markers. Children of the Vaults were now associated with soviet children’s literature that depicted how a child grew up by doing good. From the moment Children of the Vaults were added in school programs, the piece to some extent became a manual for pioneers. It is possible that by creating a soviet version of the book Korolenko-Lyakhovich aimed to reestablish her father’s reputation after his critics of Russian Revolution expressed in his letters to A. V. Lunacharsky (1920). Half-accepted by new ideologists, Korolenko was canonized as children’s writer, the author of humanistic stories of moral value.