Жанровые рефлексивы в малой прозе Н. Готорна
The article analyses texts which have the tautological genre indicator 'legend' in their title. The texts are considered as the nucleus of the genre due to the author's explicit intention. the article points out the legend's steady features, typical of all the texts, and varialbe ones, not related to the legnd's formative attributes.
The early 19th century Russian literature witnessed the appearance of texts entitled 'legenda' (legend) and 'predanie' (tradition). The fact that by the end of the 19th century the genres had fully developed their pattern indicates that the genre labels signaled the genres emergence. The paper compares short prosaic texts named as legends and traditions by V.F. Odoevskii, N.A. Polevoi and N.V. Kukol’nik (1820s-1840s). The aim of the research is to ascertain whether the generic strategies chosen by the writers are different or similar. The analysis considers texts modality, narrative system, setting, plot structure. Legends written by Odoevskii are embedded texts, while traditions are complete narratives. It contrasts the texts in the modality perspective, as the legend is positioned as a less verisimilar narrative, while the tradition is supposed to be true. The effect is strengthened by the choice of personified narrator in the legend and omniscient narrator in the tradition. The setting of the legend is historical and domestic, with the legend offering a mythpoeic version of historical events easily recognized by the reader. The tradition uses an exotic and a conventional setting, and the text is a myth stylization. Legends and tradition by Polevoi are centered round historical events, but the author's objectives are different. The legends present some episodes from Russian and Byzantine history, the information about which is drawn from written sources and complemented with the author's imagination. By doing it Polevoi targets at rethinking history and tracing some logic behind it. The legends are devoid of suspense, as their content and outcome are well known. The purpose of the tradition is to entertain the reader by telling an adventure story based on oral speculations. It is emphasized by the personal attitude towards the setting and by looking at the past from the present standpoint. Kukol'nik's legends and his tradition also belong to historical prose. The legends are based on real sources and communicate to the reader some forgotten or lost text. Unlike the legends, the tradition offers the reader an alternative version of historical events which contradicts official documents. Despite the element of mysticism, the legend is presented as relating authentic events, whereas the tradition is not positioned as verisimilar, as the author never refers to any sources. Odoevskii, Polevoi and Kuko''nik construe the concept of 'legend' and 'tradition’ differently. However, it is obvious that in the oeuvre of each of them the texts called 'legends' and 'traditions' reveal the usage of different genre strategies.