Oleksandr Viktorovych BORON


Introduction. The Convict by Shevchenko ranges with other Ukrainian and Russian stories about a noble robber. However, the more careful examination reveals that this list is deficient as it includes works of different style, subject, time of writing and the skill level. Purpose. Identify the common and different features in the interpretation of the protagonist’s image in the story by Shevchenko and related works of Russian writers. Results. The author reasonably denies the expediency of referring W. Narezhny and O. Somov to the so-called “Ukrainian Russian literature” because of widespread use of complex method of the national identification of foreign language works of Ukrainian in recent years and insists on the traditional belonging of the two artists to the "Ukrainian school" in Russian literature. However, there is no doubt that the work of both artists, especially Somov, has deep ties with Ukrainian culture in general and literature in particular. The story by Shevchenko is compared with the prose works by W. Narezhny and O. Somov about Semen Harkusha – according to the first Garkusha, a robber of Malorossiya (1825, unfinished, in Ukrainian translation published in 1931, first in the original language - 1950) and according to the second - Haydamak. A true story of Malorossiya (1825) and Haydamak. Chapters from srory above Malorossiya lead (1827-1830) and developed not so popular topic of an intellectual bondman in Russian literature. Somov also describes Harkusha as an educated man; instead Harkusha by Narezhny is a farmer, whose features are only natural wit and intelligence. The compositional entity of all three works (published excerpts by Somov may be considered as incomplete text) provides an image of the protagonist. The author discredits the enrollment of Narezhny novel to the tradition of describing “a noble robber», because there is a tendency to condemn killings and robberies. The writer longs for revealing Garkusha’s mind, tracing his evolution from a humble shepherd to a criminal. On the other hand, the image of Garkusha by Somov is full of positive humor. There is no explanation why Garkusha punishes cruel masters and defends the bonds from their tyranny, evidently because of story’s incompleteness. Due to such his actions he became so popular among bonds. Somov’s protagonist is famous for his ability to transform and a strong feeling of injustice. Originality. The researcher emphasizes that the original Shevchenko’s approach, while developing the image of Kirill, was based mainly on folk stories and songs about Ustym Karmalyuk, not on literary models. Several features, embracing all three mentioned above works were thoroughly analyzed. Numerous distinctions in protagonist’s interpretation, namely various artistic methods used by writers have been outlined. Conclusion. The dominant feature of Kirill by Shevchenko is its tendency to painful reflections caused by the fact that he leads the armed groups’ attacks, which resulted in people death. The Convict to some extent tends to literary tradition of describing the noble robber that Shevchenko knew (the evidence is the mentioning the novel K.-A. Vulpiusa Rinaldo Rinaldini in the story). In particular it has some common features with works about Garkusha, but the whole Shevchenko vision of the protagonist is independent. Shevchenko’s story based on its eponymously-named poem storyline probably became possible due to the literal context of writings about Нarkusha and a noble robber in general. The determinative role in the convict’s character creating is devoted to the feeling of deep sincere repentance. This motive is absent in the Russian novelists writings. Instead Shevchenko doesn’t use any satiric approaches or hidden humour, inherent to Narezhny novel and Somov story accordingly. Total moralistic trend and noticeable religious orientation draw Shevchenko story to the didactic literature. He managed to express opinions on the causes of social evil in censored publications, and at the same time to portray convincingly the inevitability of punishment for committed crime, spiritual rebirth of man, which is mainly the result of internal willingness for repentance and redemption.


motif of the noble thief; Russian prose of the 1820s; protagonist; story; plot; literal context; construction; confession; humor


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