Suit as a constituent part of portrait characteristics in documentary text

Artem Olexandrovych Halych


Problem. The topicality of the research is caused by intensified attention of modern literature studies to documentary texts, which includes as the organic component deep attention to the means of representation in it of real historical figures, also through the study of portraying particularities the important element of which their costume is.

The aim of the article. The aim of our research is to analyze existing approaches to costume description as a portrait element in memoir and biographical literary works of the Ukrainian and foreign authors.

Main research results. In memoir literary works of different genres, in biographical narratives and novels writers often use costume description of real characters as a visual element of their portrait characteristics. Neorealistic portraits in V. Vynnychenko's diaries reflect the clothing details of that epoch. They expressively indicate the social position of characters, their age and profession, sometimes their national belonging. I. Zhylenko, describing carol-singing as a national custom, pays attention to the clothing of carol-singers, making emphasis on costume particularities of each person where near national costumes we can see the costumes of modern epoch. All these facts help to visualize portraits of all participants of this event, the main part of whom consisted of one family of Drozds. In reminiscences about famous poet of 1960s Volodymyr Pidpaly many authors paid attention to his clothing as a part of portrait characteristics. As far as the future poet was serving in the marine forces the memoir writers tell about his love to sailor's striped vest, wide trousers, pea jacket. Strange costume of the teacher Nimchynov, who just came back from Europe, was stamped on Iu. Sheveliov's memory better than the content of his lectures; that's why Nimchynov's costume plays the character-making role in memoir text: with his love to exotic appearance the hero of reminiscences stayed "grey personality" inside.

In Vas. Shevchuk's biographical novels in the portrait characteristics of Taras Shevchenko, Ivan Franko, Ostap Veresay their clothing always grab attention; it's usually simple – Shevchenko has that kind of clothing worn by poor artist of that time, Franko has an embroidered skirt, Veresay has modern European suit during his public speeches in front of refined public.

Costume has the similar functions as an element of portrait of real historical person in documentary literary works of foreign writers N. Berberova, A. Voznesensky, Ie. Ievtushenko, Ie. Iendzhyievych, M. Nervly; the author of this article analyzes their texts to make a comparison.

Scientific novelty of the work consists in the fact that for the first time in the Ukrainian literature studies the researcher studied particularities of representation of costume as of element of portrait-making in texts of documentary literature (in memoirs and fiction biography), and interpreted their specificity in different genres.

Conclusion. Costume is a people's clothes which is typical for some nation which lives in some historical epoch. From the old times it reflected person's social role, age, profession, sex, the place of living, nation. Costume is an important part of hero's portrait characteristics in fiction and non-fiction literature. Often a reader only due to garb can find out about hero's place in society, his age, occupation, the place of his origin. In documentary work writers often use real characters' costumes description as a visual element of their portrait characteristics, moreover, in memoir works reflection of such portrait characteristic element as costume seems to be more objective than in biographical texts. This is connected first of all with such genre as dairy. Because in such text the time distance between the event and its description is minimal dairy author reflects hero's costume literally at once, not from his memory after many years as this is going on in other genres of memoir literature. In biographical novels and narratives author has much more possibilities for representation of real character's garb than writer of memoir work can have. Studying thoroughly life way of his hero, author of fiction biography uses much more actively invention, fancy, and artistic fantasy. In this case it's important to make his suit corresponding to general logic of character development of real historical person. In this case author-biographer is standing closer to the fiction author than to the documentary writer.

The article is a part of thesis dedicated to the particularities of portrait creation in documentary literature.


: documentary literature, memoibiography; genre; dairy; portrait; costume; visual element; time distance; real character


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