Old Testament Song of Songs in Sholom-Aleichem’s and Leonid Pervomaysky’s literary interpretations
Introduction. Poetical Song of Songs favorably differs from other books of the Bible. It not only hasn’t received an unambiguous assessment but also has caused a lot of debate. Two interpretative concepts of the Biblical Song of Songs such as literal (intimate) and allegorical ones are distinguished. The historical, folklore, ontological and other interpretative models are also accentuated. The analyzed biblical plot belongs to the traditional (worldwide, “eternal”) ones therefore artists of the different epochs adapting to their time, cultural context, individual “hypothesis of being” appeal to it. The comparative analysis of two literary receptions of Old Testament story is proposed in the article. They are Sholom-Aleichem’s story “Song of Songs” and Leonid Pervomaysky’s novel “From Song of Songs”.
Although the research problem doesn’t provide broad typological studies of Sholom-Aleichem’s and Leonid Pervomaysky’s literary personalities comparison of some aspects of their life and literary biographies assures research integrity, confirms non-casualty and regularity of certain moments.
Purpose is researching of the specific of Biblical Song of Songs literary receptions and adaptations in Sholom-Aleichem’s and Leonid Pervomaysky’s prose heritage (on the material of the story “Song of Songs” and the novel “From Song of Songs”), eliminating and analyzing of common and distinctive features.
Methods. The typological, comparative, intertextual, analytical methods are more or less realized in the article.
Results. 1) Attention is paid to incomprehensible and mysterious nature of the sacral Song of Songs; multiplicity of interpretations is illustrated; essence of the certain interpretative concepts, models and methods are outlined.
2) As a result of comparison of some aspects of Sholom-Aleichem’s and Leonid Pervomaysky’s life and literary biographies parallels (writers’ belonging to the Poltava province and the Jewish ethnic group, versatility of both literary personalities, their attraction to the folklore, devoutness) and dissimilarities (realization in different cultural-literary and linguistic environments, maturing in slightly different socio-political and cultural conditions but some points of contact are found) are revealed.
3) Analogies between the biblical figures such as Solomon and Sulamyth and literary characters such as Shymek and Buzia are traced in the text of Sholom-Aleichem’s “junior novel”. Intertextual detections (reminiscences, citations and stylization) and many refrains are accentuated. The circular composition symbolizes access to the Beginning and the paradisiacal being of human (that’s realization of Mikhail Epstein’s ontological interpretative model).
4) At first sight Leonid Pervomaysky’s literary reception is quite remote from the traditional plot and poetical style of Song of Songs except for some italicized citations motivated by author’s desire for survival in harsh “atheistic conditions” of totalitarianism. Amount of the extracts from the Biblical book in the story “From Song of Songs” (“rhapsody”) is identical to the number of parts in the pretext. Unlike Sholom-Aleichem’s event-plot story (with features of the retrospective plot) Leonid Pervomaysky’s novel plot is blurred, opened (assembly), the emphasis is shifted to the autobiographical motifs, philosophical thoughts. Memories of school life are pointed out by extracts from the Biblical Song of Songs. Leonid Pervomaysky’s allegorical interpretation of the traditional plot is accented: deep in its absoluteness understanding of life, comprehension of the truth, access to God come with experience and wisdom.
Originality. The research study suggests the first attempt of comparison of some aspects of Sholom-Aleichem’s and Leonid Pervomaysky’s life and literary biographies, research of the specific of Biblical Song of Songs literary receptions and adaptations in Sholom-Aleichem’s and Leonid Pervomaysky’s prose heritage (on the material of story “Song of Songs” and novel “From Song of Songs”), elimination and analysis of common and distinctive features.
Conclusion. Seemingly different Sholom-Aleichem’s and Leonid Pervomaysky’s literary receptions and adaptations, sometimes significant disparities in their life and literary biographies don’t prevent to find points of contact. Polysemanticism of Old Testament Song of Songs urges reverting to the pretext and a number of the artistic interpretations and alterations of it. Proposed research study doesn’t only fix interest to this problem but declares prospect of the last one.
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