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On the transformation of antique stories and images in German literature of the 20th century

Liberal Arts in Russia. 2016. Vol. 5. No. 1. Pp. 22-28.
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Sharypina T. A.
Lobachevsky State University Nizhny Novgorod
23 Gagarin Ave., 603950 Nizhny Novgorod, Russia
Email: kafzl@уа


On the basis of analysis of Russian and foreign scholars, the work is aimed at studying the specificity of the transformation of antique stories and images, which is the desired model in the art of the 20th century thanks to its fluidity and unlimited variability. Actualization of antique stories and images in the works of German-language writers account for life-changing moments of social life, the periods of losing of constant moral landmarks and the periods of looking for new moral and aesthetic ideals. The analysis of the reception and transformation of mythological stories and images in the contemporary literature proves the conception of its polysemy. The built-in contradiction of myths is realized through the transformation of mythological stories and images in the literary works of contemporary writers and is explained by the individuality of writers and theirs aesthetic aims. On the one side, the absence de facto in German drama of the 20th century of interpretations of the story about Achilles and of the image of Achilles, and numerous variations on the topic of moral strivings of fearless and peccant Ulysses, on the other side, are proving the statements of classic aesthetic that the tragedy is based on the conflict, which is close to lofty and linked with the idea of dignity of the man, which is ready and capable of promoting the views of his own by the real acts that are often lead to suffer and death. According to Aristotle, the sympathy for the character leads to catharsis - the basis of education of real civic-mindedness and humanness.


  • • transformation
  • • reception
  • • interpretation
  • • Thomas Mann
  • • mythological image
  • • metaphor
  • • antique story


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