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Intertext of Russian literature in T. Mann’s novel “Tonio Kröger”

Liberal Arts in Russia. 2019. Vol. 8. No. 1. Pp. 68-76.
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Ishimbaeva G. G.
Bashkir State University
32 Zaki Validi Street, 450076 Ufa, Republic of Bashkortostan, Russia


The article devoted to the study of the hermeneutic and imagological aspects of the “Thomas Mann and Russian Literature” problem examines the Russian literary intertext of the Mann’s short story “Tonio Kröger” from the point of view of the features of the foreign characters functioning and their interpretation by the German writer. The structural-compositional, ideological and informative characteristics of T. Mann’s novel are given, the culmination of which is connected with the image of Lizaveta Ivanovna, which contributes to the enlightenment of Tonio Kröger. Its functional purpose is formulated: in the space of the artistic world of the novel, it is the earthly incarnation of eternal femininity. It is close to Saint Sophia, in which Goethe saw a spiritual and physical beginning, where contradictions and obstacles to human communication were removed, and in which he emphasized motherly features, as well as Saint Sophia, the Wisdom of God, which V. Solov’ev interpreted as the goddess of the coming Third Kingdom, where nature and spirit will merge in harmony. A comparison of the image of Mann’s Lizaveta Ivanovna with her namesakes from Pushkin’s “The Queen of Spades” and Dostoevsky’s novel “Crime and Punishment”, genetically related to a “Poor Liza” by Karamzin, is given. The conclusion is made about the essential meaning of the poetonym Liza in the history of classical Russian literature, its intertextual nature, its richness in cultural allusions and reminiscences; T. Mann inscribes his heroine named Lizaveta in a certain typological series and provides opportunities for her deep art receptions. It is proved that the novel, which has an autobiographical character, expresses one of the central ideas of T. Mann’s implicit philosophy, behind which is the experience of the personal feelings of Russian literature.


  • • Thomas Mann
  • • Russian literature
  • • Pushkin
  • • Dostoevsky
  • • Karamzin
  • • Lizaveta Ivanovna
  • • imagology
  • • hermeneutics
  • • comparative studies
  • • intertext


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