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Lermontov and Post-Lermontov intertext in the story of Sergei Dovlatov “The Reserve”

Liberal Arts in Russia. 2019. Vol. 8. No. 2. Pp. 129-140.
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Bogdanova O. V.
Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia
48 Moika Embankment, 191186 Saint Petersburg, Russia
Vlasova E. A.
Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia
48 Moika Embankment, 191186 Saint Petersburg, Russia


The authors of the article consider the intertextuality of the story of S. Dovlatov “The Reserve” and reveal Lermontov’s and Post-Lermontov’s connections and allusions. Among Dovlatov’s pretexts, the authors consider Lermontov’s texts marked with the national consciousness: the novel “The Hero of Our Time”, the lyrical poem “Motherland”, etc. However, as it is shown in the article, the mosaic of the pretexts of “The Reserve” is much wider and richer. Among post-Lermontov’s intertexts, there are the works of Marina Tsvetaeva, Boris Pasternak, and others. The authors of the paper concluded that the interpretation of the intertext in the novel by Dovlatov enables rendering wider capacious literary allusions and parallels; it provides the semantic synchrony between different texts of classic and modern literature. Such strategy helps to reveal the image of Boris Alikhanov, the main character of “The Reserve”. Moreover, it shows autobiographical character, but not coinciding with the fate bound to life dominant of Dovlatov himself. According to the opinion of the authors, the strongest pretext in the story of Sergei Dovlatov “The Reserve” is the Lermontov’s novel “The Hero of Our Time”. The analysis made in the article shows that the intertextual field of the story “The Reserve” widens to a certain degree the perspectives of interpretation of Dovlatov’s text and gives new options for studying its meaning potential.


  • • modern Russian literature
  • • Sergei Dovlatov
  • • The Reserve
  • • intertext
  • • pretext
  • • intertexthema


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