Title of the article:



Sergey N. Pyatkin

Information about the author/authors

Sergey N. Pyatkin — PhD in Philology, Professor, Lobachevsky State University of Nizhny Novgorod (Arzamas Branch), Karl Marx St. 36, 607220 Arzamas, Russia. E-mail: nikolas_pyat@mail.ru.


Philological sciences




Vol. 52


pp. 150–157


September 10, 2018

Date of publication

June 28, 2019

Index UDK


Index BBK



The article focuses on one of the material world`s items in “The Capitan’s daughter” novel by A. S. Pushkin: such as a geographical map, acting as a might-have-been “kite”, serving as a marker of an only coordinate — the Cape of Good Hope. Desire to explain the presence of this particular geographical name associated with Piotr Grinyov’s unusual approach towards “exercises in geography” in a novel by Pushkin determines the purpose of the study. As the paper proves the kite, which the main character makes out of a map, has a single-plane structure, where obligatory fastening of the tail to the edge of the plane ensures the flight of the “snake” and its maneuvering in the air flow. In the event, it appears that Grinyov attaches “barks tail” to the middle of the geographical sheeting, since all maps, common in Russia of the second half 18th – early 19th centuries, have the Cape of Good Hope located in the center. This very fact is not seen as an involuntary author` mistake, but his conscious artistic arrangement. The analysis of historical sources shows that the southernmost point of the African continent, according to the will of its discoverer, the Portuguese Navigator Bartolomeu Dias, was initially called “the Cape of Storms” and only eventually was called the Cape of Good Hope. In the cartography of Pushkin’s times both names are saved. Perhaps Pushkin could have learned the story of the double name of the African from the Portuguese poet Camoens, author of the national epic poem “The Lusiads”, whose work he highly valued. The author of “The captain’s daughter”, through a conscious and inconspicuous error, makes play with the geographical coordinates` double name in the novel, leading his characters through Storms to Hope, which is emphasized through the system of artistic meanings formed by the words “hope” and “storm”.


Pushkin, “The Captain’s Daughter” novel, geographical map, kite, the Cape of Good Hope, the Cape of Storms.


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