Title of the article:



Vasiliy N. Matonin

Natalya N. Bedina

Information about the author/authors

Vasiliy N. Matonin — DSc in Culturology, Professor, Lomonosov Northern (Arctic) Federal University, Severnaya Dvina Emb. 17, 163002 Arkhangelsk, Russia. E-mail: matoninv@yandex.ru

Natalya N. Bedina — PhD in Philology, Associate Professor, Lomonosov Northern (Arctic) Federal University, Severnaya Dvina Emb. 17, 163002 Arkhangelsk, Russia. E-mail: bedina-nat@yandex.ru


Philological sciences




Vol. 53


pp. 206–223


November 08, 2018

Date of publication

September 28, 2019

Index UDK


Index BBK



The theme of Solovki appears in Russian literature since the 16 century — from the time of the book tradition of the Solovetsky monastery. The idea of asceticism and spiritual work traditionally becomes a semantic core of the monastery`s image. Themes and motifs, originally laid down in the medieval book tradition, are reflected in the image of the Solovki in Russian poetry of the 18–21 centuries. The remoteness and isolation of the territory, the tragic nature of historical circumstances, the experience of belonging to the highest demands of the human spirit draw the authors`s attention to such universal categories as divine chosenness, martyrdom, salvation, repentance, memory. In the Russian literature of second half of 18th – early 19th century, due to the general turn of the culture, “Northerness” is perceived as a cultural characteristic, the image of the monastery rather serves as an embodiment of the history`s witness, than a center for spiritual devotion. During the second half of 19th – early 20th century we see Solovki clearly identified as a monastery in its various guises: it is a spiritual center of Orthodoxy — the place of attraction for numerous pilgrims, and the place of detention, punishment and repentance quite relevant in 20th century during the years of Stalinist repressions. In the poetry of the 1970s and 2010s, the theme of Solovki acquires a new, “museum” hypostasis, when preservation and reconstruction of images of the past from Moscow Russia up to the tragedies of the 20th century (as a hidden or lost Paradise) serves as a means of self-determination. The last motives become tragic.


Solovki, monastery, poetry, image, Transformation, asceticism.


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