Title of the article:



Ilya V. Yuzefovich

Information about the author/authors

Ilya V. Yuzefovich — PhD in Philology, Assistant Professor of Maimonides Academy, A. N. Kosygin Russian State University, Sadovnicheskaya St. 52/45, 115035 Moscow, Russia. E-mail: ilvicu@list.ru


Philological sciences




Vol. 55


pp. 173–185


November 11, 2019

Date of publication

March 28, 2020



Index UDK


Index BBK



The paper addresses the work of I. E. Babel which allows tracing the path from the rebellion against the national tradition to its acceptance. The attempts to reconstruct literary background of Kirill Lyutov — autobiographic protagonist of the “Red cavalry” cycle — in a broader context of contemporary Hebrew literature (the beginning of 20th century). One of its main characters is “Talush” — the Jewish “Superfluous man”, who rebelled against the tradition of ancestors, rushing to European enlightenment instead. He, just like a Russian nobleman of the first half of the 19th century, broke it off with his origins and found himself at a crossroads, between two worlds. However, his rebellion proves to be unsuccessful: being torn off (the word “talush” translates as “torn off”) from the national roots, he was never able to join the coveted world of European culture. Through combining the features of “Talush” and a Russian intellectual, Kirill Lutov managed to reconcile “the tents of Sim” with “the beauty of Japheth”, achieving the synthesis of two national worlds. Furthermore the author traces the evolution of rebel-hero in I. E. Babel’s works. Gradually we can see how slight and weak Jewish young man in glasses, armed with a saber and a rifle, ready to sacrifice himself rather than kill, is transformed in the short stories by I. E. Babel into a new hero: “Odessan Samson” Benya Kreek.


Babel, the first third of the 20th century, Russian-Jewish literary contacts, “talush”, dialogue of cultures.


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