Title of the article:



Svetlana V. Fedotova 

Information about the author/authors

Svetlana V. Fedotova — DSc in Philology, Leading Research Fellow, A. M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Povarskaya 25 a, 121069 Moscow, Russia.
ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9991-4966
E-mail: lucia-th@yandex.ru


Philological sciences




Vol. 64


pp. 171–185


March 09, 2021

Approved after reviewing

May 05, 2021

Date of publication

June 28, 2022



Index UDK


Index BBK



This work is carried out at the A. M. Gorky Institute of World Literature, Russian Academy of Sciences, with a grant from the Russian Science Foundation (RSF, project No 20-18-00003).


The study deals with а late diary entry of K. Chukovsky about the Merezhkovskys. Based on a critical analysis of the existing interpretations of this fragment, a polemically pointed hypothesis is put forward that the brevity and paradoxicality of the recording corresponds to the genre and structure of the literary-absurdist anecdote, the meaning of which remains hidden from the reader. This allows us to consider it as a memory with the key discarded, the understanding of which requires the reconstruction of the biographical, historical-literary and value-semantic context of the dialogue about Repin and Blok, identified by Merezhkovskys as the “Moldovans”. The paper analyzes in detail personal and creative interaction of Chukovsky with Merezhkovskys before and after the revolution of 1917; it turns out that the meaning of the Merezhkovskys identification by Repin and Blok with the “Moldovans” in the “anecdote” of Chukovsky has a dual temporary nature: in the Repin’s case the events of 1900–1910 are updated; the Block’s case of retrospectively is comprehended from the point of ideological rupture of Merezhkovskys with the author of the poem “The Twelve”. The research allows concluding that “recollection” has a compressive and staging character: it contains layers of events of different times, representing in the form of an ethnic anecdote (self-)opposition of Merezhkovskys and Repin, Blok, Chukovsky, behind which hide the most important for Chukovsky issues of socio-cultural self-identity, psychology of creativity and personality, aesthetics and philosophy of life.


K. Chukovsky, D. Merezhkovsky, Z. Gippius, D. Filosofov, I. Repin, A. Blok, diary, recollection, literary anecdote, culture, barbarism, newspaper controversy, historical and literary relations.


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