- Dzhanumov Seyran Doctor of Philology, Professor
- Dzhanumov Ashot
The article deals with the artistic function of the anecdote in the story “Reserve” (1983) by Sergei Dovlatov and the attitude of the author of the work to the official myth about Pushkin. The article suggests that Dovlatov’s deconstruction of the myth about Pushkin is to some extent an ironic response to the Soviet canonization of the image of A.S. Pushkin and therefore bears a somewhat reduced, sometimes derogatory, anecdotal character, which does not negate the author’s sincere unfeigned love to the great Russian poet. Throughout his relatively short life, S. Dovlatov repeatedly turned to the works of Pushkin, to his judgments about literature. Dovlatov’s understanding of the goal and purpose of literature is often in solidarity with Pushkin’s. So, in the story “Reserve” Dovlatov notes: “His (Pushkin. — S. D., A. D.) literature is higher than morality. It conquers morality and even replaces it. His literature is akin to prayer, nature ... ” [Dovlatov 2019: II, 237]. Dovlatov was also attracted by Pushkin’s idea that “the goal of poetry is poetry”. Thus, in a letter dated May 31, 1968, Komarovo to the prose writer, journalist L. Ya. Shtern Dovlatov categorically asserts: “As for auto declarations about my stories, remember once and for all: literature has no purpose (Dovlatov’s italics. — S. D., A. D.). <…> For me, literature is an expression of decency, conscience, freedom and pain of soul” [Little-known Dovlatov: 294]. In the “Reserve”, the features of mythologization of Pushkin are manifested almost everywhere. One of these myths related to the cult of the poet in the Pushkin Museum-Reserve is the motive of replacing real things and rarities that once belonged to the poet, later forgeries, copies, as they say now, “remakes”. The narrator is outraged that in the reserve, the Pushkin flavour is recreated only due to external (and not always authentic) attributes and features. At the same time, the autobiographical hero cannot or does not want to oppose anything to this cult of Pushkin in the museum-reserve. And hence the mockery and grumbling of the author of the story, an addiction to individual (albeit memorable) anecdotal situations and episodes that do not form a coherent and detailed plot. In the course of the analysis, the intertextual links between the story “Reserve” and the works of Russian classical literature of the 19th century are considered. It is also noted that the author’s presence is tangible in the story not only as a narrator, but also as the main character, which gives credibility and veracity to the depicted events and characters.