N. S. LESKOV’S NOTEBOOK WITH EXTRACTS FROM “PROLOGUE” (THE EXPERIENCE OF TEXTUAL COMMENTS)
Authors: Inna N. Mineeva
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Thе article, for the first time, provides a detailed textual commentary on N. S. Leskov’s notebook with extracts from “Prologue”. The extant literary materials include extracts and abstracts from the early printed Prologue, fiction and historical literature of the 19th century, letters of European and Russian scholars and authors (Pushkin A., Tolstoy L., Pigault-Lebrun, Sher I.), devoted to doctrine matters and religious aspects, description and analysis of anthropologic categories. The autograph is the evidence of spiritual search and creative experiments of the writer. In the books the writer found endorsement of both his own ideas, and those ones that require further inner understanding, questioning and emotional upheaval. Meanwhile, studying the history, structure and contents of Prologue in the 1880s, Leskov found an exceptional existential and creative experience. The most part of the notebook shows the writer’s learning process of various examples of repentance, atonement, a sudden rebirth of a sinner, active love, the benefits of obedience, the miracle of movement of a saint in space, the phenomenon of manifestation of supernatural power and its intervention in life of a man (God, the Holy Spirit, Angels), etc. While working with Prologue texts Leskov enunciated some principles of their artistic processing (quoting “crisis”, “turning”, unusual fragments in the Church Slavonic language, emphasizing key situations by changing the name, specifying the narration, acronyms, graphic intonation). General trends in understanding of the Prologue source (ideological, imaginative, plot-compositional, stylistic), identified in the notebook, are subsequently transformed by the author in a series of “Byzantine Legends” where they receive additional semantic and functional load.