The Gospel Text in the Autobiographical Works of D. I. Fonvizin Cover Image

Евангельский текст в автобиографических произведениях Д. И. Фонвизина
The Gospel Text in the Autobiographical Works of D. I. Fonvizin

Author(s): Irina N. Ostrovskikh
Subject(s): Christian Theology and Religion, Comparative Study of Literature, Russian Literature, 18th Century, Theory of Literature
Published by: Петрозаводский государственный университет
Keywords: Fonvizin; autobiography; Gospel text; lifecreating strategies; prayer; penitence;

Summary/Abstract: The article is devoted to the memoir-autobiographical works of the great Russian satirist of the 18th century D. I. Fonvizin. For the first time, it examines the autobiographical trilogy (“Message to My Servants Shumilov, Vanka and Petrushka”, “Letters from France”, “Sincere Confession in My Affairs and Thoughts”) as a single text. In the autobiographical works of the satirist, the Gospel text appears to be the most important connecting element determining the isomorphism of the author’s biography to the text. For the first time, D. Fonvizin’s “Autobiographical Trilogy” is investigated from the point of view of realizing the plot of the gospel parable about the prodigal son. The superimposition of the plot scheme of the parable (the departure of their father’s house — “Message to My Servants…”, wanderings — “Letters from France”, the return of — “A Sincere Confession…”) reveals the transformation of the author’s spiritual and moral views: from godlessness through torment and spiritual search to repentance and gaining true Christian faith. The last work of Fonvizin is interpreted as an attempt to create the perfect autobiography. The system of epigraphs, as well as biblical quotes and allusions, are combined in an incomplete “Sincere Confession in My Deeds and Thoughts” into a single “supertext” of the author’s repentant prayer.

  • Issue Year: 18/2020
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 73-91
  • Page Count: 19
  • Language: Russian