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Home / Issues / № 2, 2014

Genre of «Letters to Tsar» in XIX – the beginning of XX-th century
Surovtseva E.V.

Our research is devoted one of the most actual in the modern philology problems. This is a problem of interaction of literature and power. The problem of mutual relations of writers with the power was studied by literary critics basically in biographic aspect. Letters of writers in the power were comprehended also as the fact of literary process, but still never became a subject of monographic research. Besides, special value of represented research consists that it has interdisciplinary character – it is created on a joint of philology (both literary criticisms, and linguistics) and history.

Subject of the analysis of a steel «letters to tsar» (the term by L.N.Tolstoy), that is the letters addressed to emperors and their confidants. In my research the assumption that it is lawful to distinguish (first of all on the basis of the various relation to power during the imperial and Soviet periods of our history) «letters to the tsar» from «letters to the leader», functioning in the Soviet epoch is come out. Object of research of the steel of the person of the addressee and the sender of letters, features of their interaction. The purposes and problems of my work consist in research of the documents concerning sphere of relations of the writer and the power, first, in the sociocultural context, secondly, in a context of development of then epistolary genre with the genre features inherent in it.

During the conducted research following distinctive features of a genre have been allocated: intensity; conformity of «height» of a theme to «height» of the addressee and language and of style to theme; installation of authors on «openness» of letters.

At first we try to give the complete description of the sociocultulal situation in XIX – the XX-th century beginning.

Then we try to describe the classification of «letters to tsar». The classification is included the further types of «letter to tsar» (all it has been analyzed about 60 texts): 1. letter-declaration contains in expanded form explanations of positions of the author on the major world outlook and / or creative questions (letters by F.I.Tjutchev, F.M.Dostoevskij, N.G.Chernyshevskij, A.I.Gertsen, L.N.Tolstoy); 2. letter-denunciation in which the informing element (letters by F.B.Bulgarin) is strong; 3. letter-complaint/request/justification. The picture of prosecutions of writers by the authorities and the unsoluble authorities without intervention of creative difficulties is drawn in such letters. Petitions for innocently offended contain in variety of letters. In this context letters by A.S.Pushkin, N.V.Gogol’, F.M.Dostoevskiy, L.N.Tolstoy, A.Grin are considered; 4. letter-dithyramb/gratitude/creative report contains constrained glorification or gratitude to the authorities for any blessing. The letter by A.P.Chehov concerns the given category.

At last, the special aspect (the image of the addressee in «letter to tsar») is allocated. The letters addressed to the authorities, it is possible to subdivide on two categories: first, it is letters addressed to direct persons of the Imperial house (to Nikolay I, Alexander I, Alexander II, Alexander III, Nikolay II, K.K.Romanov, empress Maria Aleksandrovna); secondly, it is the letters addressed to imperial ministers and dignitaries (to S.S.Uvarov, M.A.Dondukov-Korsakov, V.D.Olsuf’jev, E.P.Kovalevskij, D.A.Tolstoy, D.N.Nabokov, K.P.Pobedonostsev, I.L.Goremykin, N.V.Murav’jov, A.G.Bulygin) and to III Branch. I considere the image of addressees of the first group in detail. A number of writers in the references to tsars followed certain canons of letters in power (letters by A.S.Pushkin to Alexander I and to Nikolay I, by N.V.Gogol’ to Nikolay I, by F.M.Dostoevskij to Alexander I, by A.P.Chehov to K.K.Romanov). The religious sight at power nature is reflected in the texts by Pushkin, Gogol’ and Dostoevskij. For Chernyshevskij the emperor is the political opponent, for Gertsen the emperor is the person equal to Chris and bloody despot. Tolstoy it addressed to tsars that as to officials (Alexander III, Nikolay II), as to suspect (Alexander II), as to simple person and Christian (Alexander III), as to an associate, Christian and brother (Nikolay II).

The results received during conducted research can be used at reading of courses on history of the Russian literature XIX – the XX-th century beginnings, at preparation of special courses on history of the Russian literature and censorship and on problems of genrelogy (science about genres), and also at carrying out of the further scientific researches on a theme «literature and power».

Bibliographic reference

Surovtseva E.V. Genre of «Letters to Tsar» in XIX – the beginning of XX-th century. International Journal Of Applied And Fundamental Research. – 2014. – № 2 –
URL: www.science-sd.com/457-24534 (21.08.2019).