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Author: Olga A. Tufanova
Information about the author:

Olga A. Tufanova, DSc in Philology, Leading Research Fellow, А.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Povarskaya 25 а, 121069 Moscow, Russia.
ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2254-7969
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For citation:

Tufanova, O.A. “The Parables in Ivan Timofeev’s ‘Temporary’: Typology and Artistic Specific.” Germenevtika drevnerusskoi literatury [Hermeneutics of Old Russian Literature]. Issue 20. Ed.-in-chief O.A. Tufanova. Moscow, IWL RAS Publ., 2021, pp. 292–313. (In Russian) https://doi.org/10.22455/HORL.1607-6192-2021-20-292-313

DOI: https://doi.org/10.22455/HORL.1607-6192-2021-20-292-313
Keywords: genre form, Ivan Timofeev’s Temporary, parables-stories, parable- reflection, parable-instruction, plot, interpretation.
Date of publication: 08.07.2021


The purpose of the article is to identify the specifics of the parable’s genre form in the Temporary by Ivan Timofeev. Among the full-text “parables- narrations” in the text we can distinguish parables-stories, parables-reflections, parables-instructions. The parables-stories (The Parable of the Tsar’s Roman Son ... and two parables about the widowhood of the Muscovy) are distinguished by a developed plot and represent vital examples told in order to edify and clarify the author’s attitude to historical events and persons. All parables have a two- part structure. The first part is a plot, the second is an interpretation. The technique of abstraction is appeared in the absence of a portrait and nature in many of the characters and in the absence of the historical and geographical realities. At the same time, didacticism is skillfully combined with amusement. For example, in The Parable of the Tsar’s Roman Son... the plot is entertaining with an element of the miraculous, there are elements atypical for the “classical” genre form: various kinds of the motivation for the characters’ actions, as well as a conventional portrait. The second part in the parables-stories is an interpretation that doesn’t contain a detailed disclosure of the allegory, and a prayer to the Lord, returning to the events of the Time of Troubles. An intermediate position between “parables-narrations” and “parables-maxims” is occupied by the parable of two friends. Being an example from life in content, it is close in form to apothegms. The interpretation of the plot situation is not singled out in a parable-reflection in a separate part, it is organically woven into the plot, drawing in the potential possibility of the events development. The plot of the parable about simple natural affairs reminds the instruction of how a person should act when he wants to travel to some city or another country. A laconic interpretation testifies to the fact that the parable-instruction about the completion of the path is applicable, according to Timofeev, to the creative process of writing a historical essay. In general, the parables scattered in many fragments of the text, given in full or only indicated, are a kind of companions that help not only create an extensive historical work, but also comprehend the unusual events of the Time of Troubles.


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