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Author: Svetlana A. Borisova
Information about the author:

Svetlana A. Borisova, PhD in History, Lecturer, Department of History and Theory of Culture, Russian State University for the Humanities, Miusskaya sq. 6, 125993 Moscow, Russia.

ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5934-3142

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



For citation:

Вorisova, S.A. “‘There Was neither Voice nor Hearing in David, for He Was Horrified:’ What Does the Description of Emotional State of Old Russian Villain Suggest?” Germenevtika drevnerusskoi literatury [Hermeneutics of Old Russian Literature]. Issue 21. Ed.-in-chief O.A. Tufanova. Moscow, IWL RAS Publ., 2022, pp. 216–224. (In Russian) https://doi.org/10.22455/HORL.1607-6192-2022-21-216-224

DOI: https://doi.org/10.22455/HORL.1607-6192-2022-21-216-224
UDC: 821.161.1.0
Keywords: history of emotions, horror, images of villains, Old Russia, The Tale of the Blinding of Vasilko Terebovlsky.
Date of publication: 16.12.2022


The article examines a fragment from The Tale of the Blinding of Vasilko Terebovlsky — a story about the feelings of the Vladimir-Volyn prince David Igorevich before committing the atrocity he had conceived. The author divides the description of David’s emotional state into several parts, which are analyzed separately. It is based on the identification of literary parallels that are used to construct the story about the prince’s feelings. The identification of sources and related texts for the analyzed passage helps to understand the meaning of the description of the villain’s emotions. At first, the focus of the research is on the phrase “ne bѣ <…> glasa ni poslushan’ӕ” (“there was neither voice nor hearing”). Then the meaning of the verb “үzhasl”sѧ” (“was horrified”) and its role in the story of David’s feelings are explored. Here, in addition to identifying a literary parallel to the fragment, other examples from The Tale of Bygone Years containing words with the root “үzhas” (“horror”) are analyzed. The paper ends with the analysis of the mention of “lest’” (“flattery”), which David “imѣӕ v serdtsi” (“has in his heart”). The findings help to clarify how to understand the description of prince’s emotional state and what the function of the story in chronicle narrative is.


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