Художественный мир романов Чи Цзыцзянь «Правый берег реки Аргунь» и «Белый пароход» Чингиза Айтматова: типологический аспект

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В данной статье рассматривается типологический аспект художественных миров в произведениях Чингиза Айтматова «Белый пароход» и Чи Цзыцзянь «Правый берег реки Аргунь». Фольклорно-мифологическая символика в произведениях используется для раскрытия актуальных проблем общественных отношений, в центре которых находится конфликт «цивилизационного» и «природного» в социуме.

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In modern world literary criticism, there is still an obvious interest in the study of artistic mythologism. Folklore and mythological symbolism is a vivid means of reflecting the author's intentions in a work of art. A comparative analysis of the works under consideration shows that they are based on the constantly growing conflict of "civilizational" and "natural" in society. The myth in the art world is used to reveal the actual problems of social relations. It is used to investigate the root cause that threatens the fundamental principles of the way of life of two small nations. The myths, legends and symbols that are present in the artistic world help the authors to portray the excessive pragmatism and rationalism of modern civilization. Mythologism focuses on national identity and acts as a means of expanding semantics in works like a metaphor that actualizes the problems of today through the prism of wisdom accumulated over centuries.

Material and method

Modern comparative studies, as well as a descriptive-analytical methods, are targeted to identify the correspondences and discrepancies in the typological aspect of national mythological representations in the artistic worlds of the stories "White Steamer" and "The Last Quarter of the Moon".

The main results and findings

Artistic world of the "White Steamer" story was analyzed and some facts of the representation of individual motives and images of national mythology were revealed. These artistic aspects form, firstly, the ideological, thematic, figurative and plot basis of the work, and secondly, these noted aspects determined the popularity of this story among Chinese writers and readers [1].

In his story, Aitmatov uses the plots of national Kyrgyz mythology to ideologically emphasize the inextricable connection between man and nature, his native land, and the history of the people. The main artistic conflict that develops in the course of the plot unites world and national folklore motives, including the search for parents, orphanhood, shapeshifting, numerological representations, as well as animism and toteism.

The central conflict in the story "White Steamer" is built around the confrontation between nature and man. The clash of interests of the biosphere and human civilization in the work gives rise to a discrepancy between the spiritual and material aspects of existence, leads to a decline in ethical and moral values, the lack of unity of natural and progressive principles in human society. Aitmatov makes readers remember the primordial values, questioning the moral and ethical principles of his contemporaries.

The writer contrasts the urban lifestyle with his vision of a "cultured" person who coexists in unity and harmony with nature, remembers and respects the history of his own people, honors the memory of ancestors and remembers his responsibility to subsequent generations for the preservation of the environment.

The artistic world of the work consists of two parallel spaces — reality and folklore-mythological representations of the protagonist [2]. Comparing fictional life in fairy tales and the real world, the author shows readers that good does not always prevail over evil. The eternal struggle of opposites does not necessarily end with the fabulous cliché: "they lived happily ever after." The confrontation between good and evil is an eternal theme for world literature.

The writer successfully recorded, combined and reflected in a literary work the folklore and mythological representations of different peoples and cultural traditions. Mythologism in a work is used by the author to transform images and stereotypes of the unconscious, from which the semantic content of a literary work becomes more versatile and universal. [3]. Aitmatov's mythology is axiological, animated, his myths, like a real truth, about the foundations of life that excite mankind at all times, therefore the author is sometimes called the writer of the traditional epic story.

Aitmatov’s literature legacy had an enormous effect on the development of the Chinese writer Chi Zijian. As in the case of Aitmatov, her childhood years had a great influence on her literary work: from childhood she felt a special connection with nature, living in the countryside. Chi Zijian’s Grandmother introduced her to national folklore through legends and myths she knew. As a result, ethnoprose became the main genre direction of Chi Zijian's future writing [4].

We interpreted the artistic space and folk-mythological traditions of the Evenks in her novel "The Last Quarter of the Moon". It describes the centuries-old history of the Evenk tribe living on the border of China and Russia. The story is told from the perspective of a ninety-year-old Evenk woman. The structure of the novel consists of four chapters, which together form a daily cycle (Early Morning, Noon, Twilight, and Half Moon). Each chapter describes not only a certain stage in the storyteller's life, but also the evolution of the entire tribe: the birth, flowering and subsequent decline and degradation.

Folklore and mythological representations of the Evenks play an important role in the structure of the novel "The Last Quarter of the Moon". The national outlook of the Evenk tribe combines the historical experience of generations and ancient magical and religious traditions, which directly affects the actual perception of material reality and the spiritual world. Moral and ethical values developed over the centuries, as well as folklore ideas of the people, underlie their laws and rules of behavior. Among the characteristic features of the Evenk worldview, animism, toteism and shamanism should be noted.

Folklore traditions of the Evenks are of great importance for the survival of the ethnos. Thanks to them, from an early age, respect for nature and all living things is brought up. In the consciousness of the Evenks, the biosphere is home to all creatures, the plant and animal world is spiritualized and sacred. Any violation of traditions, laws and prohibitions inevitably has negative consequences both for the offender and for the entire tribe as a whole. Priests-shamans act as mediators and guides between reality and the spiritual world. Thus, they are responsible for the spiritual life and well-being of the entire tribe [5].

The narratological device of first-person storytelling in the work of Chi Zijian allows readers to deeply empathize with personal feelings, contributes to the subjective perception of the main character's reality, evoking a sense of empathy and compassion. [6] Aitmatov in his story uses the form of a third-person narration, acting as an objective, detached storyteller who has an idea of the motives and characteristics of each of the heroes of this work. This gives the author the opportunity to share with readers a large amount of information about the characters and their worldview. Differing narratological approaches contribute to the formation of different general perceptions of works.

Both writers do not mention the names of the heroes, since they describe the collective image of a person who believes that the main thing in life is to remain true to oneself, to one's ideals, to one's fairy tale, despite the surrounding reality.

From a modern scientific point of view, the folklore and mythological representations of the Evenks look unconvincing for a «civilized» person. However, in the worldview of the representatives of the tribe, the harmonious coexistence of the spiritual and material worlds does not cause any contradictions: the surrounding world is a single interconnected animated system, where all events and phenomena are perceived through the prism of folklore and mythological ideas based on historical experience and early religious traditions of the era of the tribal community.

It is important for both writers to get to the essence of modern problems, which they see in the remoteness of mankind from its natural roots, as a result of which the harmful influence of people on the biosphere has increased. The mythology in their works is axiological, i.e. characterizes the system of values of each individual and society as a whole, the relationship between the private and the whole. A common point in the mythological pictures of the works under consideration is the reliance on national plots and traditional mythological devices [7].

The texts contain vividly conveyed by the authors concepts of animism and anthropomorphism, characteristic of most early forms of religions. The animality of nature is a common feature of the two works. Animism is contrasted with modern consciousness, which is distinguished by the dominance of consumer views on the surrounding reality.

The conflict of generations also takes place in the works of both authors. This can be seen from the relationship between Orozgul and Momun, as well as in the Evenk tribe, when more and more young people prefer to live in the city, closer to civilization than in the wild, as has been the case for a long time. Both works have a tragic ending.


Chingiz Aitmatov uses Kyrgyz folklore and mythological ideas to reflect in the work his philosophical and ethical attitude to the events described. This is an attempt to comprehend the current problems of mankind from the perspective of the historical experience of previous generations embedded in the myths. Through myth, the universal diversity of the philosophical content of the work and the multi-layered nature of its artistic structure are transmitted. Using mythological principles in his story, the author most fully and accurately reflected his own ideas, thoughts, and the tendencies of modernity that he noticed.

Chi Zijian introduces Evenk folklore and culture into the structure of the work, enriching the ideological content of the novel with mythical artistic images. It reveals the role of myth in primitive society, where it implements an etiological function, explaining the structure of the world, thereby determining values, ethical norms and everyday models of behavior in society. Thus, the myth is the bearer of worldly wisdom, which underlies the existence of an ethnos.

Comparing the national folklore and mythological images in the novel of the Chinese writer Chi Zijian and the story of the classic of Kyrgyz literature Chingiz Aitmatov, many similarities were found: a large number of common and similar ideas, artistic elements, etc. Both writers appeal to mythologism in their works, trying to comprehend the problems of our time from the standpoint of historical experience, which is clearly and revealingly embedded in the structure of myth. Thus, the richness of the philosophical content and the multi-layered structure of the works are achieved. Mythologism reflects the system of moral and ethical values inherent both for an individual character and for the whole society. At the same time, folklore and mythological representations are built on the basis of national plots. Among other things, that unite both works: a tragic ending, a generational conflict, pronounced ideas about animism, anthropomorphism, toteism and shamanism.

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Список литературы

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Заикин, А.В. Художественный мир романов Чи Цзыцзянь «Правый берег реки Аргунь» и «Белый пароход» Чингиза Айтматова: типологический аспект / А.В. Заикин. — Текст : электронный // NovaInfo, 2022. — № 130. — URL: https://novainfo.ru/article/18927 (дата обращения: 23.01.2022).