Publication details

Èpidemija kak test smysla žizni v povesti Vikentija Vikent’jeviča Veresajeva Bez dorogi

Title in English The Epidemic as a Test of the Meaning of Life in Vikentiy Vikentiyevich Veresaev’s Without a Road


Year of publication 2023
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Slavica Wratislaviensia
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Keywords V.V. Veresaev; Without a Road; Narodniks; images of the “superfluous man”
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Description The article discusses the thematic core of V.V. Veresaev’s novel Without a Road (1894). A detailed analysis of the prose lead the author to believe that the depiction of the epidemic in the protagonist‘s diary has become a catalyst for Veresayev’s own views. The way in which the character perceives the epidemic and the aid for the sick focuses on the rudeness, passivity, mis-trust displayed by “the people” towards “the intelligentsia.” The “people’s” aggressive resistance to the protagonist leads him to a mental crisis and, ultimately, death. The depiction of the course of the epidemic revealed the inadequacy of Narodnik notions of the unilateral responsibility of the intelligentsia for the ignorance and misery of “people.” The protagonist of this prose can thus be considered a specifi c subtype of the so-called superfluous man; although he himself is active, he is doomed to failure not only through his own fault (accepting an unviable ideological premise), but to a far greater extent through the fault of those who are unwilling to accept his help and who have punished him for his altruistic activity.
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