Father and His Family (Genre Originality of L. Petrushevskaya’s Story “The New Robinsons”, 1989)

Publication type Article
Status Published
Occupation: Professor
Affiliation: National University of Uzbekistan named after Mirzo Ulugbek
Address: Uzbekistan, Tashkent
Journal nameRusskaya Rech’
EditionIssue 3

The article deals with the genre originality of Lyudmila Petrushevskaya's story ‘The New Robinsons’. The story, first published in 1989, masquerades as a Robinsonade, a dystopia, and a sample of village prose (with its admiration for the peasants and peasant women of pre-revolutionary times), but the true goal of Petrushevskaya is much more ambitious: the story is an invariant of the biblical story about the rebirth of humankind after a global catas-trophe. The very title of the story directly indicates the genre of robinsonade. One can easily single out elements of dystopia in the story with the help of text analysis, as well as inter-textual references to the prose of village writers (mainly, Alexander Solzhenitsyn and Val-entin Rasputin). The key phrase of the story ‘The New Robinsons’ refers to biblical sources: ‘There was a boy and a girl for the continuation of the human race.’ In this light, it becomes clear why Petrushevskaya, seemingly casually, reports that the narrator’s father once in-jured ‘in the thigh’ and remained forever lame. It is a reference to Jacob, who was once in-jured ‘in the thigh’ when he fought with God. He, just like the narrator’s father, spent most of his life on the run, and was the one, from whom the twelve tribes of the Jewish people eventually originated.

KeywordsPetrushevskaya, robinsonade, dystopia, biblical story
Publication date28.06.2023
Number of characters10141
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1. Petrushevskaya L. S. Po doroge boga Erosa. Proza [On the road of the god Eros. Prose]. Moscow, Olimp_PPP Publ., 1993. 336 p.

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