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V. Shenderovich. “A Flute Solo”: on the Problem of the Genre Definition (between a Wicked Satire and a Literary Fugue)

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In 2015, “Vremya publishing house” issued “A Flute Solo”, a book by V. Shenderovich, of multigenre and,­ according to the author of the article, intermedia na­ture, since its content peculiarities of a political satire and a tragedy, a farce and a fantasy, on the one hand, and some features of musical pieces, a fugue­ in particular, on the other hand, have merged here. The text was first published in 2012 in the magazine “Polden. XX vek” (“Noon. XX century”), edited by B. Strugatsky, but then it did not receive any sig­nificant reaction. Besides, it was staged in “Another Theatre”, where it was defined as a “cabaret show without music or dancing”. Only after the publishing house “Vremya” published it in hardback with nu­merous illustrations, did rapturous readers’ responses appear. Critics at the same time kept silent almost unanimously.­ The author of the article provides a detailed cha­racterization of the plot constructed as a grotesque­ depiction of the reality, and views the text composi­tion as relating the verbal text to a piece of music. The dominant device of the text composition, as the author sees it, is the so called counterpoint – one­ and the same theme is carried by different voices from “different spaces”, which represent the structure of the modern society. The symbolic value of certain elements, studied within the research, does not allow to agree with the offered by some critics definition of­ the book as being “desperately hopeless”. The text provides a number of intertextual connections of “A Flute Solo” with world classical literature. The author of the article proves that Viktor Shenderovich’s work falls within the realms of the world cultural tra­dition, according to which the image of the flute is­ used as an instrument with the magical power, whose evaluation is ambivalent. It is either the power of mak­ing others aspire to the good or the power of taking revenge for the evil.

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