One of the main features of Andrei Platonov’s language is concerned with the reflection of all typical elements of the language of the Soviet epoch. This quasi-language of utopia can be relatively distinguished as “an annex” to the literary Russian language created for an exceptional purpose in a certain political and ideological socium. This is a language of declarations and prescriptions, slogans and propaganda posters – a convenient language for the proclamation of a new “ideal society”. The natural cognitive process of creating thoughts turns into a mechanical substitution of planned a limited set of ideological, communicative and behaviorist clichés. Platonov, in order to identify in the narrative space of the short story The Foundation Pit the possibilities and ways of development of the world, figuratively confronts Utopia and Anti-Utopia in their mutual influence and rigid collision. Platonov’s specific word usage which is based on bizarre semantic and syntactic deformations in his “coded” language makes it possible to speak about an anti-utopian nature of his principal prosaic texts. Platonov’s talent reflects this “zombie effect” in one of the most representative examples of his mature style – in the short novel The Foundation Pit (written in 1929-1930). The Foundation Pit semiotically interacts with other texts, including other Platonov’s poetic and prosaic texts. This process can be defined by the term “intertextuality” that designates the establishment of the relation “text in text”. Platonov’s characters can be considered as “guinea pigs” by means of which he introduced ideas in order to test them in the symbolic space of a fictional text. In the text of The Foundation Pit the symbolism of Platonov’s early works and other literary sources are converted into a conceptually new, full-scale semiotic system.
Keywords: genre dualism, Utopia, Anti-Utopia, literary collision, implicativeness, intertextuality, intertextual play, concept decoding.
- Platonov A. (1973). Котлован. The Foundation Pit. A bi-lingual edition. Michigan: Ann Arbor.
- Yezhov I.S., Shamurin E.I. (1991). Russian poetry of the 20th century. The anthology of Russian lyrics of the first quarter of the 20th century. Moscow: Amirus.
- Platonov A.P. (1920). A Normalized Worker. “Voronezhskaya kommuna”, December 29, 1920.
- Platonov A.P. (1985). “The Blue Depth”. Collection of works. Volume 3. Moscow: Sovetskaya Rossiya, pp. 487-518.
- Platonov A.P. (1988). The Foundation Pit. Selected Prose. Moscow: Knizhnaya Palata.
- Platonov A.P. (2004). Works. Scientific publication. Volume I, Book 1, ed. N.V. Kornienko. Moscow: IMLI, Russian Arademy of Science.
- Selishchev A.M. (1968). Selected works. The language of the revolutionary epoch. Moscow: Prosveschenie, pp. 141-158.
Information about the author:
Vassili Bouilov (Helsinki, Finland) – PhD, University of Eastern Finland (UEF), Senior lecturer of Russian Language and Translation, Joensuu, Finland (the author permanently lives in Helsinki, Finland), e-mail:email@example.com
For citation: Bouilov Vassili, (2019). Andrei Platonov and his Anti-Utopian Writing from Inside. Utopian and Totalitarian System. Cross-Cultural Studies: Education and Science. Vol. 4, Issue 4 (2019), pp. 6-19 (in USA)
Manuscript received 12/10/2019
Accepted for publication: 25/11/2019
The authors have read and approved the final manuscript.
CC BY 4.0