Rickshaw as a cultural hero in Russian and Chinese literature of the twentieth century

Elena M. Boldyreva, Southwest university in Chongqing
2022 Yaroslavl Pedagogical Bulletin  
The article is devoted to the consideration of the image of rickshaw in Russian (I. Bunin, V. Mayakovsky, N. Agnivtsev, E. Dolmatovsky, M. Sinelnikov) and Chinese literature of the twentieth century (Lu Xun, Lao She, Hu Shi, Shen Yinmo, Liu Bannong, Zheng Min). Particular attention is paid to the consideration of the principles of artistic representation of the image of rickshaw in the work of representatives of the Chinese «Movement for a New Culture», in the discourse of Soviet children's
more » ... rature of the late 1920s and the «Chinese theme» in Soviet literature, as well as in the story of I. Bunin «Brothers» and the novel by Lao She «Ricksha» as detailed narratives about the life and existence of representatives of this class, common motives and plot-compositional constants are revealed for writers (ambivalent semantics of rickshaw physicality, deestetization motives reaching bodily destruction, the important role of the olfactor component, the motif of feverish non-stop running, the sacral status of the stroller as the equivalent of the hero's fate, the test of rickshaw love, etc.). The article concludes that, despite the relative small number of the rickshaw literary gallery, rickshaw gives rise to many different meanings in the literature of different countries and eras: the vivid image of the exotic East, the quintessence of stereotypes of public consciousness, the emblematic sign of Soviet literary and political discourse, one of the tragic variations of a small man, a catalyst for moral self-reflection of intelligentsia, the embodiment of the complex of her guilt and her conscience before the world of «humiliated and offended», cultural and historical portrait of the era and the «encyclopedia of Chinese life», personification of the ideas of Buddhism and the philosophy of «living life» and, finally, the universal symbolic image of the «marathon runner of life», pushing the horizons of space and time and forever running in an ongoing cycle of births and deaths in search of truth.
doi:10.20323/1813-145x-2022-1-124-234-247 fatcat:vollvh366vfnbkaxw2ceqof2hm