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Reading “The Return of Chorb” by V. Nabokov as Neo-mythological Novel

A typology of the approach of writers of the 19th – 20th centuries to Wagner's musical dramas as an intertext has been given in the article. This may be a manifestation of the novel creators' erudition, a recollection of an anecdotal situation that arises on the basis of an opera's plot, an implicit foreshadowing of tragic events in a work, etc. Along with the point mention of Wagner operas in the works of world literature, there is also a different approach to the work of Richard Wagner. In this case, writers are attracted by the fact that when creating almost all of his librettos for operas, the composer creatively processed German myths and medieval German legends. On the basis of these librettos, neo-mythological works arise. Among them is V. Nabokov's short story “The Return of Chorb”, the “cipher-code” of which is the medieval myth of “a simpleton with a pure heart”, which is the basis for the libretto of Wagner's opera “Parsifal”, and on three levels: the system of images of the novella, its ontological and religious levels. The analysis showed that Nabokov took into account almost all genre features of the neo-mythological short story. At the same time, it should be noted that the writer approached this genre not formally, but having deeply mastered symbolist aesthetics, which was reflected in Nabokov's short story up to the creation of the author's creative legend about himself and his compatriots who were forced to leave their homeland.

Richard Wagner, Vladimir Nabokov, Symbolism, Neo-mythological Prose, Intertext, Cipher-Code

Olga Kalenichenko. (2023). Reading “The Return of Chorb” by V. Nabokov as Neo-mythological Novel. Communication and Linguistics Studies, 9(2), 42-46.

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