Postmodern literature radically reconsiders traditional values and ideas, abandons the established standards and gives provocative non-canonical interpretations of some immortal characters of the world literature. The article analyzes this tendency through the interpretations of John Dee’s character in postmodern novels «Foucault's Pendulum» by Umberto Eco (1988) and «The House of Doctor Dee» by Peter Ackroyd (1994), each of them, in their own way, reconsidered the traditional comprehension of the Faustian scientist. The former gives an ironic sketch of John Dee’s life in the insert story of «Foucault's Pendulum», the latter presents a monumental description of the alchemist in the context of his own and the author’s time. But both authors pursue an obvious goal, showing fundamental ambiguity of receptions and the absence of absolute Truth, they synthesize different, sometimes opposite, opinions of John Dee, using a playful narrative mode they degrade the traditional image of the magician.

About the authors

G. G. Ishimbaeva

Bashkir State University

Author for correspondence.
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1825-0097
Russian Federation

N. R. Lenkova

Bashkir State University

ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1825-0097
Russian Federation


  1. Kozlowski P. Kul'tura postmoderna [Culture of Postmodern]. M.: Respublika, 1997, 240 p. [in Russian].
  2. Andreev L. Chem zhe zakonchilas' istoriia vtorogo tysiacheletiia (Khudozhestvennyi sintez i postmodernizm) [What ended the story of the second millennium (Artistic synthesis and postmodernism)]. In: Zarubezhnaia Za-rubezhnaia literatura vtorogo tysiacheletiia. 1000–2000 [Foreign literature of the second millennium. 1000-2000]. Moscow: Vysshaia shkola, 2001, pp. 292–334 [in Russian].
  3. Zatonsky D. Modernizm i postmodernizm. Mysli ob izvechnom kolovrashchenii iziashchnykh i neizi-ashchnykh iskusstv [Modernism and Postmodernism. Thoughts about eternal rotation of fine and ungraceful arts]. Moscow: AST: Folio, 2000, 256 p. [in Russian].
  4. Ishimbaeva G. Parafraz siuzheta o Zolushke v ro-mane D. Setterfild «Trinadtsataia skazka» [Paraphrase of the plot about Cinderella in the novel of D. Setterfield “The Thirteenth Tale”]. In: Aktual'nye problemy teoreticheskoi i prikladnoi lingvistiki i optimizatsiia prepoda-vaniia inostrannykh iazykov [Actual problems of theoretical and applied linguistics and optimization of foreign languages teaching]. Togliatti: izd-vo TGU, 2016, pp. 269–273 [in Russian].
  5. Ishimbaeva G. Getevskii divertisment v «Knige smekha i zabveniia» M. Kundery [Goethe's Divertimento in «The Book of Laughter and Forgetting» by M. Kundera]. Doklady BashGU [BSU's scientific reports], 2016, Vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 115–120 [in Russian].
  6. Onega S. Metafiction and Myth in the Novels of Peter Ackroyd. Columbia: Camden House, 1999, 196 p. [in English].
  7. Gumerova N. Transformatsiia siuzheta o Fauste v romane P. Akroida «Dom doktora Di» [Transformation of the plot about Faust in P. Ackroyd's novel «The House of Doctor Dee»]. Vestnik Samarskogo universiteta. Seriia «Istoriia. Pedagogika. Filologiia» [Vestnik of Samara University. History, Pedagogics, Philology], 2016, no. 1, pp. 147–151 [in Russian].
  8. Martínez M.J. Postmodernism and the Ontological Dominant: the Poetics of Integration in Peter Ackroyd’s The House of Doctor Dee. In: Revista Alicantina de Estudios Ingleses, 1999, no. 12, pp. 105–116 [in English].
  9. Ahmanov O. Zhanrovaia strategiia detektiva v tvorchestve Pitera Akroida: dis. … kand. filol. nauk [Genre strategy of detective in the works of Peter Ack-royd: Candidate’s of Philological Sciences thesis]. Kazan, 2011, 161 p. [in Russian].
  10. Strukov V. Khudozhestvennoe svoeobrazie romanov Pitera Akroida (k probleme britanskogo postmodernizma) [Artistic originality of the novels by Peter Ackroyd (on the problem of British postmodernism)]. Voronezh: Poligraf, 2000, 182 p. [in Russian].
  11. Lipchanskaia I. Obraz Londona v tvorchestve Pitera Akroida: dis. ... kand. filol. nauk [Image of London in the creative works of Peter Ackroyd: Candidate’s of Philological Sciences thesis]. Saratov, 2014, 184 p. [in Russian].
  12. Kuznecov S. Ucheniki charodeev v ozhidanii otkroveniia [Disciples of magician in anticipation of revelation]. Znamia [Banner], 1996, no. 1, pp. 225–227 [in Russian].
  13. Gumerova N. Obraz gomunkulusa v romane P. Akroida «Dom doktora Di» [The image of the homuncu-lus in the novel «The House of Doctor Dee» by P. Ack-royd]. Vestnik Viatskogo gosudarstvennogo gumanitar-nogo universiteta [The Bulletin of Vyatka State Humani-ties University], 2016, no. 6, pp. 80–85 [in Russian].
  14. Eco U. Maiatnik Fuko [Foucault’s Pendulum]. M.: AST :CORPUS, 2015, 832 p. [in Russian].
  15. Eco U. Zametki na poliakh «Imeni rozy» [Post-script to «The Name of the Rose»]. SPb.: Symposium, 2005, 31 p. [in Russian].
  16. Ackroyd P. Dom doktora Di [The House of Doc-tor Dee]. M., 2009, 448 p. [in Russian].



Abstract: 1296

PDF (Russian): 496




  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2017 Ishimbaeva G.G., Lenkova N.R.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

This website uses cookies

You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website.

About Cookies