«Song about Volga» by V. Vysotsky: text and context

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This article is devoted to the “Song about Volga” by V. Vysotsky and its place in the development of the Volga plot in Russian culture and literature. In order to indicate the context, the “Volga works” of I. Kondratiev and A. Navrotsky are studied; the main meanings fixed in the culture relating to the Volga in the late XIX and early XX centuries are revealed. Furthermore, we study the transformation of these meanings in the literature of the first decades of the twentieth century (A. Shiryaevets, Artem Vesely) and in the cinema (G. Alexandrov’s feature film “Volga-Volga”). A special place is given to the studying of the story of A.N. Tolstoy “Extraordinary Adventures on the Volga Steamer”, in which a new version of the Volga plot, picked up and developed by other authors, appears and forms on the ruins of the former robber-Barge Haulers’ Volga myth. The historical review of the Volga texts concludes with a review of the revision of the image of the Volga and related subjects in the culture of the 1960s and 70s. The carried out historical and literary research becomes the basis for the analysis of the artistic structure of V. Vysotsky’s “Songs about the Volga”. This analysis allows us to conclude that, while restoring some of the connotations lost by the image of the Volga and the Volga plot, V. Vysotsky at the same time tried to create a text that would be as protected as possible from ideological and other restrictions, remaining alive any time and on condition of any ideology.

About the authors

Mikhail A. Perepelkin

Samara National Research University

Author for correspondence.
Email: mperepelkin@mail.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6102-6947

Dr. philol. habil., Professor, Department of Russian and Foreign Literature and Public Relations

Russian Federation, 34, Moskovskoe Shosse (St.), Samara, 443086, Russian Federation


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Copyright (c) 2021 Perepelkin M.A.

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