The influence of Dostoevsky’s creativity on Akutagawa Ryunosuke - Студенческий научный форум

XIV Международная студенческая научная конференция Студенческий научный форум - 2022

The influence of Dostoevsky’s creativity on Akutagawa Ryunosuke

Кочетова В.А. 1
1Владимирский Государственный Университет
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Ryunosuke Akutagawa (1892 – 1927) is a Japanese writer, a classic of new Japanese literature. He is known for his short stories and novellas. The main theme of his works, written with fine tasty, is the infinity universe of the spirit and the secret of human soul.

Akutagawa drew materials for his short stories from historical chronicles and collections of ancient legends. However, his works were also influenced by the works of his contemporaries. The main role among them was played by the texts of Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky. It’s worth saying that Dostoevsky’s work as well as the work of others Russian writers had a huge impact on the world at the end of the 19 century. And Japan wasn’t be exception. Akutagawa lived in period searchers Japanese literature, when the traditional and new then merged, then diverged opposite poles. For beginner Japanese writers always were a danger of to turn into epigones and to dissolve into western culture. However, Akutagawa stood in the opposite position. He rightful can be called by founder modern Japanese literature. Due to his creation Japanese literature joined the world literature. Firstly, it has succeeded because he could connect national and world what it determined a leap forward of modern Japanese literature. The main role in it played the Russian literature.

Akutagawa wrote his friend, Fudzioka Dzoroku, in the letter after the first read of Dostoevsky: “… Read “Punishment and Crime”. All of 450 pages of roman full description of soulful conditions of characters<...> But the inner world of the main character, Raskolnikov, arises with even more terrible force. The scene when murder of Raskolnikov and the public woman Sonya read the Holy Scriptures under the lamp burning with a yellow smoky flame – this scene is of great power, it’s impossible to forget it. <…>”. Akutagawa in a letter to Matsuoka Yurzuru shares his impressions: "I'm reading "Demons" now. To be alone does not hold, but still blew me away (the second part)".

In the short story "the Monkey" which tells about the exposure of the ship thief contains not just the reference to the Russian writer, but also a reference to his works: "Narasimha now put in solitary confinement, and the next day sent to a military prison in m. I don't want to talk about it, but prisoners there are often forced to "carry the cores." This means that all day long they have to drag cast-iron balls weighing nineteen kilos from place to place. So, if we talk about torment, then there is nothing more painful for prisoners than this. I remember in "Dead House" by Dostoevsky, which you once gave me to read, says that if you force a prisoner to pour water from tub to tub many times, he will certainly commit suicide from this useless work. And since the prisoners there are really engaged in such work, one can only wonder that there are no suicides among them." <<Notes from the Dead house" are also mentioned in the short story "Half the Life of Daidoji Sinske": "Shinske hated school. Especially high school, where he was so harassed… There he had to memorize a lot of unnecessary information: Dates from the history of Western European countries, chemical formulas derived without any experiments, the number of inhabitants of the largest cities in Europe and America. <...> In "Notes from the Dead House" Dostoevsky says that prisoners are ready to strangle themselves when they are forced to engage in aimless labor, like pouring water from one tub to another, and from another to the first. In the gray school building, surrounded by tall poplars, Shinske experienced the same mental anguish as those prisoners." "Cobweb" is a story about how the Buddha gave an opportunity to escape from the underworld to a terrible sinner, a villain and a murderer, because he once did a good deed - spared the spider. There is no such Buddhist legend – it was invented by Akutagawa himself. Japanese literary critics and our researcher V. Grivnin believe that this novel is inspired by an episode from The Brothers Karamazov (Part III, Chapter 3) - Grushenka's "good fable" about an onion, which one feisty, contemptuous woman once gave to a beggar. Akutagawa's attitude to Dostoevsky is directly expressed in "The Words of a Pygmy": "Dostoevsky's novels abound in caricatures. True, most of them could depress the devil himself." The influence of the Russian classic on the Japanese one can be traced by the example of the novella "Gears". This is a monologue of a man who is being treated in a psychiatric clinic, convinced that "he was one of those who went to hell for the crimes committed." There is an episode in the novel when this man talks with a believing old Christian about God and the devil, light and darkness. At the end of the conversation, the hero became interested in the old man's books. "A strong old man beyond his years turned to the bookshelf, and some kind of pastoral expression appeared on his face.

- The collected works of Dostoevsky. Have you read "Crime and Punishment"? “

However, it should be emphasized that Akutagawa was well aware that blind imitation of a foreign writer, even one as great as Dostoevsky, cannot bring positive results if one neglects one's own national traditions. For example, in the story "The Handkerchief". It demonstrates very vividly that if something is a model of behavior for a Japanese, for a European it can also turn out to be just a bad theatrical technique.

Akutagawa not only worshipped Dostoevsky, but also tried to use the achievements of the Russian classic in his own work. Moreover, it was not a mechanical borrowing, but a deep penetration into Dostoevsky's ideas.

Список литературы:

1. Акутагава Р. Сочинения: В 4 томах / Пер. с яп. В.Гривнина, Н.Фельдман. М.: Полярис, 1998. Том 1.

2. Акутагава Р. Сочинения: В 4 томах / Пер. с яп. В.Гривнина, Н.Фельдман. М.: Полярис, 1998. Т. 4.

3. Акутагава Р. Новеллы. М.: Художественная литература, 1974 («БВЛ»).

4. Гривнин В.С. Гривнин В.С. Акутагава Рюноскэ: Жизнь. Творчество. Идеи. М.: Издательство Московского университета, 1980.

5. Рехо К. Творчество Достоевского и японская литература конца XIX в. // Русская классика в странах Востока. Сб.ст. М.: Наука, 1982. 150 – 162.

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