Летние морозы, зимние купанья: Аспекты никольского дискурса в поэтике М. А. Булгакова [Summer Frosts, Winter Bathings: Aspects of St. Nicholas’ Discourse in Mikhail Bulgakov’s Poetics]

Yevgeny Yablokov


The article analyzes one of the aspects of the mythological layer of Bulgakov’s works — the system of motifs related to the image of St. Nicholas — Russia’s most venerated saint. Out of two incarnations of Nikolai Ugodnik, Bulgakov is primarily interested in Nikola Zimnii: there are virtually no allusions to Nikola Veshnii (Summer) in his prose (this is also true for the writings taking place in summer: “The Fatal Eggs,” Flight, The White Guard, etc.). References to St. Nicholas intertwine with allusions to two Russian Emperors, Nicholas I and Nicholas II (see: “The Khan Fire,” Alexander Pushkin, Batum, etc). As St. Nicholas is venerated as a patron saint of sea travelers, it is not surprising that in Bulgakov’s works the connotations revealed are supplemented by water motifs — with water appearing in various aggregate states (in the form of snow, for example).


Keywords: 20th-Century Russian Literature, Mikhail Bulgakov (1991—1940), St. Nicholas of Mira (270—343), Mythopoetics, History of Literature.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22601/SR.2022.09.07


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