Title of the article:



Ivan S. Leonov

Dorota Walczak

Information about the author/authors

Ivan S. Leonov — DSc in Philology, Associate Professor, Pushkin State Russian Language Institute, Akademika Volgina St., 6, 117485 Moscow, Russia. ORCID ID: http://orcid.org/0000-0002-7435-3963. E-mail: ISLeonov@pushkin.institute

Walczak Dorota — Master of History, Master of Art History, Master of Russian Philology, Postgraduate student, University of Warsaw, Krakowskie Przedmieście St., 26/28, 00-927 Warszawa, Polska. ORCID ID: http://orcid.org/0000-0001-6109-6673. E-mail: dorota.walczak1990@gmail.com


Philological sciences




Vol. 58


pp. 245-257


July 17, 2019

Date of publication

December 28, 2020



Index UDK


Index BBK



The paper discusses the nature and role of the icon`s motif in Boris Sporov’s story “Monk-The Savior”. It analyzes artistic parameters allowing to attribute this work to missionary prose (the evolution of a hero, a combination of crisis and choice-situations, the specifics of a false choice), focusing on the complex spiritual path of a person overcoming moral crisis and taking the path of reconciliation with God. The author explores the inner world of story`s main character, Ivan Korovin, displays his gradual refusal to protest against the Divine Providence, which is made possible through the knowledge of basics of icon painting. The study results in revealing that, at the first stage, the image of Christ the Punisher dominates the character’s consciousness, which is reflected in Ivan`s iconographic images of the Savior made without hands. At a later stage, the face of Christ the Punisher acquires a new shade — Christ the Sufferer, which partly draws together the hero, who had undergone moral and physical pain, and his Creator. Salvation through iconography is not a new motif to the Russian literature: B. F. Sporov remains here within the framework of the established tradition. The paper also establishes ideological and artistic parallels between the story “Monk-The Savior” and the works of Russian classical literature (Nikolai Gogol, Fyodor Dostoevsky), as well as the cinematography (Andrei Tarkovsky’s film “Andrei Rublev”).


Orthodox fiction, missionary prose, Boris Sporov, icon`s motif, character's spiritual evolution.


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