Title of the article:



Andrey V. Golubkov

Information about the author/authors

Andrey V. Golubkov — DSc in Philology, Professor, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Myasnitskaya St. 20, 101000 Moscow, Russia; Senior Researcher, A. M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Povarskaya, 25a, 121069 Moscow, Russia. ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7069-1033. E-mail: andreygolubkov@mail.ru


Philological sciences




Vol. 60


pp. 150–160


May 13, 2020

Date of publication

June 28, 2021



Index UDK


Index BBK



The paper examines the character of Yevgeny Bazarov and the plot structure of Ivan Turgenev’s novel Fathers and Sons versus a Western European legend of Don Juan — mostly in the version proposed by Molière in his 17th-century comedy. Bazarov’s phrase, “Two and two make four. Nothing else matters,” becomes a starting point for discussion, being compared to the response that Molière’s Don Juan gives in a dispute with his valet Sganarelle. The author analyzes the status of “two and two make four” concept in Russian literature of the 19th century and evaluates the chances that Turgenev borrowed the phrase from Molière’s play and the name of protagonist’s beloved (Anna) from the whole body of Don Juan narratives, whether directly or unintentionally. The study puts forwards a strategy for interpreting the novel plot as an unfolding of key events ascending to the legend of Don Juan. It includes addressing archetypal similarity of Arkady and Sganarelle (as well as Sancho Panza), along with functionality of the road narrative, riot motif, and conceptual congruence between the deaths of Don Juan and Bazarov, both dying as a result of somewhat infernal, cadaver-mediated interference. The paper makes an assumption that the preceding literary tradition served for Turgenev as a tool for processing a contemporary content, dealing with the emergence of а nihilist as a new social type.


I. S. Turgenev, Fathers and Sons, Moliere, Don Juan, narrative, archetypes.


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