“Songs of the Soul”: the Novel “Humiliated and Insulted” by F. M. Dostoevsky in the Language of the Musical “Vladimirskaya Square”

2021. № 6, 112-127

Andrej A. Akulov, The Pushkin State Russian Language Institute (Russia, Moscow), andruak2@yandex.ru


The article deals with the problem of recoding a literary work from a verbal system to a musical one that causes transformation both at the libretto and score levels. The subject of the study is the “translation” of the novel “Humiliated and Insulted” by F. M. Dostoevsky into the “language” of the musical “Vladimirskaya Square”, in which the writer has two coauthors: librettist Verbin and composer Zhurbin. The author compares the novel text with the libretto, as well as their semantics with the meanings introduced by melodic constructions, and searches out examples of verbal and music codes’ convergence, using corpus, textual, intertextual and semiotic analysis methods and data from Russian National Corpus related to Dostoevsky’s use of the lexemes of the semantic clusters “Music” and “Singing”. The Language of Fiction Язык художественной литературы The study analysed the ideological fi eld of the novel and the musical, the plot, the system and the images of the characters and the narrator. The musical parts of the characters are seen as the as “songs” of their souls in comparison with the key episodes of the original source, and the leitmelodies, which form, based on the verbal characteristics of the characters, their i mages in the musical code. The author draws a conclusion that it was possible and appropriate to transcode Dostoevsky’s melodrama into the melodic system of the musical.

For citation:

Akulov A. A. “Songs of the Soul”: the Novel “Humiliated and Insulted” by F. M. Dostoevsky in the Language of the Musical “Vladimirskaya Square”. Russian Speech = Russkaya Rech’. 2021. No. 6. Pp. 112–127.
DOI: 10.31857/S013161170017983-0.