Father and His Family (Genre Originality of L. Petrushevskaya’s Story “The New Robinsons”, 1989)

2023. № 3, 80-86

Oleg A. Lekmanov, National University of Uzbekistan named after Mirzo Ulugbek (Uzbekistan, Tashkent), lekmanov@mail.ru


The article deals with the genre originality of Lyudmila Petrushevskaya’s
story “The New Robinsons”. The story, fi rst published in 1989, masquerades
as a Robinsonade, a dystopia, and a sample of village prose (with
its admiration for the peasants and peasant women of pre-revolutionary
times), but the true goal of Petrushevskaya is much more ambitious: the
story is an invariant of the biblical story about the rebirth of humankind
after a global catastrophe. The very title of the story directly indicates the
genre of robinsonade. One can easily single out elements of dystopia in the
story with the help of text analysis, as well as intertextual references to
the prose of village writers (mainly, Alexander Solzhenitsyn and Valentin
Rasputin). The key phrase of the story “The New Robinsons” refers to biblical
sources: “There was a boy and a girl for the continuation of the human
race.” In this light, it becomes clear why Petrushevskaya, seemingly casually,
reports that the narrator’s father once injured “in the thigh” and remained
forever lame. It is a reference to Jacob, who was once injured “in the thigh”
when he fought with God. He, just like the narrator’s father, spent most of his life on the run, and was the one, from whom the twelve tribes of the
Jewish people eventually originated.

For citation:

Lekmanov O. A. Father and His Family (Genre Specifi cs of L. Petrushevskaya’s Story “The New Robinsons”, 1989). Russian Speech = Russkaya Rech’. 2023. No. 3. Pp. 80–86.