Functioning of Comparative Tropes in E. Vodolazkin’s Novel “Chagin”

2023. № 4, 102-112

Natalia A. Nikolina, Moscow Pedagogical State University (Russia, Moscow),
Zoya Yu. Petrova, V. V. Vinogradov Russian Language Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Russia, Moscow),


The article discusses the use of metaphors and similes in the text of E. Vodolazkin’s latest novel “Chagin”. The study has shown that the functioning of comparative tropes in the novel is closely related to the nature of its narrative: metaphors and similes are involved in the differentiation of the subject-speech plans of the narrators and perform a characterological function. The study shows that the tropes including precedent names and quotation inclusions are often used in the novel. The text of the novel is characterized by a punning clash of direct and fi gurative meanings of lexical units with wordplay involving a number of phraseological units, catchphrases, and clichés. The distinctive features of the style of the novel “Chagin” are the literalization of the metaphors in the text, which can be both contact and distant in nature and actualize the derivational connections of lexical units. The article shows that the tropes used in the text of the novel are often based on the depicted reality. What is more, particular attention is paid to the role of comparative tropes in identifying and deploying the key themes of the work: the theme of memory and the theme of fi ction (fantasy). It is concluded that these topics are accentuated in the text with the help of tropes, the subject of comparison in which are the names of mental entities (memory, oblivion, recollection, memorization and fantasy).

For citation:

Nikolina N. A., Petrova Z. Yu. Functioning of Comparative Tropes in E. Vodolazkin’s Novel “Chagin”. Russian Speech = Russkaya Rech’. 2023. No. 4. Pp. 102–112. DOI: 10.31857/S013161170027463-8


The work was supported by the Russian Science Foundation grant No. 23-28-00060 “Dynamics of comparative constructions and types of their interaction in modern Russian prose”.