War story - what is it? The military story of ancient Russian literature
In Russia, as in modern, there are many of its differences and genres. One of these genres is the military story - a phrase that is clearly familiar to philologists, but incomprehensible to the majority of the inhabitants. What is this - military story, and what are its features?
What is the Old Russian literature
Before we talk about the genre of the military story, we should clarify for ourselves exactly what Old Russian literature is. Under this definition covers all the literature of Russia from the eleventh to the seventeenth century. One of the outstanding monuments of ancient Russian literature is considered to be the Tale of Bygone Years, which has come down to us, created by the monk Nestor. For works of this period is characterized by high spirituality and enlightenment, ideological and perfection of the artistic word. The works of this time include many works, essays on life and modern life, on pressing problems.The revered writer in ancient Russia was Vladimir Monomakh.
Definition of a military story
The military story is a subtype of the historical story, a genre prevalent in the above centuries. In addition to the military, the historical tale also included stories about various crimes of princes and boyars.
The very definition of a “war story” appeared in the works of researchers in the early twentieth century. It could be both created by Russian authors, and translated from another language and, as the name implies, reflected various military feats, showed the people's struggle against enemies, depicted all sorts of historical events. The military story is a description of the fate of the Motherland, the battle, the life of the fighters, their equipment and so on.
The first elements of the military story can be found already in the above-mentioned "Tale of Bygone Years". The main goal of such works was to demonstrate the existence of its history among the Russian people, of which it is rightfully proud. Also for military tales characteristic lyricism, coupled with patriotism, a kind of pathos and a detached assessment of the events.They are built as a statement of God's will for the implementation of certain events.
Interestingly, different researchers have different views on the origin of the military story. Someone thinks that it should be considered part of the chronicle essays devoted to military subjects, others - that this is an independent work.
Some researchers distinguish subspecies of military story: chronicle and extra-written. The first are the usual chronicle stories about military events and the fight against aliens, the second feature is the peculiar techniques used by the authors. Anyway, any kind of military narrative has its differences.
So, the peculiarities of the military story is a clearly sustained composition (it will be discussed separately below), inherent in the main character sacrifice, understanding of the need for achievement. The hero becomes a kind of martyr, that is, acquires holiness. At the same time, the central character, as a rule, is a real historical person, endowed with idealized features. This is a brave, valiant fighter, something reminiscent of the hero of the old epics.At the same time, both the main character and other positive characters are extremely religious, they spend time in prayers, dream of death as evidence of their feat and their strength. It is characteristic that a warrior is not necessarily a nobleman, a boyar or a prince, it can be a simple, serving person. Special attention was paid to the image of the enemy (s) Russian soldiers. Arrogant proud men - such was the description of all strangers who dared to attack Russia. They were opposed to the protagonist by the fact that they were striving to gain power at any price — the positive character didn’t need it, on the contrary, he was a defender of the borders of his country.
Another feature of the ancient Russian military tales are special stylistic figures. There are a lot of metaphors in them - for example, arrows fly like rain and the like. The techniques used in military tales are intended to reflect not only historical events, but also the inner experiences of the characters, the whole spectrum of their inherent emotions. In addition to metaphors, hyperbole is a very frequent method.
The story of the duel of the two most powerful warriors that precedes the main battle (the description of this battle,this battle in the work was given a huge place). By the way, the battle itself was depicted, as a rule, with the indispensable intervention of the highest heavenly forces - sometimes it was God, sometimes the angels, who were near our soldiers during the battle and inspired fear to foreigners.
Different from the main character character is the author-narrator. He has no biographical features, his task is to reflect all events as objectively as possible, without giving any attitude towards them. He is a man of mystery.
There is a slight difference in the war stories of different centuries. The stories of the eleventh and thirteenth centuries are devoted to the battles of our troops and the Pechenegs, the Polovtsy or the steppe nomads. In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, after the Mongol-Tatar invasion, the Tatars were the opponents of the Russians.
The composition of ancient Russian military stories consisted of three parts. The first is the preparation for the battle: the gathering of the squads, the indispensable speech of the prince before his troops, the prayer of the soldiers.
The second part of the composition includes the story about the battle itself - the march, the duel of two fighters (he often predetermined the outcome of the whole battle) and the battle.The third part - a description of the consequences of the event and an optimistic ending (even if the battle was not in favor of the Russians).
As mentioned earlier, the main theme of the military story is the struggle against various conquerors, a description of historical events and real characters. Military tales, thus, is a wonderful narrative for studying the history of Ancient Russia.
Examples of military story
Among the works related to this genre, the following can be singled out: “The Tale of Bygone Years”, “The Word about Igor's Regiment”, “The Tale of the Ruin of Ryazan by the Khan Batu”, “The Tale of the Life of Alexander Nevsky”, “The Tale of the Taking of Tsargrad”, “ Kazan Tale.
Also examples of the military story are "The Tale of the Azov Seat of the Don Cossacks", "The Tale of the Mamai Massacre", "The Tale of the March of the Polovtsi Novgorod-Seversky Prince Igor Svyatoslavovich" and so on.
“Word about Igor's regiment”
The traits of the military story are viewed in the well-known "Word of the Regiment of Igor". The main characters of this work are directly related to the war. All events take place with the Grand Prince Igor in his campaign against the Polovtsy.The stylistic figures “Words” and images evoke memories of military tales, as well as the theme of courage that permeates the entire work.
"The Tale of the Ruin of Ryazan Batu"
This work was created as much in the thirteenth century and has survived to the present day. His composition fully corresponds to the structure of the military story, as well as the character and description of the central character. There is a description of the prayer, and preparation for the battle, and special military formulas, and metaphors. This work is considered one of the best examples of the military story.
Interesting facts about ancient Russian literature
- The first chronicles that have reached our time are dated to the thirteenth century.
- Until the sixteenth century, literature was handwritten.
- In ancient Russian literature was not fiction.
- Old Russian literature was anonymous.
- Old Russian literature was divided into secular and spiritual. War story - is secular, secular literature.
Military novels are the most important, integral part of Russian literature, and to know about their existence is compulsory for every educated person.