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Reference:

The Image of Buenos Aires in Oksana Chernyavskaya's book What is Argentina, or the Logic of Absurdity

Nefedova Nadezhda Ivanovna

ORCID: 0000-0003-3102-1026

Postgraduate student, Department of the History of Modern Russian Literature and the Modern Literary Process, Lomonosov Moscow State University

142030, Russia, g. Moscow, ul. Leninskie Gory, 1

nefyodova.ni@gmail.com

DOI:

10.25136/2409-8698.2022.6.38178

Received:

24-05-2022


Published:

31-05-2022


Abstract: Domestic literary studies increasingly pay attention to modern literature in Russian created outside our country. These corpus of texts is often called Russian-language literature, literature in Russian or Russophone literature. Hence, this paper is based on the work of Oksana Chernyavskaya, an author who lives in Argentina, but writes in Russian. Notably, this author's works are virtually understudied at the moment. The research deals with the image of Buenos Aires, described in the book What is Argentina, or the Logic of Absurdity by Oksana Chernyavskaya. The study employs the methods of literary and comparative analysis. Based on the study of works by Russian and foreign scholars devoted to the image of Buenos Aires in the works of Latin American writers, as well as the book by O. Chernyavskaya the conclusion is made that the portrayal of the Argentinean capital in the book in Russian partially coincides with the image of Buenos Aires in the Latin American poetry and prose of the XX century. The text by O. Chernyavskaya also contains the image of Buenos Aires as seen by tourists and immigrants. The image of the capital is created also through the North/South and capital/ provincial dichotomies. Findings of this research can be used by students and teachers in schools, specialized secondary schools and higher educational institutions, where contemporary Russian literature (literature in Russian of the XXI century) is studied.


Keywords:

russian literature, Russian - language literature, Russophone literature, Argentina, Buenos Aires, the image of Buenos Aires, Latin America, Chernyavskaya, globalization, South

This article is automatically translated. You can find original text of the article here.

The category of space has interested scientists for many centuries. A detailed history of the study of this issue in philosophy, physics, psychology and other sciences is presented, for example, in the work of M.D. Akhundov "Concepts of space and time: the origins of evolution and prospects". In the XX century, the problem of studying space, as Yu.G. Pykhtina notes in the book "Theory and Methodology of analysis of a literary text: Spatial aspect", was one of the central ones in the works of many Russian scientists, including literary critics [9, p. 7].

Special attention of researchers during this period was paid to the study of urban space. N.P. Antsiferov, whose works are believed to have their roots in the ideas of studying urban texts by V. N. Toporov, representatives of the Moscow-Tartu semiotic school, believed that "the best natural environment for studying social phenomena in all their modifications is the city <...> the most concrete, stable, complex social organism" [2, p. 5]. "It is not necessary to prove how important the study of the city is," [5, p. 165] wrote V. Vs. Ivanov.

It is worth noting that in the XXI century. you can also see the interest of philologists in studying the text of a foreign city in the works of various writers (for example, the PhD dissertations of L. S. Prokhorova "London city text of Russian literature of the first third of the XIX century" and T. L. Vladimirova "Roman text in the works of N.V. Gogol"). There are many works as Russian (Mikheicheva E. A. and Zelentsova S. V., Kharlanova K. M., Eremenko A., Kovaleva B. V. and Zhukova A. P., etc.) and foreign ones (Wilson J., Ernest Lewald A. And others) of scientists devoted to the study of the image of Buenos Aires. Often the material for these studies are the works of Latin American writers. However, the image of the Argentine capital is also created in the book in Russian by O. Chernyavskaya, which has so far been little studied by literary critics, "What is Argentina, or the Logic of the Absurd." For these reasons, the subject of research in this article is the image of Buenos Aires, which is created in the work of O. Chernyavskaya.

Oksana Maratovna Chernyavskaya "translator from English and Spanish, member of the American Association of Literary Translators [ALTA], editor" [1, p. 286]. She was born in Moscow, worked as a simultaneous interpreter in Russia, lived in the USA, then in Asia and South America. She collaborated with local periodicals, published poems, articles and literary translations. At the moment, he has been living in Argentina for several years. "What is Argentina, or the Logic of the Absurd" is a book published in 2019. The work tells about the life of the main character in Argentina after her move from the USA.

It is worth noting that the image of Buenos Aires was also created in the works of Latin American authors. I. Terteryan describes the life of the two capital cities of Buenos Aires and Montevideo, created in the works of writers of 1920-1940, as "human anthills, social cauldrons seething with hatred and lost illusions" [11, p. 5]. K. M. Kharlanova He notes that in the works of H. Cortazar, Buenos Aires is a city in which "everything repeats itself, everything goes in a circle" [12, p. 167], which "becomes a space for revenge - cruel, perverted, almost always fatal" [12, p. 168]. In O. Hirondo's poetic texts, "Buenos Aires <...> is shown in a number of cities in both hemispheres of the Earth: Brest, Rio de Janeiro, Venice, Dakar, Seville, Biarizz, Paris, Pallanza, Vernon. <...> Buenos Aires finds itself at the intersection of cultural influences from all over the world" [7, pp. 59-60].

In O. Chernyavskaya's work, Buenos Aires also appears as a city containing features of different cultures and countries. On the one hand, there are "modern buildings like New York skyscrapers", "the steel towers of Puerto Madero, the new business center of Buenos Aires, built on the investments of multinational megacorporations and banks" [14, p. 9], "touching buildings resembling Khrushchev" [14, p. 9]. On the other hand, it is a sun-drenched city, palm trees, semi-slum panel housing, where colorful underwear flutters in the wind on the balconies "in shameless exhibitionism" [14, p. 9]. The coexistence of different cultures can also be traced at the level of sound details: so, the hotel staff first sang "international "Happy Birthday"", and then "sang "Feliz Kumple, Melina"" [14, p. 18]. There are "French, Russian, American, Italian women" on the streets [14, p. 53].

In addition, O. Chernyavskaya's Buenos Aires is distinguished by some tradition: "feminism has not yet reached here, and gender roles are clearly observed here: women of any age are clearly allowed to go ahead, they are given places and look at them in a way that no one has dared to do on the northern continent for a long time" [14, p. 16]. As well as the slowness of the locals: "I waited patiently. Ten minutes later, the clerk came out with his uniform cap askew, smiled at me and called Melina," who, in turn, "floated out satisfied" [14, p. 18]. It is noteworthy that this slowness is associated with pleasure, a smile.

Also, the motif of beauty is often traced in the perception of Buenos Aires. The beauty of the city itself: "It seemed that the architecture of the city and its inhabitants were competing in beauty" [14, p. 16]. Its inhabitants: "slender tanned bodies, deep necklines" [14, p. 16]. It is noteworthy that beauty here can be not only natural, but also created in the eyes of the beholder: women become more beautiful from the looks of men, and the latter "straighten their shoulders from the looks that accompany them, a flying gait appears, eyes light up" [14, p. 16]. In general, the city evokes the following feelings in the author: "it's hot, joyful, beautiful" [14, p. 13]. However, the author notes that after several years of living in Buenos Aires, this partly romanticized attitude towards the capital is replaced by rejection, people begin to see "the aggressiveness of a large crowd of people, the dirt of the sidewalks" [14, p. 87], the city is compared to one big garbage dump, with a lot of garbage and noise levels. The center of the capital a space important in the context of understanding the city as a labyrinth, for example, in H. Cortazar is also perceived with a certain degree of negativity: "The center of Buenos Aires is a stone bag" [14, p. 33]. And even the centers of European capitals, as the author of the book notes, are greener than the heart of Buenos Aires.

The image of Buenos Aires in the work is closely connected with the tango and the milonga space. In the reception of the hero-narrator, the capital is "the cradle of this dance" [14, p. 38]. Buenos Aires appears to be a dream city, where people come from all over the world to "learn tango, <...> get a role in one of the many tango shows <...> and spend the rest of the night on milongas" [14, pp. 56-57]. At the same time, the milonga space itself appears as a kind of portal to the past and, in general, to another reality: "there, behind the curtain, there was another world in which it seemed that the people living in it were not aware of the fact that it was the twenty-first century" [14, p. 21], and well partners familiar to each other at the milonga "accidentally meeting on the street in the afternoon, do not recognize each other" [14, p. 39]. The milonga space has its own laws: "the art of cabeceo and the milonga code" [14, p. 24]. Tango is a place and a way to enter the "tangotrans", to get into the "tangonirvana" [14, p. 38]. In addition, the dance acts as a kind of "baptism", initiation into the world of Buenos Aires and Argentina as a whole. The motive of theatricality is connected with the milonga space: "I haven't had <...> theatrical makeup on my face yet" [14, p. 23], "I also quickly became a milonga character" [14, p. 39]. Interestingly, the motif of the past, the image of a place where everything is frozen in time, connects milonga, on the one hand, with the whole of Buenos Aires and Argentina as a whole. On the other hand, together with some theatricality, it is similar to another metro city space described in the book: "most of them resembled people from old movies" [14, p. 15]. Olfactory inclusions in the description of the milonga are also involved in creating a general picture of Buenos Aires: "The smell of good perfumes <...> did not drown out the smell of old age" [14, p. 23], "the air was thick, almost heavy from a mixture of female and male perfumes and cigarette smoke" [14, p. 21].

The sound picture of the capital is also connected with the tango. So, "Milonga Sentimental" sounds from the pot-bellied radio here [14, p. 19], "the famous tango about love for Buenos Aires" is hummed on the street [14, p. 35] "Mi Buenos Aires Querido". And even the nuns "crossed themselves to the sounds of the tango floating over the tiled roofs of their cells" [14, p. 73]. Also on the pages of the book, the sound of birds chirping is mentioned several times (in the morning, "Argentine birds are chirping furiously" [14, p. 54]), which is heard in the morning or evening, at night, when the roar of cars, chanting slogans and "tapping on pots" [14, p. 273] becomes quieter on the streets of a multi-million city.

Football is also connected with the image of the city: for example, in the metro, "huge television screens broadcast a football match without sound, and the music of a tango waltz floated through the stations in poor acoustics, amid the noise of trains" [14, p. 14].

Another space inside the city that the author of the book highlights is Florida Street. On the one hand, it traces a connection with the north (with the USA at the level of the name, with Russia of the past at the level of external similarity: "Noisy, fussy, with the cries of money changers from illegal exchange points <...> Florida resembles the Arbat of the eighties" [14, p. 51]), on the other hand, it is saturated a truly Argentinean spirit: "The Maestro froze in time together with the tango melodies," [14, p. 52] the author writes about Carlinho, the host of the street tango show on Florida Street.

It is worth noting that the book presents a rich system of characters. We can say that this is a certain crosssection of the population of Buenos Aires and Argentina as a whole: from tourists and immigrants to indigenous people, from architects and builders to shopkeepers or "free lands" [14, p. 156].

At the same time, the heroes are not just individual concrete personalities, they rather demonstrate the most typical features of representatives of one or another social, professional and cultural strata of society. For example, the main character notices two painters on the street "in the showcase window of the future store" who were "learning steps to the music of "Milonga Sentimental". "Even being an optimist, it was clear that there was no less than a week before the store opened, what kind of "tomorrow" there. But it was already clear that it was not customary to rush in this city" [14, p. 19] the main heroine of the work notes to herself. It turns out that the reader is presented with the image of the most typical workers for Buenos Aires and Argentina as a whole: not in a hurry, calm to deadlines, even while working dancing tango ("advice "appreciate the present moment, live only for them, because the past cannot be returned, and the future has not yet come" they take literally" [14, p. 19]).

The capital appears to be a rather hospitable city: "Buenos Aires received us as a welcoming host and generously shared the fantasy that the ghostly essence of the universe is very close, behind the heavy cast-iron doors of Argentine mansions" [14, p. 130]. However, the city can "spit out", for example, like Ricardo, whose European pragmatism led to ruin. Or, on the contrary, to become a real home, as for Lars, who "was clearly guided by his extraordinary logic in life, which made him, a Norwegian, related to a South American country" [14, p. 137]. Buenos Aires appears as a space that turns everything upside down, changes the usual course of things: "skillfully and habitually pulls people out of the long-term framework, the norms of behavior learned and accepted by them, breaks taboos" [14, p. 56].

This kind of absurdity permeates literally all spheres of life of the city and Argentina as a whole (as mentioned in the title of the work). For example, "a bored policeman at a busy intersection looked indifferently at the crowds of pedestrians running a red light" [14, p. 17]. This seemingly lack of logic, according to the author, is partly due to the opposition of the South (Argentina) and the North (USA, Europe, Russia): "<...> to the south of the equator, the laws are radically changing, and those concepts and norms of life that are accepted here, exactly the opposite, - in congruent reflection," [14, p. 19] the author of the book notes. It is also important here that the main character identifies herself with this place: "with us, here." It is also noteworthy that this opposition can be traced not only at the behavioral, social, but also linguistic level ("in lunfardo, individual words are pronounced backwards" [14, p. 28]). And even nature obeys this law: "The South American sun <...> makes its way across the sky from right to left, contrary to all the logic of the Northern Hemisphere" [14, p. 19]. "Is it the fault of the Centauri, the Fly or the Southern Cross," [14, p. 28] for the author, it is a mystery what causes the otherness of not just behavior, but also the meaning of life of Southerners. It is noteworthy that the mentioned famous constellations of the Southern Hemisphere served for navigation, were mentioned in mythology. In literature, for example, in the works of I.A. Bunin, they could be perceived as a symbol of paradise, Christianity: "The constellation of the Southern Cross, located below, allows us to guess that it is located on the chest of the Creator" [10, p. 388]. It turns out that O. Chernyavskaya goes to the mythological and religious levels in search of an answer to the question.

The tango, which "has existed for about as long as Argentina itself" [14, p. 36], partly influences this dichotomy and the motif of the absurdity of Argentina as a whole: "Going to bed has also changed its scenery: instead of the darkness of the night, the singing of birds meeting the dawn" [14, p. 40]. Tango (like Buenos Aires itself) "pulls people out of the long-term framework, <...> breaks taboos" [14, p. 50], unlike, for example, Portland (USA), where everything goes according to plan, as in the case of one of the heroines of the book, Rosa.

In this context, the author's perception of the capital's Ezeiza airport is interesting. This space is distinguished, on the one hand, by a "lag in technology" [14, p. 8]. On the other hand, it is contrasted with American and, in general, all other airports where the author has visited before. This can be traced at the level of reception of verbal and non-verbal means of communication with employees of the air harbor. If the phrase "<...> of the usual American, pronounced in the nose "m'em"" refers to the speech of employees in the USA [14, p. 8], the look of employees of other airports during communicative acts was characterized as aloof, strict, "with boredom" [14, p. 9], then met at the airport Ezeiza the employee speaks "sensually" [14, p. 8], looks into the eyes and penetrates somewhere inside, just like the city itself" [14, p. 8]. His parting words are affectionate, and standard questions sound like "it seemed like he was going to ask for my phone number or invite me for a cup of coffee" [14, p. 8].

The Argentine metro is contrasted, on the one hand, with the Moscow one: "<...> boldly dived into the darkish mouth of the subway, not even remotely resembling the bright, luxurious palaces of the Moscow metro" [14, p. 14], "the complete absence of the smell of sweat distinguished Argentines from Russian passengers" [14, p. 15]. On the other hand, "the cult of the body, taking a shower three times a day and pouring all types of perfumes on themselves by representatives of both sexes" [14, p. 15] distinguished Argentines from Russians, Europeans, and Americans. Also, the text emphasizes some traditionalism, conservatism of the passengers of the Buenos Aires metro: "Most of them looked like people from old movies. Women were wearing shoes and skirts, which is rarely seen in the USA <...> Men in shoes" [14, p. 15]. The opposition to the north (USA, Europe, Russia), a certain otherness, a tendency to preserve traditions, poverty these characteristics allow us to perceive the Buenos Aires subway in many ways as a continuation of the characteristics of the city itself. This is somewhat different from the image of the metropolitan metro in H. Cortazar's story "Notes in a notebook": "The story draws the image of the metro as a parallel world inside the city, which can be read as a fantasy world inside the world of reality or as a manifestation of the shadow function of infrastructure" [4, p. 50].

The image of the city is also associated with the problems of globalization, as well as the Europeanization or Americanization (colonization) of Buenos Aires and Argentina as a whole. It is worth noting that these themes are also characteristic of Latin American literature of the last century. Mikheicheva E. A. and Zelentsova S. V. write that H. L. Borges in his texts "recreates the traditional "epic" Buenos Aires in opposition to the modern megalopolis that emerged in the 20s of the XX century, which lost its connection with the past" [8, p. 160] and cite as an example the quote "the cafe managed degenerate into a bar" [3, p. 243]. In the "Etymological Dictionary of the Russian language" by N. M. Shansky and T. A. Bobrova, it is indicated that the word "bar" in the meaning of "counter, restaurant where they serve at the counter" [15, p. 17] was borrowed "at the beginning of the XX century from the English. yaz., where bar "counter" goes back to the French. barre "fence, barrier"" [15, p. 17]. It turns out that the influence of Europe on Buenos Aires can be traced.

O. Chernyavskaya is talking about modernity. On the one hand, the growth of the population of the capital leads to the fact that the city becomes cramped: "Once Buenos Aires was different <...> there were plenty of empty seats in the subway cars" [14, p. 88]. On the other hand, the planting and abundance of other cultures leads to the fact that "now in the metropolitan metro you rarely see these indigenous portenos, well-dressed and well-mannered" [14, p. 89]. Slum dwellers, immigrants crowd local residents not only in the subway, but can also "survive" them from their own homes: "<...> according to Argentine law, people who seized housing and empty housing was often seized by visiting immigrants with the filing of local scammers = it is very difficult to expel them" [14, p. 104].

The idea of the destructive influence of globalization and Europeanization is embodied by the image of a house bought by a German citizen, Ricarda, who "like many visitors from the Nordic countries, literally blossomed here from warm Argentine smiles, attention of men and compliments" [14, p. 95]. What is important here is that Germany, and hence Europe, is also perceived as the north in relation to Argentina. The heroine "with German prudence" [14, p. 94] acquired a building in Buenos Aires for a boutique hotel. However, the house bought with great difficulty collapsed, because the new owner "<...> decided to build a house ... five floors, or something, it was possible according to zoning standards. Well, she thought, where there are five, there are seven" [14, p. 128]. The house could not withstand the weight of calculating northern, European changes. The building can be understood as Buenos Aires and Argentina as a whole: "The current sad state of the once magnificent mansion reflected the state of the whole country," [14, p. 97] - O. Chernyavskaya writes about another house in the New Palermo metropolitan area. And for the heroine of Ricarda, the difference in mentalities, the inability to adapt, to get into the characters, the worldview of the local population ends with the fact that she "went blind in one eye from stress. I lost my sight. That is, in general, completely" [14, p. 97] and moved to India.

O. Chernyavskaya at the same time notes a certain craving for the new and the citizens themselves: "The owners of old apartments in the city center easily parted with luxury, <...> cast-iron baths on lion paws, - they preferred practical housing of modern layout in the same type of high-rise buildings <...>. It was more like life in developed countries, watched on the screens of cinemas and televisions" [14, p. 115]. While foreigners "bought cute old apartments with stucco on high ceilings" [14, p. 115], rejoicing "after their faceless American or Australian apartments" [14, p. 115]. "Everything must be demolished!" [14, p. 128] - says the neighbor of the hero-narrator, complaining about the poor condition of old houses. It turns out that in this century, some residents of Buenos Aires want changes, crave the planting of European, American - northern, of the same type and faceless. Interestingly, Australia in this case is identified with the "north".

However, the author-narrator himself treats this rejection of "junk" rather negatively, as he compares the changes caused by the craving of citizens for freedom from the past, "which they dreamed of and which was drawn by the arrows of cranes in the blue sky of Buenos Aires, sticking skyscrapers alien to the spirit of the city into it and changing its face" [14, p. 115], theatrical makeup.

Perhaps this desire of modern "colonialists" to preserve the image of Buenos Aires is due to the fact that northern visitors treat Buenos Aires and Argentina as a whole, on the one hand, as some kind of exotic. And even the responsible and practical, cynical and at the same time vulnerable Russian Frenchwoman Lydia falls in love with the tango teacher Javier-Trence, who is compared to "an Indian chief from the Apache tribe" [14, p. 70]. The author characterizes their relationship as the adventures of a "European tourist with a local aborigine" [14, p. 72]. On the other hand, as a kind of "portal to the past", to Europe of the past centuries. While for local residents, all this antique furniture from the time of Napoleon, stucco on high ceilings was a symbol of the past (the colonization past), some residents "dreamed of" finding freedom from it [14, p. 115].

There is also another dichotomy in O. Chernyavskaya's work: "center / province". It is believed that the opposition "megapolis / province" is "one of the supporting dichotomies in the picture of the world of Argentines" [7, p. 56]. At the same time, Buenos Aires itself was initially close to a provincial city [18, p. 18]. In the XVIII century, "intensive penetration of European ideas" began in Iberoamerica as a whole [16, p. 141]. And some representatives of the Latin American Enlightenment "considered as an example of successful "Westernization" <...> the reforms of Peter I in Russia" [16, p. 143]. "After the Civil War, Buenos Aires not only gained complete political and cultural dominance over the provinces, but also began to grow feverishly <...>. <...> the appearance and atmosphere of the city were largely stylized according to the traditions of European centers, especially Paris" [17, p. 161]. And "La gran aldera" by L. V. Lopez is "a story about this transformation of a village into a megapolis" [17, p. 161], that is, Buenos Aires is perceived as a "big city".

In the work of the Argentine writer Manuel Puig, the image of a provincial city is also created as an example of "a rigid conservative society that forcibly imposes social roles and ruins human destinies" [13, p. 58]. It is noteworthy that such a characteristic in the works of M. Puig refers to both the Argentine and the Brazilian provinces. The central themes of the novels "The Betrayal of Rita Hayworth" and "Painted Lips", which are set in a small Argentine city, the prototype of which is General Villegas the writer's hometown, are "conservative and patriarchal foundations, socio-economic inequality, sexism and other provincial institutions that reigned in a small city" [13, p. 61]. It is noteworthy that, according to the researcher, the problem of unpreparedness "for changes and the adoption of a new social order <...> is not limited to the province, but also exists throughout the country" [13, p. 61], even in Buenos Aires. A.P. Chagina also draws attention in the works of M. Puig to mass culture, which "is an integral part of provincial life and influences the heroes" [13, p. 59].

In the prose of the Uruguayan writer H. K. Onetti, researchers trace the presence of the theme of alienation of the "European" city from its territory, on the one hand, and from Europe itself, on the other" [6, p. 184], when "an alienated landscape gives birth to alienated people, and therefore the relationship between them (man and man, man and the city) are sick and doomed to misunderstanding" [6, p. 185]. By "European" cities are meant Buenos Aires and Montevideo, the result of which, as researchers believe, is the city of "Santa Maria" from the novel "Short Life" by H. K. Onetti.

In O. Chernyavskaya's work, Buenos Aires also appears as an "anthill" city. While "outside of Buenos Aires it is better, cleaner, more beautiful" [14, p. 87]. "Non-metropolitan" localities are also even more archaic than Buenos Aires: "I met with a form and organization of life very vaguely reminiscent of the current millennium" [14, p. 336]. On the one hand, this highlights the material poverty of the province: "We passed shacks built from the remains of doors and broken bricks", "Small children sitting right in puddles <....> they looked at our car like savages from American westerns at white conquerors" [14, p. 280]. An indicator of poverty is often the absence of paved roads: "<....> A forgotten settlement by God, the government and asphalt plotters" [14, p. 193]. However, it is worth noting that the attitude to poverty (not only in the province, but also in the capital itself and in Argentina as a whole) is not negative: "<....> it's bad to be rich here, but it's good for the poor, and even prestigious; it's a shame to belong to the middle class" [14, p. 30], a petty thief here can become almost a national hero, a star of TV shows, and "social conditions put a knife in this guy's hands" [14, p. 149], he becomes an ideal image for a political ideology in which the president appeals "to social justice, driving into the head of fans of other people's iPhones that it is necessary to fight for this very justice, that is, to take away from others what they themselves do not have" [14, p. 145].

In addition, the province is distinguished by a more calm, measured atmosphere: "there was such a relaxed calmness and enjoyment of life in every moment of its manifestation, which you will not find in the capital" [14, p. 230]. And Buenos Aires in comparison appears to be a place where they cynically earn money without having time to live: "And I lived in Buenos Aires like this: family, work ... I earned a lot, but I was afraid to spend," [14, p. 232] - says one of the residents of the province. He calls the capital a hellish urban machine, and each of the residents is a "cog" [14, p. 233] in it. Citizens, in his view, "spend their lives in traffic jams" [14, p. 232], eat thawed hamburgers "with a tasteless side dish" [14, p. 232]. While some provincial residents can afford to really live.

On the other hand, it is in the province that the proximity to the roots, to folklore, and the lesser influence of Europeanization (civilization) is manifested in comparison with Buenos Aires: "<....> in Huhui province, shamans invoke their gods and perform pagan rituals" [14, p. 336].

The comparison also occurs at the level of connection with nature: "When it rains in the provinces, people rejoice" [13, p. 336]. In the city, when it rains, "traffic, already dense and chaotic, becomes completely unpredictable" [14, p. 334], "<....> if it rained in Buenos Aires as often as in the comfortable northwest of the USA <....>, then the Argentines would have been stuck at the previous stage of civilization" [14, pp. 335-336]. In addition, the proximity of the province to nature can also be traced at the level of smells: "Mar del Plata smells of the sea, flowers" [14, p. 235]. Residents of Buenos Aires "inhale the smells of jasmine" [14, p. 35] when the city is empty in January or in the morning or evening. In this regard, the idea of the province as a kind of "forge" of talents is noteworthy: "and everyone is also talented. What voices!" [14, p. 230], recall the players of the Argentine national football team, "sitting on multimillion-dollar contracts in European teams, communicated via satellite with the inhabitants of their native villages" [14, p. 193].

Thus, O. Chernyavskaya's work "What is Argentina, or the Logic of the Absurd" creates an image of Buenos Aires, in some ways similar to the perception of the city in the works of Latin American writers of the XX century, and in some ways - with the vision of the capital of Argentina tourists, immigrants. So, for example, the perception of Buenos Aires as an anthill, a place of intersection of different cultures, the presence of a motive of lost illusions, the connection of the city with tradition make the perception of the capital of O. Chernyavskaya related to the traditions of Latin American works. The motive of the absurd, the consideration of the image of the city from the standpoint of the dichotomies "north / south" and "center / province", the appeal to the theme of globalization, Europeanization, Americanization (colonization in general) also connects O. Chernyavskaya's work with the work of Argentine authors. A certain romanticization of the image of Buenos Aires, slowness, regularity of life and at the same time its unpredictability, tango and football all this brings O. Chernyavskaya's work closer to the perception of the city by tourists (which, for example, is presented in V. E. Andrienko's book "Argentina Mia. Three weeks on the other side of the world"). Buenos Aires appears to be a city more distant from nature, folklore, traditions than a province. Thanks to the "north/ south" dichotomy, such features of Buenos Aires as a certain backwardness, poverty, dilapidation are revealed, but at the same time benevolence, as well as ardor, temperament of both the city itself and its inhabitants are noted. It is noteworthy that the traditions of Argentina (the south) are opposed not only by the USA, Europe and Russia, but also by Australia, as a messenger, according to the author, of a disastrous influence.

The characters have, on the one hand, a plot-forming function. On the other hand, and meaning-forming. Through the selection of certain stories from the life of the heroes, the most complete picture of the life of Buenos Aires is created. Numerous details are also involved in creating the image of the city: smells (sweat, cigarettes, sometimes jasmine), sounds (tango), tastes (champagne, mate, fried meat).

O. Chernyavskaya manages to create in the book the most multifaceted image of Buenos Aires and Argentina as a whole. The author provides an opportunity to look at the city from the perspective of local residents, and from the perspective of numerous tourists and immigrants.

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One of the sections of linguistics is onomastics, it is this part that concerns topographic nominations. However, the proper name in this segment is considered not only as a literal name of a place / space, it is refracted through the prism of history, geography, architecture ... The reviewed article is focused on analyzing the image of Buenos Aires in O. Chernyavskaya's text "What is Argentina, or the Logic of the absurd". As the author notes at the beginning of his work, "the category of space has been of interest to scientists for many centuries," but there is no final answer in science yet, therefore, productivity is advisable, the material is in principle in demand and relevant. The article draws attention to the fullness of the recreated image in O. Chernyavskaya's text. In particular, it was noted that "in O. Chernyavskaya's work, Buenos Aires also appears as a city containing features of different cultures and countries. On the one hand, there are "modern buildings like New York skyscrapers", "the steel towers of Puerto Madero, the new business center of Buenos Aires, built on investments from multinational megacorporations and banks", "touching buildings reminiscent of Khrushchev". On the other hand, it is a sunlit city, palm trees, semi-slum panel housing, where colorful underwear flutters in the wind on the balconies "in shameless exhibitionism." The coexistence of different cultures can also be traced at the level of sound details...", "O. Chernyavskaya's Buenos Aires is distinguished by some traditionalism: "feminism has not yet reached here, and gender roles are clearly respected here: women of any age are clearly allowed forward, they are given places and looked at in a way that no one on the northern continent has been for a long time He doesn't dare." As well as the slowness of the locals: "I waited patiently. Ten minutes later, the receptionist came out with his uniform cap askew, smiled at me and called Melina,"who, in turn, "floated out satisfied." It is noteworthy that this slowness is associated with pleasure, a smile," etc. The research methodology has pronounced empirical signs, I think this is not bad, because the reception format provides for this section. The frequency of references / citations indicates the thoughtfulness of the concept, the arguments and examples are as voluminous as possible. I believe that the material has features of a syncretic form, so it can be actively used in the regime of many humanitarian disciplines. The full-fledged assessment of the urban space of Buenos Aires does not cause complaints and doubts; no actual inaccuracies have been identified. The analytical component of the article can be traced throughout the text. For example, it manifests itself in the following blocks: "at the same time, the characters are not just individual specific personalities, they rather demonstrate the most typical features of representatives of one or another social, professional and cultural strata of society. For example, the main character notices two painters on the street "in the window of a future store" who were "learning steps to the music of "Milonga Sentimental". "Even being an optimist, it was clear that the store was at least a week away from opening, what kind of "tomorrow" there was. But it was already clear that it was not accepted to rush in this city," the main character of the work notes to herself. It turns out that the reader is presented with the image of the most typical workers for Buenos Aires and Argentina as a whole: not in a hurry, calm to deadlines, even dancing tango while working ("the advice is "appreciate the present moment, live only by it, because the past cannot be returned, and the future has not yet come" they take literally")", or "The Argentine metro is contrasted, on the one hand, with the Moscow metro: "<...> boldly dived into the darkish mouth of the subway, not even remotely resembling the bright, luxurious palaces of the Moscow metro,""the Argentines were distinguished from Russian passengers by the complete absence of the smell of sweat." On the other hand, "the cult of the body, showering three times a day and pouring all types of perfumes on themselves by representatives of both sexes" distinguished Argentines from Russians, Europeans, and Americans. The text also emphasizes some traditionalism, conservatism of Buenos Aires metro passengers: "Most of them looked like people from old movies. The women were wearing shoes and skirts, which is rarely seen in the USA <...> Men in boots." The opposition to the north (USA, Europe, Russia), a certain otherness, a tendency to preserve traditions, poverty these characteristics allow us to perceive the Buenos Aires subway in many ways as a continuation of the characteristics of the city itself," etc. The work is distinguished by information density, the scientific component is aligned. The terms and concepts that are introduced into the text are used in a unified manner. I believe that the work is independent, the purpose of the study has been achieved, and a number of tasks have been solved. In the final block, it is stated that "Fr. Chernyavskaya manages to create in the book the most multifaceted image of Buenos Aires and Argentina as a whole. The author provides an opportunity to look at the city from the perspective of local residents, and from the perspective of numerous tourists and immigrants." The general requirements of the publication have been taken into account, the edit is unnecessary. I recommend the article "The image of Buenos Aires in O. Chernyavskaya's book "What is Argentina, or the Logic of the Absurd" for open publication in the magazine "Litera".
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