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Utopia and Dystopia as Two Facets of Artistic Reality in V. P. Krapivin's novel "Green's Ampoule"

Sukhikh Ol'ga Stanislavovna

Doctor of Philology

Professor, the department of Russian Literature, Institute of Philology and Journalism, Natioanal Research Lobachevsky State University of Nizhny Novgorod

603000, Russia, Nizhegorodskaya oblast', g. Nizhnii Novgorod, ul. Geroya Bykova, 12, of. kv. 50

Other publications by this author










Abstract: The object of literary analysis in this article is V. P. Krapivin's novel "Green's Ampoule", the subject of the study is the features of utopia and dystopia in the artistic world of this work. Its genre nature is complex and multifaceted, but the signs of utopia and dystopia, from the point of view of the author of the work, are clearly visible in the text. The study of social and moral-philosophical issues characteristic of the genres mentioned above is being conducted. The author also analyzes the features of the poetics of this work, which work to create images of dystopian and utopian worlds. The method of holistic analysis helps to identify the relationship between two toposes: Empire and the city of Insom and features of two genres: dystopia and utopia. The study of these genre components of "Ampoule Green" is conducted for the first time and allows us to come to the following conclusions. The image of the Empire, which is associated with the dystopian component of the novel, is the embodiment of totalitarianism, and the life of this country is marked by a deep contradiction of the interests of the individual and the state. The image of the Free City of Insk bears the features of utopia. Describing his life, the author uses the technique of breaking expectations. The assumptions of the reader and the hero playing the role of a traveler in a utopian world are motivated by patterns typical of a society that is far from ideal, and they are refuted by the reality of Insk, where goodness and harmony reign in human relations. It is not by chance that the novel presents the hypothesis that Insk arose from the materialized fantasy of children. If the image of the Empire has the features of the world of the beginning of the XXI century, when the novel was created, then the image of Insk is replete with details related to the past. It is natural to assume that dystopian features for the author are embodied in the present, and utopian in the past, in the memories and impressions of childhood, that is, the world of adulthood is represented as dystopian, and the world of childhood is represented as utopian.


Krapivin, "Green's Ampule", plot, genre, topos, utopia, dystopia, Great Crystal, personality, state

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

The work of V. P. Krapivin is studied by literary critics, evaluated by critics, publicists in various aspects. Most often it is considered from the point of view of philosophical and ethical, which can be seen, for example, in the work of E. Velikanova [1], and V. Kaplan in the article "Vladislav Krapivin's books: why you shouldn't hide them from children" (electronic magazine "Foma" dated 14.10.2018) sees religious and ethical issues in the writer's works. V. Krapivin's special view on the upbringing of a child, his place and role in the world is often noted this is discussed, for example, in L. Andreev's work "The Romantic Image of childhood in V. Krapivin's prose" (it can be found on the Infopedia website), in A. Nyanin's 1989 study. "The character of a teenager in Vladislav Krapivin's trilogy "Boy with a Sword"". The specifics of the fantastic beginning in the artistic world of V. Krapivin are also studied these are the works of O. Vinogradova "The author's model of the world and the person in it in the philosophical and allegorical prose of Vladislav Krapivin" and V. Talalaev "Topologies of the worlds of Krapivin" (both articles are posted on the website "Russian Fiction"), the dissertation of E. Velikanova "Cycle "In the depths of the Great Crystal"V. P. Krapivin: problematics and poetics" (Petrozavodsk, 2010. 290 p.). The artistic principles and techniques of the writer are considered, for example, in the dissertation of Yu. A. Anikina "The specifics of conflict in the artistic world of V.P. Krapivin" (Volgograd, 2014. 167 p.), in the article by A. Sidorova "Anthroponyms in the trilogy V. Krapivina "On the night of the Big tide"" (the website "Russian Fiction"), in the study of I. Sergienko [2]. There are also journalistic works about the significance of V. P. Krapivin's creativity, its general orientation such, for example, are the articles by A. Smirnov "The Era of the Commander. Why Krapivin did not want to enter the school curriculum" ("Arguments and facts" from 09.09.2020), A. Pevchev and D. Efremova "Salute to the Commander: what Vladislav Krapivin's books teach" ("Izvestia iz" from 01.09.2020). As for the novel "Green's Ampoule", it has not yet been the focus of attention of the authors of articles and dissertations, the features of utopia and dystopia in it have not yet become the subject of special literary research, which is why the scientific novelty of this work is connected.

The method of holistic analysis, which, in our opinion, is most adequate to the chosen angle of analysis of the work of V. P. Krapivin, allows us to trace how "interrelated patterns" are created in the inner world of a work of art [3, p. 75]. This makes it possible, through the study of various aspects of the poetics of the novel, to get closer to understanding the author's concept of utopian and dystopian worlds.

V. P. Krapivin's novel "Ampoule of Green", like almost all the works of this writer, is devoted to the theme of childhood, on the one hand, and the theme of the totalitarian state, on the other. The point of intersection of these lines is the image of Grisha Klimchuk, or Green, as he was nicknamed. The boy turns out to be a victim of the state policy of the Empire, against the laws of which his father went. However, in the course of the plot, the child finds shelter in a kind and happy "righteous land" in the Free City of Insk, where he finds family, friends, hope, happiness. In the work we have two topos depicted according to the principle of antithesis, and this is due to the presence of artistic features of two genres: utopia and dystopia.

Utopia as an image of an ideal society in which order, equality, confidence in the future reign, and dystopia, where order turns into unfreedom, equality unification, and confidence in the future stagnation, are two sides of the same coin, so these two genres have a genetic relationship, and sometimes they are called different modifications of one and of the same genre, for example, A. Vorobyova in the abstract of the dissertation research "Russian dystopia of the XX beginning of the XXI century in the context of world dystopia" (Saratov, 2009. 49 p.) claims that they have one genre nature; the relationship with the utopian beginning is noted in the genre of dystopia by B. A. Lanin and M. M. Borishanskaya [4]; E. Gevorgyan also speaks about the close connection of utopian and dystopian principles [5]. N. B. Yakusheva's dissertation "Transformation of utopia into dystopia in the culture of the XX century" (St. Petersburg, 2001. 199 p.) presents the patterns of the transition of the utopian beginning to the dystopian; Yu. A. Zhadanov deduces the source of dystopia from the utopia crisis [6]; S. G. Shishkina notes that dystopia invariably accompanies utopia [7] O. Demidova interprets these genres as ambivalent, borrowing features of each other [8]. A.V. Berezhnaya, A. S. Veremchuk and G. V. Sorokin in their article prove that the concept of "utopia" includes a wide range of meanings, from the ideal to the totalitarian anti-ideal [9]. Flexible genre education represents A. A. Fayzrakhmanov's utopia [10]. Sometimes researchers see signs of utopia and dystopia in the same work, for example, in E. Zamyatin's novel "We": "... along with the gloomy picture of a Single state, the image of the World beyond the Green Wall lives in the novel the personification of primitive happiness, the unity of man with nature" [11, p. 158]. The Green Wall separates two worlds that seem to exist separately, but they are on the same earth, they are close, they touch, and a person has the opportunity to penetrate from one to the other, as the O-90 does.

Similarly, in V. P. Krapivin's novel, two worlds coexist: on the one hand, the Empire, its cities Pavlograd, Gornozaboysk, Novo-Zatorsk on the other hand, the Union of Free Cities, which includes Insk. Only these two topos are not geographically delimited, as E. Zamyatin has a Single State and the World beyond the Green Wall, there is no "wall" between them.

The Empire and the Union of Free Cities, and, respectively, Insk and Novo-Zatorsk in V. P. Krapivin's novel are two different facets of reality. The concept of his cycle "In the depths of the Great Crystal" is that the universe is a crystal with many facets and each of them is a certain modification of reality. Similarly, in the "Ampoule of Green" (this novel is not formally included in the cycle about the Great Crystal, but is adjacent to it), Pavlograd and NovoZatorsk are on the same side, with modern buildings, with imperial laws, with hostile relations of people. On the other Insk, with log cabins, carved platbands, green courtyards, poplars and dandelions (poplars and dandelions are indispensable attributes of the truly Krapivinsky world, native and close to the author space), with kind and sympathetic people.

As far as the "imperial" Novo-Zatorsk and the "Free City" Insk differ externally, the social laws of the two worlds are just as opposite to each other. An empire is a state with a monarchical form of government, with a single power center, its entire territory is economically and politically subordinated to this power. In V. P. Krapivin's novel, the word "empire" takes on the meaning of a proper name: it is the name of the state in which the action of the work takes place. At the same time, such a name clearly contains a generalization, as, for example, the City in Bulgakov's "White Guard". It is obvious that, although the domestic realities are recognizable, by Empire we mean a totalitarian state in principle. The dystopian component of the problematic and poetics of the novel is connected with this. In dystopia, the question of the relationship between the individual and the state is almost always raised with particular acuteness: an attempt to create an ideal social system results in the fact that the state sacrifices those whose interests somehow do not coincide with the principles of a rationally organized "anthill". In the novel "Green's Ampoule", as in other fantastic works by V. P. Krapivin ("Tales of fishermen and fish", "Geese, Geese, ha-ha-ha", "The Rooster's Cry", "Outpost on the Anchor Field", etc.), the emphasis is placed on a certain aspect of this problem on the conflict of the child and the state system. This problem is also present in V. P. Krapivin's realistic works, such as "Grandmother's Grandson and his brothers", "The Bronze Boy", "Blue City on Sadovaya", "Seven Pounds of the Wind", "Daggi-Tic", because "the main theme of his works both realistic and fantastic remains the situation of children in the modern world" [12], he is highly characterized by the ability to "look" deep into the child" and see more than what just lies on the surface" [13, p. 79]. In these stories and novels there is an idea that the trends of social development, socio-political priorities of the state come into conflict with the principles of humanity and, in particular, with the protection of the interests of children. Hence the very frequent plot move implemented by V. P. Krapivin in the works of the realistic direction: "the powers that be", guided by the interests of officials, politicians, influential businessmen, sacrifice a children's theater, club, etc. No less often the writer considers a situation in which a school puts pressure on a child who does not fit into the system this is another a variant of the artistic embodiment of the problem of the individual and the state / child and the state, since the school is nothing but a "model" of the state, only on a small scale. Such trends can be seen in V. P. Krapivin's novels and novellas "A Lullaby for a Brother", "A Boy with a Sword", "Tales of Sevka Glushchenko", "The Bronze Boy", etc. However, in the writer's realistic works, the conflict between the child and the state system remains mostly in the subtext, since a direct clash between a teenager and the "powers that be" would represent a departure from the principle of life-likeness. Fiction allows us to reveal this problem, so to speak, in its purest form, to sharpen the contradiction by showing a direct confrontation between the child and the authorities. This is what happens in V. P. Krapivin's novel "Green's Ampoule".

On the territory of the Empire, which lives under the rule of the Regent, there is a radical political group "Yellow Hair", which is secretly supported by the ruling elite. It is worth paying attention to the name of the organization, which at first glance looks somewhat strange for a political movement, but it cannot be accidental, there must be a reason for this "strangeness". Probably, the writer put a certain symbolic meaning into this name. Hair was usually considered a symbol of power, strength, both personally and socially. At the same time, the hair on the head was associated with the power of the spirit, while the hair on the body was associated with physical strength, and sometimes with demonism [14]. Note that in V. P. Krapivin's novel, the characters call representatives of the radical organization "hairy", and the word "hairy" evokes an association with "vegetation" on the body rather than on the head. If the author put a symbolic meaning into the name "Yellow Hair", then there was clearly a negative component in it, possibly associated with a spiritless, purely physical force, and dark in nature. The same is said by the mention of yellow. Its symbolic meaning is twofold. It is associated with both solar and "golden" symbols, as well as with the concepts of betrayal, withering, and soreness [14]. In the context of the novel, the symbolism of a morally ill society is obviously actualized.

This radical political group promotes an extremely rational structure of society in which every "cog" is in its place and performs its function, benefiting the social system as a whole: "Every living individual should be useful to the structure in which it exists. In our case, Empires" [15]. The main plot knot of the novel is connected with the fact that the "Yellow Hair", and with it the authorities supporting him, profess the idea of social "genocide", but at the same time they strive to "save face" and really do not want the masses to know about their true intentions. The idea of optimal functioning of the state mechanism implies getting rid of the "ballast", that is, helpless old people, street children, sick children: "There is no cruelty here. It's just that the system understands: these children <...> will not be able to be full-fledged members of society, they will become freeloaders. Just like millions of street children, pensioners, homeless, disabled They are all like sand in the polished rollers of the system mechanism. And in order for the mechanism to spin without a creak, it is necessary to get rid of sand" [15] this is how his classmate Merkushin explains to Valery Zubritsky, who is trying to recruit him into the camp of supporters of the "rational" world order and calls this program the purification of society from "garbage" in the name of progress. For the plans of the "Yellow Hair", the information collected by journalist Yuri Klimchuk poses a real threat, as a result, Klimchuk himself is arrested, his wife dies in a house fire. Their son Grisha is brought up in orphanages and boarding schools, and later his life is in danger because the authorities are trying to find and destroy the information and documents collected by his father. The boy becomes a victim of state policy we have a recognizable concept of building a "right" society since the time of Dostoevsky, which is based on the "teardrop of a child".

As in almost any dystopia, a system conceived for the sake of optimizing the social structure turns out to be inhumane and causes suffering to a person, including a child. One of the embodiments of this system in the novel "Ampoule of Green" is "mentuhai", that is, representatives of law enforcement agencies, from whom Grisha was once forced to defend himself. The eloquent neologism of the writer, formed as a contamination of the words "cop" and "turntable", immediately outlines the nature of the activities of these people. The personification of the system, with its anti-humanism, are also the employees of the special school, whose function is to control the child, keep him within certain limits and cause fear of any going beyond these limits. On the other hand, even Morgan's gang, which Grisha falls into in the course of the plot, is also part of the system. Although it seems to be an informal structure consisting of homeless teenagers, but it is a community formed in the Empire and living, in fact, within the same principles as the whole Empire. Control over the personality, perceived not as a free individual, but as an element of the system that performs its function, is the main of these principles. It also implies another pattern the existence of a repressive system, which exists even in a gang of teenagers.

The Empire seems to have a well-established and outwardly prosperous life, but as soon as a person shows "out of system", a threat immediately looms over him, which is characteristic of the plot of a dystopia. Let's recall the Zamyatin novel "We", where I-330 becomes a victim of violence, D-530 undergoes surgery to remove the fantasy, O-90 is forced to flee. There are similar plot moves in the novel by V. P. Krapivin. This is how it turns out with Valery, who does not accept the idea of cleaning society from "human garbage", showing "remnants of intellectual humanity" [15], according to Merkushin. Senior officer Glukhov, seeking to save the cadet, directs him to Insk, because only there he has a chance to survive. The fate of the Klimchuk family turned out to be much more tragic when the journalist collected materials exposing the "Yellow Hair" and the government officials behind it. The Empire is a world in which soldiers "run from bullying in the barracks," students who show freedom of thought, "the Regent's internal guard disperses with batons," and street children are "beaten in special detention centers" [15].

The image of a totalitarian state in the novel "Ampoule of Green" is given in the traditions of both domestic and world dystopias, but with a certain emphasis: in Krapivinsky dystopia, the "measure of all things" becomes the fate of a child. And the main author's intention is to emphasize that the "teardrop of a child" is not justified even for the sake of building an optimal social system.

However, as mentioned above, the novel has not only a dystopian, but also a utopian beginning.

Utopia, as you know, is a place that does not exist, and yet in a certain sense it is: it exists in the imagination of the author and in the mind of the narrator, who is usually a traveler who admires the picture of an ideal society. The same can be said about the image of the city of Insk in the novel "Green's Ampoule". The ambivalence of this image, its reality and unreality at the same time, is already emphasized by the epigraph, which is a dialogue between a traveler and a ticket seller:

" Girl, please, one place to Insk.

There is no such settlement!

Ah... well, yes, of course. But still one ticket, please.

Forty-two rubles and thirty kopecks... look for three dimes, I don't have any change for change

Conversation at the ticket office of passenger boats" [15].

The novel mentions that, according to the officials of the Empire, Insk does not exist, and Valery does not find it on the map, which is not at all surprising in Insk itself. This can be interpreted in two ways. Perhaps the author emphasizes that the Empire, with its ostentatious wellbeing and rationalism, does not want to recognize the existence of a Union of Free Cities, and Insk in particular, because it threatens to shake the foundations, or disrupt the "balance of order", as the dystopian Benefactor expressed in another Krapivin story - "Children of the Blue Flamingo". After all, Insk, a city with a "talking" name, is really the center of other principles of life, the embodiment of other human relations, other foundations of being, another reality existing on a different facet of the Great Crystal than Novo-Zatorsk and the whole Empire. But, perhaps, the point is not at all that the "imperial" consciousness does not recognize Insk, but that he really does not exist in any reality: the image of Insk, like the Utopia of T. More, the City of the Sun of T. Campanella, etc., is the author's ideal, not embodied in reality. But that doesn't mean it doesn't exist at all. He is in the mind of the writer, and he is in the art world, besides, the author probably expected that he would stay and live in the mind and soul of the reader.

In the role of a traveler, before whom the world of utopia opens, in the novel "Ampoule of Green" is Valery Zubritsky, transferred to the Ins Institute of Rescue Services at the Faculty of Non-standard Technologies. He is surprised to get acquainted with both the appearance of the city and the "nonstandard" patterns of life of its inhabitants, and with it the reader.

It is not by chance that, depicting the first days of Valery's life in Insk, the writer so often uses the technique of violating expectations, and, one might say, the expectations of both the hero and the reader, because Valery proceeds from what is typical in our life. For example, when he sees a Bald Man, awkwardly, as if limping running around the yard, the first thing that comes to his mind is that someone is chasing the boy, and it turns out that he is conducting an experiment with a flying chair. When Lysh tells how he made a mistake in a poem of his own composition, Valery immediately assumes that he was given a bad grade, but it turns out that the teacher rated the work a five. When a law enforcement officer approaches Valery, who has fallen asleep on a bench, the hero assumes that he will be accused of violating social norms, and Lieutenant Petryaev says "unexpectedly in a peculiar tone": "You didn't violate anything I just go and look, a man has laid down. So I thought, maybe you have a problem?" [15].

Describing the utopian world of Insk, the writer draws attention not to the social organization, not to the economic and legal realities, like the utopians of former times, but, above all, to the special spirit of Insk the atmosphere in which man is a brother to man.

Here, unlike the cities of the Empire, there are no bars on the windows of houses and in general the windows are not closed in the warm season. There are no orphanages here because there are no street children. There is a monument to the letter "I" the connecting union, so that the guys do not quarrel with each other. In this society, any new person is accepted, and he feels in the realm of empathy and friendly communication. When Valery appears in the city, even the lady who made a remark to him is perceived by him not hostile, but about the same as an elderly, prim, but fair teacher or a strict, but kind old neighbor. The boys treat Valery with toffee, a random passerby tells him about the city, and a policeman approaches him not to point out a violation of order, but to offer help.

Another traveler, whom fate throws into an unusual city, is Grisha Klimchuk, and he is ready to give anything for the opportunity to stay in Insk, because here he sees only kind people and good relationships. It is not customary to swim alone here, so that no one is left alone with the elements, which can become dangerous. There are no orphanages and boarding schools here, because a child who has lost his parents finds a new family. Here, a fight between boys becomes such an emergency that almost the whole city discusses. Here May leaves a lighthouse cathedral built of sand on the shore and is not afraid that it will be destroyed.

Speaking about the life and being of Insk, the writer practically does not use "narrative in the structure of anxiety" [16, pp. 92-93], except for those moments when they try to interfere with the life of the city from the outside, anxiety and tension are not characteristic of Insk himself.

It is no accident that both Valery and Grisha feel at home in Insk.

In the artistic world of V. P. Krapivin, the image of a house, a topos, which is associated with such concepts as security, comfort, love, family, has always been of the greatest importance with everything that is necessary for a person in general, but especially for a child. The house is one of the basic values for the heroes of Krapivin's works, both realistic and fantastic. However, this is typical not only for his work, this feature can be noted in the artistic world of many authors, she, as Yu. Lotman, comes from folklore, and from the world, not just Russian: "... among the universal themes of world folklore, a great place is occupied by the opposition of the House (its own, safe, cultural, protected by the patronizing gods of space) to the Antidome ..." [17, p. 748]. If the Empire is the "Antidome" for Valery and Grisha Klimchuk, then Insk becomes a home for them, and not only for them for all residents of the city, it is not by chance that Grisha calls this city cozy on the first impression: "Cozy like this" [15] this is usually what they say about the house. The image of the House in V. P. Krapivin's novel can be understood as a marker of an ideal world, a kind of "righteous land", because here the characters feel happy, and this applies not only to personal "arrangement". Here the child never feels superfluous, because in this world every day becomes a "gift to children" in the spirit of humanistic educational systems [18]. Here humanism and truth triumph, here people are people in the highest sense of the word in such a world, everyone feels good at home.

Valery, who arrived in Insk, immediately gets used to a new space for him, sees in the woman Klava, in the girl Yuna, in the lieutenant Petryaev practically native people. Grisha finds friends and family in Insk, who takes him in, and then finds his father again. The image of Insk has the features of a topos native to the heroes, colored by the warmth of good emotions, associated with a certain way of life, which can be called idyllic in its own way. This is evident even in toponymy. For example, the central street "in Novo-Zatorsk is called Imperial, and in Insk Sadovaya" [15]. Green Courtyards, Skvortsovsky Lane, Maple Lane, Lugovskoy Passage, June Noon Street, Kolokolchikov Passage, Kukushkin Garden, Rybkin wasteland in this space, the names of many places seem to focus on the nature surrounding the residents of Insk. The unity of man and nature is one of the facets of V. P. Krapivin's ideal. It is no accident that he loves to depict poplars, dandelions, thickets of burdock or willow-tea and similar simple images of the most ordinary, but close to man, "disordered" nature. This reminds the reader of the garden where the Timurovites had their headquarters at Gaidar, whose work V. P. Krapivin greatly appreciated. "In Timur and his team, the garden is abandoned, acquires the features of wild nature..." noted in the article by I. S. Yukhnova [19, p. 129]

Another image that has become an attribute of the ideal world in the novel is the church. In the courtyards of the Ina, Valery sees old bell towers. Grisha, having got to Insk, goes "along a wide street where clusters of lilacs hung through lattice fences, and a church with green domes was bright white in front" [15], and then, looking at the city from a hill, he sees: "Here and there bell towers were white. The golden tops were burning. And over the green domes of the cathedral, the tops of the crosses also sparkled" [15]. In the perception of V.P. Krapivin, the church is not so much a religious center (in the novel, the inhabitants of Insk are not focused on religious canons, rituals), as a symbol of the Christian values that this city lives by. Looking at the church, Grisha remembers that he did not meet a single bad person in Insk, and a warm feeling of gratitude and hope is born in his soul at the same time. The church in the novel "Ampoule Green" is a kind of lighthouse for people, like the cathedrallighthouse "Pulpit de la Mar", which builds May out of sand.

The two topos depicted in the novel are not only different facets of reality, they are also images of different times.

Insk, when we see it through the eyes of Valery Zubritsky, who arrived there, looks like an island of antiquity in the world of high-rise buildings, cell phones, etc. Here the boys find an old steering wheel, here on the station building hangs a "peeling enamel sign with old-fashioned letters: INSK" [15], here "the lieutenant of the municipal guard Petryaev ... looks ... like a young policeman-a newcomer from a movie about the everyday life of the criminal investigation department of a century ago" [15], here a confectionery factory produces iris "Kis-kis", which is not found in modern stores, here a wooden staircase and rusted rails, between which burdocks and ivan tea grow - everything looks like a "reserve" of former times. "Wow, what an old man!" Grisha thinks about Inska, just like Valery.

In the narrative about Insk, references to the Internet, mobile phones, baseball caps and breeches are perceived as alien inclusions. However, the Indian children use not so much the Internet as the Information Room, which has a different nature: "... as if the Earth itself began to absorb information. Especially in their crystalline masses. Probably to save all the memory for future times. And every person can add whatever he wants to this memory" [15], and various kinds of negative radiation are silenced here by Baba Klava's tile, Maxim Maksimovich's samovar and Petya's coffee maker from the Kuznechnaya Pier objects that have magical properties and embody the protection of Insk from the Empire. In general, from the era of the beginning of the XXI century, only external attributes, such as baseball caps worn by boys, remained in the Indian reality, otherwise "old-fashioned" reigns here.

The Empire, on the contrary, embodies the present, with its laws, largely inhumane.

So, the Empire and Insk are the present and the past, and such an antithesis in the novel is filled with another meaning: these two topos in the artistic world of V. P. Krapivin symbolize adulthood and childhood.

The past has attractive features, like Polenovsky's "Moscow Courtyard", with which the old man from Insk compares the area of Green Courtyards. And the real one it seems to be modernized, civilized, using the latest technologies, but cold and alien, like the project "Newsity", which was indignantly rejected in Insk, preferring one-story and two-story houses and front gardens with lilacs and apple trees. Perhaps this is just related to the fact that for the author the past is associated with childhood. In the works of V. P. Krapivin, even a post-war, hungry and unsettled childhood gives a sense of a certain norm of life, the correctness of its laws, according to which the child and mother are inseparable, friendship is the basis of relations, justice triumphs, good is stronger than evil. This gives rise to the understanding of childhood as a bright time, despite the external troubles, whereas the present is often perceived by the writer as a decadent era, despite the external features of progress. If we consider the works of V. P. Krapivin at the beginning of the XXI century, for example: "The Blue City on Sadovaya", "Seven pounds of the topsail wind", "Daggi-Tic", "Poplars", they show a world largely hostile to man in general and children in particular. This is very similar to the dystopian reality, in which, as a rule, "tragedy and absurdity", "a sense of explosiveness and catastrophism" are embodied [20, p. 13]. And a child in such a world survives with difficulty. "... Our world resembles a dark midnight in a minefield. But, however, to live (and be happy!) you can even here, having a detailed map reflecting the location of mines. The works of V. P. Krapivin are something like such a map," A. Melnikov writes in his article [21].

If we recall the writer's works about the 1940s-1950s: "The Shadow of the Caravel", "Once Played", "Slavka from Herzen Street", etc., then they just represent the "right", basically kind world and the chronotope corresponding to it, bright, native, with backwoods and overgrown streets, old houses, simple everyday life and at the same time with kind and truly human relationships. Of course, both good and evil exist there, there are conflicts, and everything is not cloudless there, but there, on the whole, the picture of life is painted in bright colors, imbued with warmth and sincerity. Perhaps that is why the utopian beginning in the novel "Green's Ampoule" is connected precisely with Insk as a "reserve" of the past, the embodiment of childhood. After all, Valery here feels like "a boy in a yellow uniform shirt and with white scratches on his tan" [15], and Grisha in the Vetkin house remembers his early childhood, when he had a house, when he was called Grishenka, as Aunt Marusya now called him. And it is no coincidence that there is a legend that Insk was built by children playing, and then it came to life thanks to their imagination and emotions.

Insk has its own history, covered with legends, but this does not prevent the fact that its spirit does not change with the years or with the centuries. This is a world on which the passage of time does not have a decisive influence, so it remains outside of those trends that are dictated by the era of competition, monopolization, the era of the priority of expediency over emotions: "There was a special world here. Quiet, spacious and seemingly timeless" [15]. The realm of unchanging universal values is V. P. Krapivin's utopia, and in the writer's perception it is closely connected with the image of the past, with the image of childhood.

Inside the utopian world of the free city of Insk, another utopia is born the idea of a Crystal Temple, which May expresses. He says that any social reforms, changes of power affect only the surface layer of reality, and life will not really change "until all people on Earth treat each other ... as people" [15]. May is going to make a huge crystal ball that will be above the ground, and through it the souls of all people will pass like rays, thereby being cleansed of all dark. May is convinced that there is at least a drop of light in the soul of every person and this light will help any soul to penetrate into the Crystal Temple, and there will be no darkness and no evil in it. This idea embodies a fantastic beginning, and the possibility of its implementation is associated with the inexplicable superpowers of the boy Kostya, nicknamed Lysh, who intuitively feels the features of temporal flows, unknown internal properties of objects, etc.

This "utopia within utopia" follows from the idea that the root of evil is not the social structure, but that there is not only a light, but also a dark beginning in man. Therefore, the solution to the problem is not in changing social laws, but in moral improvement of the individual. In this regard, the idea of the Krapivinsky hero is in the traditions of L. N. Tolstoy and F. M. Dostoevsky. But if the classics expressed it in a realistic form, then in the novel "Green's Ampoule" it is embodied in a fantastic image. And it is children who come up with this fantastic concept and begin to implement it. This once again underlines the idea that in V. P. Krapivin's work the utopian component is interconnected with the image of childhood, in which the writer sees both a bright beginning and a huge potential.

So, we come to the following conclusions. In V. P. Krapivin's novel, the features of the utopia and dystopia genres are visible, and they are associated with two antithetical toposes: the Free City of Insk and the Empire according to the writer's concept, these are two different facets of the Great Crystal of the Universe. The life of the Empire is connected with totalitarianism, the conflict of interests of the state and the person, in particular the child, whereas Insk is an idyllic society based on good relations. Especially significant for the appearance of the "righteous land" are the images of a house, a church, and a special toponymy. Empire and Insk are also images of different times: imperial reality is presented as modern for the author at the time of creation of the work, and Insk is shown as "antiquity", with which the writer's past and childhood are connected. The idea that the city of Insk could have been created by the imagination of children is conceptual for the author, as well as the idea of a universal utopia a Crystal Temple came to the mind of a child. V. Krapivin's utopia is the world of childhood as opposed to the world of adulthood as a dystopia.


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The article is devoted to V. P. Krapivin's novel "Ampoule of Green", which was published in the 2000s. There are quite a lot of works about children and childhood in modern literature, but V. P. Krapivin stands somewhat apart among the authors of such prose. This is a writer of the XX XXI centuries, and on the one hand, he vividly and convincingly reflects the life of the beginning of our century, and on the other hand, remains the heir to the traditions of literature of the past. In our opinion, this makes the study of V. P. Krapivin's work relevant, especially since his novels and novellas always raise acute social issues, consider ambiguous ethical problems, they have universal significance, which is not lost with the change of centuries. The scientific novelty of this article is determined by the fact that the novel "Ampoule of Green" has so far remained outside the interests of "big" literary criticism, many reader reviews and reviews have been written about this work, but not scientific works. In the presented article, the subject of the study was the genre specificity of V. P. Krapivin's novel "Ampoule of Green". The aim of the author of the work is to identify the features of both utopia and dystopia in the work. This goal has been achieved: the analysis of the text substantiates the conclusion that the novel combines the features of these genres (or variants of one genre, as many researchers believe). The method of holistic analysis used by the author of the work confirms its effectiveness and allows us to see how these genre components reflect the writer's idea of the ideal and the anti-ideal. The author of the study connects the features of utopia and dystopia with the features of two artistic spaces that exist in the novel reality: a totalitarian state called Empire, and a Free City called Insk. The author of the article also substantiates the conclusion that utopia and dystopia in the novel "Ampoule Green" are images of two times: the present, that is, the beginning of the XXI century, and the past, as it remains in the writer's memories associated with childhood. This allows the author of the study to argue the idea that in the artistic consciousness of V. P. Krapivin, the utopian ideal, the idyllic world is embodied in the image of childhood, whereas the dystopian reality is associated, rather, with adulthood. The article is accompanied by a list of references, which contains a sufficient number of sources, many of them are related to literary theory, to the study of genre features of utopia and dystopia, as well as the relationship of these "genre variants". The work of V. P. Krapivin was actively studied at the end of the twentieth century, so the scientific literature about him is often dated to this time, however, articles published in scientific publications in recent years are also involved. The presented article is a reasoned scientific research that can have practical application in university and school teaching. The work is recommended for publication in the journal "Litera".
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