A. Gomon. Laughter in the works of Leonid Andreev: prose of the beginning of the 1900-s years.
Keywords:image-symbol, the laughter, «laughing beginning», irony, grotesque, motif.
The paper is the first analysis of Andreev’s early prose from laughing point of view where «laughing beginning» is viewed as an integral component of the writer’s laughing world. As a result of laughing interpretation of Andreev’s prose its genuine innovative character and originality as well as its ideological and aesthetic value is revealed. The paper studies both the specificity of the «laughing outlook» of the writer and his laughing model of the world and personality. At the same time, the assumption of scientists about the «laughter beginning» as an important constant element of the Andreev works, which largely determines their specificity, was confirmed.
The analysis of the most representative works of Andreev of the designated period allows us to conclude that the writer's «laughter world» of the prose is an integral artistic system. Its internal structure is characterized by the synthesis of seriously laughter ideological and artistic layers, motifs, intertextual roll-calls, ways and forms of imaging and understanding of reality. It became quite obvious that the laughter angle of the image, beginning with the earliest novels and stories of the writer, was inherent in the overwhelming majority of his works. Such a constant conjunction of the tragic and comic beginnings in the writer's work is explained both by the characteristics of the world perception and the nature of Andreev's talent, and by the general tendencies of the art of the twentieth century. he comic beginning and in Andreev's prose, and in subsequent authors, is not a «pure satire» of Voltaire type («flagellation of public vices»), but a tragic-ironic interpretation of «eternal» ontological and existential «problems of being».
As the research has shown, already in the very early Andreev prose, laughter begins to evil, «killer», and acts as an artistic form of expressing the frank hostility of the external world to a suffering person of modern times. At the same time, laughter also «signals» about the tragic disharmony of the inner world of the person of the twentieth century. Laughter reactions are produced by the subjective human consciousness in a personified form and become stable images-symbols and myths. Such a destructive, «demonic» function of laughter is dominant for most of the works of Andreev of the 1890s – early 1900s. In this regard, the role of the grotesque and irony – tragic (A. Schopenhauer) or nihilistic (F. Nietzsche) – is increasing.
The work of Leonid Andreev somehow affected and «melted down» in his «crucible» practically all the main themes and motifs of both the realistic literature of the XIX century, with its «cursed questions», and the modernism of the turn of the XIX – XX centuries with its myth-making. The study made it possible in a new way to interpret the philosophical and aesthetic nature of Andreev's prose and substantially correct the prevailing view of Andreev as a writer of a particularly tragic worldview. This, in its turn, allows to place a new this writer in a new context of both Russian and Western-European laughing culture and the world literature of the XX century. Thus, a new productive direction for further study of the creative heritage of Leonid Andreev was proposed.