Representation and Interpretation of the Concept of Pofigism in Sylvain Tesson’s “The Train”
Keywords:concept, pofigism, savoir-vivre, occasionalism, national character
The article presents an analysis of the lexical expressive means, stylistic and text structuring devices used to present the Russian (Slavic) cultural concept of pofigism, which expresses a certain fatalism in the way of taking and living life. This particular feature has been described and analysed in parallel with the idea of savoir-vivre by the French writer Sylvain Tesson. Semantically opposed elements are chosen to introduce metaphorical comparisons of two distinct cultures. The lexemes chosen to realise this opposition and their semantics highlight the difference in visions of the world and sense of oneself in one’s culture, with action facing inertia. The author, however, does not seem to settle on one of the positions, although his choice of lexemes and the non-obvious collocations speak of it. The lexical field of pofigism, in Tesson’s version, consists of those lexemes whose semantics imply that the narrator’s native culture does not accept this view of the world, even if this view is presented as a definite truth. This idea is supported by the narrative structure which follows the stages of ritual initiation. Despite the relatively positive image of the pofigist, the lexemes constituting this concept express the opposite point of view.
TESSON, Sylvain (2014) S’abandonner à vivre. Paris : Gallimard.
Le Petit Robert. Dictionnaire de la langue française (2003) Paris : Le Robert.
Dictionnaire analogique (2001) Paris : Larousse.
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Copyright (c) 2020 Ekaterina Vladimirovna Kazakova, Natalia Aleksandrovna Voskressenskaia
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