Evaluative Interpretation Of Professional Activity In Zakhar Prilepin’s Novels

Abstract

The article views peculiarities of evaluative interpretation of professional activity in modern fiction. Cognitive-discoursive analysis of evaluative interpretation of professional activity in lexico-phraseological system of the Russian language allows to determine common and individual cognitive schemes of evaluative perception of professional activity, gives a holistic view of cognitive and axiological guidelines and dominant professional senses in the Russian linguoculture. The article contains some findings of the research of evaluative interpretation of professional activity in Zakhar Prilepin’s novels “Sankya”, “Sin”, “Black Monkey”. Revealed are linguistic means of multifaceted evaluation of professional activity from the professional’s and non-professional’s stances, implicit evaluative senses about professionals, salient for the Russian culture evaluative categories verbalized by the elements of the Russian lexico-phraseological system, determined is the mechanism of constructing professional’s image in the evaluator’s consciousness. The article points out that the artistic word is able to successfully, in the right direction from the point of view of value guidelines and socio-economic premises, position a particular profession. The responsible writer can “pack” the necessary implicit evaluative senses in the text about the profession, correct the existing image of the profession in the society. Positioning of the profession is thus carried out by profiling a component of the system of evaluative categories, the most important for the Russian national culture, verbalized through lexical and phraseological units, taking into account the specifics of the professional field, socio-economic needs of the society.

Keywords: Evaluative interpretationconsciousnessevaluative knowledgeprofessional

Introduction

The study of evaluative interpretation of professional activity in lexico-phraseological system of the Russian language is done within the cognitive approach of modern linguistics. Cognitive-discoursive analysis of evaluative interpretation of professional activity in lexico-phraseological system of the Russian language allows to determine common and individual cognitive schemes of evaluative perception of professional activity, to reveal multifaceted character of their formation, gives a holistic view of cognitive and axiological guidelines and dominant professional senses in the Russian linguoculture. The problem of evaluative interpretation of professional activity is brought to a new level connected with the elaboration of cognitive-pragmatic conception of language transfer of evaluative knowledge about the profession.

Problem Statement

The analysis of linguocognitive peculiarities of evaluative interpretation of professional activity in lexico-phraseological system of the Russian language aims at solving the problem of interaction of language, consciousness and culture, of correlation of linguistic and mental structures. From this stance the mechanisms of reflection in lexical and phraseological nomination of national and cultural stereotypes, translation of value guidelines are investigated, the parameters of evaluative categorization of professional activity are revealed, cognitive principles and mechanisms of evaluative conceptualization and categorization of professional activity in lexis and phraseology are determined, the laws of formation and development in the language of evaluative senses, and discoursive features of the formation of evaluative meaning on the material of modern fiction are defined.

Research Questions

Consideration of the peculiarities of evaluative categorization of professional activity allows to identify the structure of knowledge about the ontology of human consciousness, the mechanisms of interpretation of different types of knowledge and experience. Significant is a holistic cognitive-pragmatic description of the units of lexical and phraseological systems of language associated with the evaluation of professional activity, substantiation of cognitive and communicative factors of formation of the evaluative sense, as well as determining the nature of interaction of structures of everyday and professional knowledge in the formation of the evaluative sense about professional activity in order to model the evaluative knowledge of professional activity in the Russian linguoculture.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study is to explore, describe and model processes and mechanisms of transfer of evaluative knowledge about different professions in the modern Russian literary discourse, that underlies the evaluative interpretation of professional activity.

Research Methods

The research is done within the cognitive-discoursive approach to the study of linguistic phenomena, the essence of which consists in the study of language as a condition and instrument of cognition in active interaction with the structures of consciousness, based on the position of unity of cognition and communication.

The claimed purpose of the research has determined the choice of the following general scientific and specially scientific methods and techniques:

Findings

This article presents the results of the study of peculiarities of evaluative interpretation of professional activity in Zakhar Prilepin’s novels “Sankya” (2006), “Sin” (2007), “Black monkey” (2011). Works by Zakhar Prilepin, one of the key figures of the modern Russian literature, winner of many prestigious awards in the field of literature, active public figure from Nizhny Novgorod (Russia), “new Gorky” as he is called by some critics, reflect the current problems of the Russian society, his works are bright response to the important historical events of our time. Zakhar Prilepin’s books reproduce the thoughts, stances, opinions that exist now in the society, as well as the attitude of the author to what is happening in the country.

On the pages of the above mentioned novels we meet different characters’ statements about the work of doctors, journalists, police officers, actors, etc. Most of the linguistic means of evaluation of professional activity found in these novels verbalize multifacetedevaluation of the work of professionals from the outer observer’ stance, however there are several examples of intraprofessional evaluation. Evaluative linguistic units correlate with the structures of everyday / professional consciousness (concepts as mental formations reflecting the structure of everyday / special experience) (Golovanova, 2011). Their analysis is carried out in connection “with the processes of language categorization and conceptualization and in relation to cognitive structures of knowledge”(Aznacheeva, 2013).

So, in Zakhar Prilepin’s novel “Sanka” underlined are arrogance, self-importance, businesslike behaviour of police officers as representatives of the state authorities,opposed by the main characters of the novel. Evaluative perception of the authorities structural units presupposes actualization of negative psychological characteristics of a professional, namely complacency as a type of self-esteem, arrogance, vanity:

(1) Непременный офицер, молодцевато, с вызовом смотрящий в толпу. Его наглые руки – на верхней перекладине ограды, отделяющей митингующих от блюстителей правопорядка и от всего города (Prilepin, 2016a);

(2) Несколько усатых подполковников, под их бушлатами угадывались обильные животы. Где-то должен быть и полковник, самый важный и деловитый (Prilepin, 2016a).

Despite various state measures to support doctors, teachers, workers, the status of these professions remains far from prestigious today, it is rather “destiny”, fate, a suffered (or a completely random, thoughtless) choice:

(3) Для стариков работа – это землю пахать или – завод, или больница, или школа... И они правы. Но сегодня такой труд стал – в большинстве случаев – уделом людей не очень удачливых, загнанных жизнью (Prilepin, 2016a).

Nevertheless, one of the characters of the novel speaks positively about the medical worker: he calls the nurse “a kind ghost”, carrying out physically and emotionally difficult work – care for the sick. The cognitive model of the space-source “a kind ghost” is transferred to the space-target “invisible and intangible presence” and space-target “kindness, help, care”:

(4) Врачи помыли руки и ушли. Осталась медсестра, старенькая, белая и незаметная, как доброе привидение (Prilepin, 2016a).

In another example we see verbalization of such evaluative criteria as worker’s zeal (responsibility) and quality of work. The author brings to the forefront a thorough, reliable performance of professional duties:

(5) «Работать надо...» – неприязненно говорили ему иногда. «Я работаю...» – отвечал Саша. Он действительно работал – иногда грузил, иногда разгружал... однажды на заводе... охранял, подметал. Все на совесть (Prilepin, 2016a).

Evaluation of actors’ professional activityisfound in the novels “Sanka” and “Sin”. Actor is positively characterised as venerable, flawless, his voice sounds rich and important, his facial expressions and gestures are skillful and beautiful, he even coughs artistically:

(6) Определенно, Безлетов стал похож повадками на маститого театрального актера (Prilepin, 2016a);

(7) ... Валиес был старейшим актером Театра комедии нашего города: иначе зачем бы мне к нему идти. Никто не стал допытываться у меня через дверь, кто я такой, – в самых добрых советских традициях дверь раскрылась нараспашку , Константин Львович улыбался (Prilepin, 2016b);

(8) Он был невысок, грузноват, шея в обильных морщинах выдавала возраст, но безупречный актерский голос по-прежнему звучал богато и важно (Prilepin, 2016b);

(9) Валиес курил, быстрым движением стряхивал пепел, жестикулировал, поднимал брови и задерживал их чуть дольше, чем может задержать вскинутые брови обычный человек, не артист. Но Константину Львовичу всё это шло – вскинутые брови, взгляды, паузы. Беседуя, он все это умело и красиво расставлял. Как шахматы, в определенном порядке. И даже кашель его был артистичен (Prilepin, 2016b).

In the novel “Sin” evaluation of the work of psychologists, magically influencing the minds of people, is found:

(10) – А... психологом не работал?

– Нет.

– А ты мог бы. Мозгизаговаривать (Prilepin, 2016b).

Profession of a journalist is negatively evaluated in the novels “Sin” and “Black monkey”, and this evaluation is intraprofessional, done by the representatives of the journalistic professional community. Here evaluative statements are based not only on the emotional level of perception, but also on the normative one, expressing compliance / non-compliance with some ideas about the good-quality result of professional activity, worker’s high qualification:

(11) Однажды я как человек, зарабатывающий на жизнь любым способом, находящимся в рамках закона, в том числе и написанием малоумной чепухи, обычно служащей наполнением газет, напросился к Валиесу на интервью (Prilepin, 2016b);

(12) – А журналисты вообще ничего ни в чем не понимают. Так принято . И пишут обо всем. Это главное журналистское дело – ни черта ни в чем не разбираться и высказываться по любому поводу (Prilepin, 2016b);

(13) Я работаю в газете.

Сижу в большом помещении, где трудятся еще пятнадцать человек, которые создают материалы разной степени пошлости (Prilepin, 2015).

In the novel “Black monkey” the example of positively evaluative interpretation of the image of professor is found:

(14) Профессора поймали у его подъезда.

Белые туфли, задумчивый лоб, на красивой руке в красивых седых волосках я впервые приметил красивые часы. Он нисколько мне не удивился. Даже попытался улыбнуться, но не вышло, и ничего, что не вышло, и ладно (Prilepin, 2015).

From the above given examples of evaluation of professional activity we see that evaluative perception presupposes mental emphasis / accentuation of a particular aspect or characteristic feature of professional activity (moral component of professional’s personality / prestige of the profession / worker’s qualification / quality of work, etc.), construction (not just reflection) in the evaluator’s mind of the object of evaluation (in this case, the image of a professional) simultaneously with the correlation of this image with the typical characteristics of a good / bad worker existing in the Russian linguoculture. So this is the mechanism of interpreting the knowledge about professional activity in the human consciousness, of forming the linguistic view of the world with different configurations of collective and individual knowledge about the profession and its representatives.

Conclusion

The artistic word is able to successfully, in the right direction from the point of view of value guidelines and socio-economic premises, position a particular profession. The responsible writer can “pack” the necessary implicit evaluative senses in the text about the profession, correct the existing image of the profession in the society. Positioning of the profession is thus carried out by profiling a component of the system of evaluative categories, the most important for the Russian national culture, verbalized through lexical and phraseological units, taking into account the specifics of the professional field, socio-economic needs of the society.

The study of the mechanisms of movement of senses and conceptual transformations allows to identify cognitive schemes, trajectories of evaluative interpretation of professional activity, to determine the multifaceted character of their formation. Linguistic analysis of various units of text and discourse about the professions allows to identify the cognitive processes involved in the structure of the knowledge and national-cultural value meanings in evaluative interpretation of a particular profession, to develop cognitive technologies of successful positioning of professions.

References

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Publisher

Future Academy

First Online

18.12.2019

Doi

10.15405/epsbs.2018.04.02.36

Online ISSN

2357-1330