Personal Identification In Modern Russian Literature: Crisis Of Humanism Vs. Development?


The crisis of personal identification in the 20th century refers to the problems of a global nature. The fact that it escalated in the beginning of the 21st century may be evidenced by the works of contemporary Russian writers. The solution of this problem by the literature of the previous period revealed promising models and types of human activity for self-determination, nevertheless, in their change and development at the new stage, new tendencies, new artistic understanding are revealed. The authors of the article see these changes in the transition of characters from certain social roles and behavioral models to others, and this transition is reflected in the works of writers of different aesthetic orientations, but equally keenly feeling “instability” and crisis in the life of Russian society. In the center of the works of these writers is the search for an answer to the question about the possibility of such a person’s self-identification, personal and social, that could chart a saving counteraction against the threat of universal dehumanization. In the center of the works of 1990-2000s is no longer an average person of the late Soviet years, not “in the middle”, according to Makanin, but a marginal, loser, consciously choosing the uncertainty of social status, but not disclaiming responsibility for himself and others. This is supported by the social and existential choice of the hero, who at the moment of self-knowledge, awareness of his imperfections, is in search of the confessional Word, creative behavior as salvation from untrue, false self-identification.

Keywords: Modern Russian literaturepersonal identification


The formulation of the question of the Russian literature character of the second half of the 20th – the beginning of the 21st century is necessary because it provides the key to understanding the fundamental tendency aimed at overcoming the crisis of humanism, which influenced traditional humanistic values in the modern world. This crisis is global, universal in nature. Words “humanism”, “humanistic”, “humanity” underlie many cultural concepts that emphasize “such an understanding of the globalism of all events and phenomena that would reflect the essence and basis of the whole Universe” (Peccei, 1980), where the need to “awaken in us the “new man” by the life-giving trend of the new humanism” is emphasized.

At the end of the 20th century, it was found that humanity not only did not escape from the threatening spiritual crisis, but faced with even more acute manifestations of it, and the reasons for this are still contained in the person himself, in the crisis of his self-identity. At the end of the 20th century, a person is still deprived of ontological confidence in his own identity, authenticity, is in a painful search for the development of an idea of the true and false “me”.

In Russia, starting with the post-Stalinist reality, which, according to Bitov, (1987) was “living apart from history <...> man from himself”, this crisis continued until the post-Soviet time, was magnified the severity of social upheavals, the collapse of the former political system, the increase in violence, the phenomena of nationalism and separatism, and other negative phenomena. If in the 1960-1970s the character of Russian literature still tried to relate himself to the true image of “him”, experienced “the desire of confrontation with himself” (Buber, 1995), then in the 1990s he lost the sense of self identity. This can be seen in the evolution of the character Vladimir Makanin, a writer who is most sensitive to the acute questions posed by the new time. If the character of his story “The Deserted Place” (Makanin, 1976) was looking forward to the onset of such a moment that “you have your life” and waiting for these “capacious and convex minutes” reassured yourself: “... I will stay alone and sort it out. I'll take a look. I will see who I am and what I am”, then in the later journalistic work “The Averaging Plot” (Makanin, 1991) the narrator bitterly stated: “The man himself does not want to have “himself” – he himself already Goodwill” (Makanin, 1991). A new artistic understanding of this problem, proposed by the literature of the late twentieth – early twenty-first century, is of considerable interest to researchers.

Problem Statement

Dramatic experience of social and individual self-determination of a person in the second half of the twentieth century, mastered by Russian writers, and the development of this process at the beginning of the 21st century must be documented in order to reveal how Russian literature responds to the new challenges of globalism that humanity and man have to deal with.

Research Questions

In numerous studies of recent years, it is already possible to observe individual examples of the formulation of the problem of human identity in the conditions of the humanism crisis. The works of O.A. Kolmakova observes modern postmodern prose, images of the “hero of a modern age” and the types of crisis, studies of the main cultural metaphors of transition time, among which the most important are the “end of history” and “identity crisis”.

V.V. Kompaneyets turned to a philosophical understanding of a global political experiment based on the negation of the continuity of traditional moral values. On the material of the novel “After the Storm” by S. Zalygin, he explores the difficulties of social adaptation and cultural-psychological self-identification in the post-revolutionary reality, when human existence turned into elementary adaptability, losing its inherent integrity and organicity. The study of the traditionalism literature in the second half of the 20th century leads researchers to the conclusion: the only way out of the ideological and social impasse is in the folk mentality. The article by S.S. Imikhelova and I.S. Boldonova makes an attempt to write A. Bitov's novel Pushkin House, V. Rasputin's story What to Pass to the Crow and the diary book of the Buryat poet B. Dugarov in the context of the literature of the late Soviet years in order to reveal the heroes' ability to self-analyze, understand the place and meaning of their “self” in people's fate (Imikhelova, 2017).

T. Yu. Klimova, R. S.-I. Semykina, A.A. Tokarenko refer to the image of the character and writer in the novel “The Underground, or Hero of Our Time” by V. Makanin, who, like the heroes of his 1970-1980s. (“Voices”, “Portrait and Around”, “Loss”, “Long Way to Our Way”) (Makanin, 1996), creates his own identification in “writer's discourse” “as part of the writer’s profession and a seeker of his age truth” (Klimova, 2010) is reflected in his creative counterpart. New approaches to the problem stand out the work devoted to understanding the new characters who feel the need for self-identity in the novels of the 2000s. A. Slapovsky, L. Petrushevskaya (Dikun, 2012).

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study is to consider the main transformations in the character and behavior of the characters who need self-determination activities and the search for genuine self-identification in the context of the socio-cultural crisis (based on the key, iconic works of the turn of the 20th-21st centuries).

Research Methods

Structural-typological, literary and anthropological methods are used in the study. Analysis of texts involves the synthesis of literary and philosophical-cultural approaches.


The crisis of humanism in Russian society in recent decades is reflected in large-scale changes in people's lives and minds, primarily the process of mass de-socialization, reflected in the uncertainty of a person’s social status, loss of self-identification. Hence, modern characters in representatives of marginal social groups emerge in modern literature. They are on the social margins, they live in the barracks, “hostels”, “shared apartments”. Researchers of Russian prose of the 1990s come to the conclusion about the primacy of the “physiological underground”: illness, death, decay, the constancy of the crisis chronotope and the “erroneous existence” (hospital, nuthouse, prison), and in this they see a difference from the literature of previous years – “village” and "urban" prose of the 1970s. At the same time, it is possible to find a close connection between the new characters and the characters of V. Shukshin, Y. Trifonov, V. Rasputin, who are experiencing existential loss, homelessness, vague discontent, the need for self-knowledge, liberation from everything that is not true, from ideological and social habits and stereotypes. It was this condition that one of the characters of V. Rasputin’s “Live and Remember” (Rasputin, 1974) formulated: “And all because they didn’t know how and didn’t want to be alone with themselves, forgot, lost themselves – not to remember, not to find.

The situation of individualistic experience challenge, disappointment in the idea of salvation in the tribal, collective continues to be relevant in the prose of the end of the twentieth century. Here we are looking for the search for a productive way out of this state – the achievement not of the illusion of self-identification, but of true self-identification, social and existential.

The names of the works speak about this – they include the inevitability of the moment when the hero focuses his attention around finding the answer to the question “What am I?”, “Why me?” These are, for example, the novels “It’s Not Me” by Slapovsky (1991), “Number One, or in the Gardens Other Facilities” by Petrushevskaya (2004), “The Dialectic of the Transition Period from Nowhere” to Nowhere” by Pelevin (2003).

The author’s title of the story “Ivan’s Daughter, Ivan’s Mother” written in 2003 (Rasputin, 2004), according to S.V. Perevalova, emphasizes the "doubling" of the male name. Having returned home from prison, the character confessed to her relatives and herself that “our people have such silent blood” and “boiled when the child was offended” (Rasputin, 2004). And at the trial, Tamara Ivanovna explains her act in such a way – the murder of her daughter's rapist: “Now I have been penal servitude for six years, and if the rapist went unpunished, for me the will of my life would have become penal servitude ...” (Rasputin, 2004). And afterwards, painfully experiencing what happened, she knows for sure: her conscience would not have been able to accept the fact that in the future she and her children would submit violent acts. The word “will” in its confession statement sounds like a metaphor for the future liberation from the quilty conscience and the readiness of her family for a free life. No wonder her son Ivan, returning from the army, seeks to equip his grandfather's country house: “We must restore order. Here, if you put your hands on, you can still live” (Rasputin, 2004).

In 2005, the second edition of Slapovsky’s (1991) novel “It’s Not Me” appeared, where the writer remastered the 1991 version. He wrote an adventurous story about a character, who changed seven bodies of people from different social groups, experiencing different kinds of self-identification. This is a story about a person who has lost himself and does not want to find himself, not seeking to consolidate a social role and status. This problem for the author does not have a clear solution: the reader should guess whether this is the loss of oneself in the conditions of social chaos, or the degree of freedom available to the ordinary person, or the author’s study of the psychosomatic nature of consciousness. The action takes place in some conditional time and place, the artistic discovery made by the writer outgrew the scale of the successful “It’s not Me” formula for depicting a person lost in society and history (Dikun, 2012).

The unity of antinomies, emphasized by the author in the title, is not fully realized, and the theme of self-consciousness, following the plot of the hero's reincarnations, is not declared in the form of a deep reflection of the hero. However, the researcher sees the merit of the author in the following: “On the background of the destruction of norms and values, a person is unable to find himself. The author makes an attempt to find a new principle of describing a non-self-identical person. The syncretism of adventurousness and reflexivity is the key to a man of vague time, he is looking for himself, changing masks without changing his nature, not wanting to be himself. Moreover, it reveals its essence – a new social choice of a person. The author talks about it in the form of entertainment, but very meaningfully, continuing the tradition of high literature with deep psychological insight in the simplified conditions of existence” (Dikun, 2012).

The plot of the novel – a series of migrations of the protagonist’s soul, Nedelin, in the bodies of different “heroes of his time”, meets the instability of social reality and social uncertainty of man. In the process of metempsychosis –wandering through the bodies of other characters, the soul of the hero changes. The plot of the novel is rapidly transforms from a weak observer of someone else's life, but then it mastered the secret of metamorphosis and is fascinated by the process of reincarnation. For a short time, Sergey Nedelin managed to visit the bandit, the first person of the state, the variety singer, the alcoholic, the chicken, for a short time the wife of the Chief and the psychiatrist. Changing masks, ordinary-looking intellectual Nedelin acquires miraculously the ability to build their own destiny, but all the time falls into the trap of someone else's body and someone else's role.

In addition, the plot gradually acquires a different content – the search for himself as a test of different hypostases of his “I”. The vicissitudes of self-understanding unfold eventfully and constantly require self-determination in new situations. The hero needs to make a choice: to find himself or to dissolve in a series of transformations, i.e. to become a person or to lose individuality.

Meetings Slapovsky’s “I” with “the other” resembles the problem of existentialism. Therefore, in the new body of a pathetic drinker, the adventurer acquires new horizons of consciousness: the lower the hero is on the social ladder, the more profound and philosophical his reflections become. However, superficial reflection means running away from yourself. If you compare the hero of the novel “It’s not Me"” to the hero of another novel, also experienced the situation of metempsychosis – “Number One, or in the Gardens Other Facilities” (Petrushevskaya, 2004), one can see the difference in an attempt to show the drama of human existence in the conditions of norms’ and value bases’ destruction. If Slapovsky man can not find himself, the hero of Petrushevskaya in the disintegration of society retains his “I”, constantly testing themselves in different situations that require self-identification.

Research of the collapse causes of the intellectual hero was the inner story of the realistic prose of the 1970s, as we saw from Yuri Trifonov, Vladimir Makanin's, other writers – representatives of the so-called generation of the “forties”. The adventurous plot of the resettlement of the soul, i.e. metempsychosis, was required by the writers in the 1990s not as a purely game technique, but to emphasize the tragic conflict of the human trial by death. V. Pelevin's novels of the 1990s (“Problems of wherewolf in the Middle lane”, “Prince of Gosplan”). Yury Buyda in the story “Yastoboy” from the book “the Yellow house” (Buyda, 2000), L. Petrushevskaya in the novel “Number One, or in the Gardens Other Facilities” combine adventurous narrative with a psychological study of the problem of self-understanding, acutely raise the question of moral responsibility, experiencing the hero's death.

The novel “Number One, or in the Gardens Other Facilities”, despite the conventional plot, not devoid of signs of the modern era, grotesquely reflecting the degradation of modern Russia, whose image is discharged, and the idea of its existence is connected with the idea of dehumanization as distrust of man to contemporary civilization. The main character, the scientist-ethnographer Number One has such name since the beginning of the novel: whether from interview taken by the journalist, whether the interrogation report of the detainee and therefore is the person of masses. However, studying the little people of entti, he finds in these “natural people” carriers of sacred knowledge about the universe. Number One should return the amethyst stolen by his colleague from the sanctuary of entti, because “without it there whistles black eternity < ... > and it concerns us” (Petrushevskaya, 2004). The image of the main character Petrushevskaya embodies the leitmotif for the Russian prose of the turn of 20th-21st centuries. The image of the Savior, appeals to the lost sense of responsibility not only for oneselves and their families, but for the whole world.

Entti are portrayed by Petrushevskaya as carriers of mythological consciousness, which is unknown fear of death, individualism, possessiveness. The modern man, who has invaded the world, has destroyed this balance, as he destroyed it in his civilized world. The hero reveals “the horror of eternity”, which is equal to the invented computer game quest "In the gardens of other facilities", thus the category of eternity is completely senseless. The plot of the novel will be aimed at finding the hero of the lost “eternity”, gradually acquiring the value of finding their own lost “I”.

Hero of Petrushevskaya needs to save a friend, family and himself, his soul moves into the body of the gangster Valera, which gradually begins to subdue the consciousness of the intellectual, suppressing his conscience. He starts to feel thief instincts, thief habits, cruelty, and greed. In the scene of metempsychosis, the disharmonious state of modern man is reflected, it is a kind of hell, because the disembodying of the character and his separation from his own body and reality, accompanied by physical suffering and immersion in the darkness is experienced by him as an excommunication from himself. Moreover, it symbolizes the immersion of the hero in death. Number One sees his own actions and realizes that he lost his status of scientist. It happened when he extorted “valuable artifacts" antis and sold them to foreigners; when he lost precious moments with his family, especially with his sick son Aleshka; when he spent days and nights at work writing a computer game about "the hell of all faiths" for sale.

The soul of the killed scientist got into the body of his killer Valera. Together with someone else's material body, the hero acquires another's consciousness, which seeks to absorb his own “I” and takes over his essence. The hero trapped in the body of his murderer, with horror discovers that this new body imposes alien consciousness. The conflict of the hero and his metamorphosis is realized at the level of language. The writer's appeal to the poetics of linguistic anomaly intends to symbolize the appearance of a disadvantaged socio-cultural situation.

After going through the “ice apocalypse”, literally dying and rising again, Number One breaks free from the alien and acquires the ability to see the future. “Pictures” of the future make the hero go through a deep metamorphosis, to realize that love for his wife and son – this is what he can oppose the" black eternity", he realizes his final identification with the family and home. Looking at himself from the outside allows the hero to find himself and finally overcome the duality: “I” in the past and “I”, as it will be in the future. All the content of the Petrushevskaya novel follows the general idea of her work, asserting the value of family and love as the true meaning of human life. Her characters, being in the struggle for survival in a distorted dehumanized space, nevertheless try to find the meaning of life, to pass the test on identity.

In order to determine the ways and types of true self-identity of a person in transition and the way out of the false “self” proposed by the literature, let us turn to the works, the form of which captures the difficult process of confrontation with the dehumanized world, the awareness of the importance of one's own "self". In addition, as in the best texts of the 1970s, for example, in the novel “Pushkin's house”, this awareness is expressed in the confession, in the confession as self-understanding. This act is truly creative, as the hero in search of truth comes to his own Word. Even the most inconspicuous "little" people in the literature of the 1970s could gain freedom as a way out of their “little “I”, and this required only the confessional word (for example, “Raskas” by V. Shukshin, “Moscow-Petushki” by Veins. Erofeeva) as self-realization in creativity. The hero of the turn of the century can also overcome the oppression of social unfreedom in speech, word, creativity.

A. Bitov in the story “Waiting for the monkeys” (Bitov, 1987) takes the hero under the name of the Author, painfully living together with their fellow post-Perestroika period and reflective as well as his Lev Odoevtsev – the hero of the novel “Pushkin house” as experiencing the same painful unintegrity and incompleteness. Typologically bitovsky protagonist-Author is close to Trifonov’s protagonist in the novel “Time and place” – a twin of the main character. He finds his inner core to beat the “fear of life” – so defines Trifonov crisis of self-identification of the person of his time, and this feeling acts as a disease that arose under the pressure of time, the pressure of social injustice. However, thanks to all these heroes as conscience, memory, self-knowledge, it is possible to determine one’s own fate, and the fate of other people, and the general direction of social history.

In V. Rasputin's story “Ivan's Daughter, Ivan's mother”, which was already discussed, the memory as the main spiritual support of the heroine and her son is formed not only by love for his native land, but also to the Russian Word. Tamara Ivanovna's son suddenly feels his healing influence when he opens the book of Proverbs of the Russian people and the Church Slavonic dictionary. He cannot tear himself away from the book, “repeating it out loud gently and touching, as if afraid to frighten: lepota, velma, vereya...” Awakened in Ivan interest in the “interior of the Russian language, its roots and branches”, its unifying force; his mother Tamara satisfies with herself too: “I can hear Russian– and that is fine. There is too much rubbish, as if we're not at home”.

Self-reflection of the creative person, writer is in the center of the L. Petrushevskaya story “The Time: Night” The name indicates the best time of the main character – 55-year-old Anna Andrianovna-poet, who writes her notes at night, and “Time: Night” – this is her work with the Word, it is a conversation with God. That night, she understands that her family is destroyed. This situation of family crisis is seen from inside, experienced as “vague time, her son is put in jail for fighting, from where he returned angry and nervous, “not being able to speak properly”. The mother of the protagonist goes mad and ends her life in the small hospital; daughter Alena exist “who knows where” and “who know how”, and at every visit to his mother, Anna Andrianovna learns about her new grandson; grandson, five year old Timosha, “nerves are bad, as the ones of hysterical woman”.

The hostility of the surrounding world is embodied in the characteristic of a stranger: "someone else's heat CHP", "someone else's house of a former friend", "someone else's Ksenia", "other people's hands", checking the pocket of the protagonist. Anna Andrianovna has only "night time": "At nights, only at nights I experienced the happiness of motherhood." At night the heroine writes the "notes" in which she "lists as the beggar in the train, all the misfortunes", or suddenly "the embodied black conscience of the people" begins to speak in it (Petrushevskaya, 1996).

Anna Andrianovna loses her mother, daughter, grandchildren, but does not remain alone: with her night, the stars and God, the long-awaited peace of maybe a madness or death. The seal of death lies on the entire narrative: the voice of Anna Andrianovna is heard from oblivion, because from the epigraph we already know about her death. The tragic impasse, in which Anna Andrianovna finds herself, arises from the mismatch of her and someone else's. Intuitively, the idea of salvation in the adoption of an alien world still seems as the only way to save live to her. This is reflected in Christian motives of compassion and forgiveness. Anna Andrianovna seeks to "save all": "and again I saved the child! I save everyone all the time! Am I the only one in the entire city in our neighborhood who listens at night if someone screams" (Petrushevskaya, 1996). "Poor old people, I'm crying for you" – exclaims Anna Andrianovna (Petrushevskaya, 1996). The very text of it – "notes on the edge of the table" – is her Word, her confession, addressed to all: to her and to others.

The Word overcomes homelessness of the modern man even if he lives in the "dorm"– the someone else's apartment, as can be seen in the antagonist of the novel by V. Makanin "Underground, or the Hero of Our time" written in 1998 (Makanin, 2003). We can also observe what changes have occurred in the nature of self-identification of the "writer" by the beginning of the 21st century.

Petrovich, the hero of Makanin, is a writer who every time voices his creations (which, like the brilliant paintings of his brother Venedikt, disappeared) "in internal dialogues with Russian literature", all the citations of his consciousness and life (Klimova, 2010). Comprehending the human phenomenon of the late 20th century. Makanin in the image of the protagonist of the novel, the writer Petrovich, who went underground, depicts a "dorm man", existing in the lack of spirituality, in anonymity, simple instincts, living simple (Semykin, 2008), but seeking to overcome the consciousness of the masses, "one-dimensional man". Petrovich describes his status: "No, zero, homeless, but not lost their “I”. Not gave up" (Makanin, 2003). This is a big difference of the underground hero from the previous Makanin’s character, positioning himself as the average, the "usual" person living in the anthill of barracks or shared apartment.

The free willis the highest value for Petrovich, personal self-assertion, the desire to save, to preserve his "I", for which he is ready to sacrifice. The image of the hostel has grown for him "almost to the universal order" (Makanin, 2003), to the metaphysics of the underground. "Dorm" is perceived by him as a kind of opposing society underground spirit (Semykin, 2008). In "ugly tired folk" Petrovich sees a metaphor for the depersonalization (i.e., in "Farewell to Matyora" the image of the Village, where the evicted mothers and where people live "as at someone else's uncle, very badly, live a gray hopeless life, as if by inertia). (Barysheva, 2008). If Makanin's novel does not foresee the salvation of man in such a topos, then he is opposed by another – the space of man’ personal freedom, depicted by the writer as an eternal humanistic value.

Petrovich is a writer, for whom the "dorm" is not just the life of "poor people"; it is the existence of people. Following Petrushevskaya he gives, the "dorm" is the appearance, because it is a made by his imagination. In this imaginary world, he feels like a master, a demiurge, comprehending the "curious and fearless hyper reality", and in it – the many-faced world. As R. S.-I. Semykin writes, "in relation to the common, many-faceless spiritual people, Petrovich puts himself in the position of a man with the Word and the face of the Creator" (Semykin, 2008).

Petrovich can be characterized as a genuine Writer, "thief, spy, murderer" (name of novel about the formation of the autobiographical hero of the writer-Creator, who could steal the life stories and kill characters); after the fictional killing he is tormented by guilt and his sick conscience: "...I'm dangerous, I’ve done what I wanted, killed a man, left children without a father...", "...having killed a man, you are not only ruin him, you ruin yourself" (Makanin, 2003). Hence, the mental attack, because of which he is in a mental hospital. The psychiatric hospital appears in Makanin's novel as a state underground, as a "piece of the state" (Makanin, 1996), where the hero falls under the influence of sophisticated torture of psychiatrists, day after day destroying the will, but he manages to escape from the loss of his "I". It is this salvation that another hero-writer, who escapes from a psychiatric hospital - a hero named Emptiness in the novel by V. Pelevin "Chapaev and Emptiness".

Here Petrovich comes to the conclusion that he is responsible to himself, that his writing "I" is God's gift, that his salvation from death is God's miracle. In hero’s soul is "a spark of God" not only as talent, but and as ability to respond to others suffering Kovtun (2015) defined this ability as "mercy and the gift of the Word as God’s". Salvation of Petrovich was real when he was trying to protect the nurses from the old man Sudarikova, the result of which was in surgery and from there was discharged. The hero is compassionate to abandoned dog, and to “thrown out of life” woman, he feels "guilt without guilt" to his my brother, forgives the meanness of the human inhabitants of the "dorm" and his "benefactor" businessman Lavanneau. The source of his love and compassion for people is not in the New Testament and the Russian classical literature, it is the only in his spiritual entity: " is only there, and attracted by the breeze of true morality. His thought about suicide remained almost as an absolute thought. Classic. Canon. (Literature for the Russian is still a huge auto-suggestion)" (Makanin, 1996).

Unlike other "heroes of his time" depicted in the novel, for example, Olovyannikov, Petrovich is deprived of social activity, he does not use a lot of opportunities to find a family, housing, work, defending the social status of a homeless. The fact that he consciously refuses to be a "hero" of his social and historical time acquires a deeply symbolic meaning. In fact, his actions, showing the struggle for his "I", have a social meaning, because the author inscribes his character in the community of writers and artists who tried to express opposition to the existing government in their works and were banned, persecuted, often subjected to severe punishment. Therefore, we can say that people of this underground have their social status as "a very significant psychoideological social "layer", the subconscious of society" (Semykin, 2008).

The novel of V. Makanin seriously and carefully describes the struggle of the creative person for his Word, his Text of literature. His hero is saved by this, and in the Word he sees his purpose, because only he, who has all the power of the Great Russian Literature, is able to collect the "scattering Universe". The hero is sure that neither society, nor nature, nor God are capable to make it, and this sphere of human consciousness with whuch moral, spiritual space can be built, became real helping to establish norms of human relations, to find human self-sufficiency. The way it appears in the form of quotations, intertexts, any other processings of the Text, but it stays the same. Although, the creative personality often stands out "from the nest" (Makanin, 2003), his personal "self" is the center of the "scattering Universe". Such a painful center the hero of the Pushkin house was in the 1971 novel "Pushkin's house" – the literary critic Lev Odoevzev (or Lev Nikolaevich), who with his studies in the field of Great Russian literature, understood that it was through him that the power of the surrounding people flew. "At the same way Faina offends me, and grandfather, and Mitishatiev! I am the existing breaking point! That's where I am, that’s where all goes...". V. Makanin, like his predecessor, in the novel "Underground, or Hero of our time" argues that the entire spiritual experience of Russian literature, Russian history is involved in the consciousness of the creative person, in his search. The real self-identification of such a person is in the realization that your Word, your self-knowledge and your responsibility are also a creative effort, a breaking point of time and space, of another person and human community.


Tracing a close connection with the previous period of development of Russian literature of the turn of 20th–21st centuries in addressing the problem of self-identity of a modern person, you may find that the literature continues to find new exits from the crisis state of society; to find new exists of the universal dehumanization and, therefore, accepts the challenges of a globalizing time, trying to answer his queries and requirements.

We have analyzed the most vivid and significant works of Russian prose 1990-2000, such as "Ivan's Daughter, "V. Rasputin's mother," "It’s not Me", A. Slapovsky, "The Time: NIght," "Number one, or in the Gardens of other facilities, "Underground, or Hero of Our time". The types of heroes derived from them were also analyzed. The common core, the core of their characters and behavior is the ability to self-analysis, self-reflection, and painful search for their true self. These carriers of consciousness, often falling out of the mass, have the qualities that can cure the ailments of modern culture, experiencing a period of acute spiritual crisis: the desire to unite the present and the time of eternity, a sense of fullness of life and being, the memory of the past, conscientious attitude and responsibility for themselves and others. In conditions when the meaning of the word and thought falls uncontrollably, they feel the need to return a person to the meaningful Word, and therefore to the true humanity, to the truth. It is the creative personality that appears in these works as a stable, complete being, capable of defeating the human "I" over time itself, society, and history.


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Sociolinguistics, linguistics, semantics, discourse analysis, science, technology, society

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Serebryakova, Z., Dorzhieva, G., Zateeva, T., Bashkeeva, V., & Imikhelova*, S. (2019). Personal Identification In Modern Russian Literature: Crisis Of Humanism Vs. Development?. In & D. K. Bataev (Ed.), Social and Cultural Transformations in the Context of Modern Globalism, vol 58. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 2182-2192). Future Academy.