Text Semantic Field As A Developing Method Of The Author'S Image

Abstract

This work considers the image of the author in the study of a text semantic field on the material of I.S. Turgenev’s novel A Nest of Gentlefolk . Special attention is paid to the relations between the concept of a semantic field and text semantic field, especially when it comes to literary texts. The text semantic field is characterized by the overcoming of semantic opposition of a natural language. The supercategory of the author’s image as the essence of the work of fiction is revealed in the dominant idea, which serves the organizing beginning of a text. In turn, this dominant, manifests itself in a text semantic field. The purpose of the study is to try to find inconsistencies between the concept of semantic field and text semantic field. Theoretical significance consists in generalizing theoretical knowledge in the field of identifying the image of the author in the literary text by the method of text semantic field. The practical significance of the work is that the results of the study can be used in linguistics and literature to further study the topic. Regarding the novelty of the work, the authors for the first time set the task to understand the specific reflections of the author’s image in the semantic structure of the I.S. Turgenev’s novel A Nest of Gentlefolk , strive to find changes of the opposition in integral semantic thread of the text using the method of linguistic analysis.

Keywords: Text semantic fieldauthor’s imagedominant idealiterary textcharacteristics of heroes

Introduction

The beginning of the development of the category of the author’s image, the idea of highlighting this category and the ways of its detection in literary texts goes back to the works of Vinogradov (1971), which deals with the separation of the text into the zones of literary and linguistic interests. The scholar defined the image of the author as “a common understanding of the essence of the work of fiction ... representing the ideological-stylistic medium, focus of the whole” (Vinogradov, 1971, p 145). The image of the author is not just a personal author’s position, a feature or specificity of the author’s implementation in this text, it performs a structural function, as a force linking and combining space-time parameters of the text, all stories and features of the style into an integral whole. This concept means “an adequate category for understanding the flow of the author’s consciousness, for carrying out an integral comprehensive analysis of the literary text” (Novikov, 2001, p. 555). The literary text is a stream of consciousness. The disclosure of the author’s image in the literary text is necessary to understand the main thought of a text.

The supercategory of the image of the author in the text manifests itself in the dominant, which serves the organizing beginning. The concept of the dominant in philology traces its roots from the 20th century (Valentinova et al., 2016; Valentinova & Rybakov, 2019). The dominating idea is the internal principle of selection of life material for artistic implementation, it is a source of self-movement of the text released from the will of the artist (Valentinova, 2016). The dominant reflects the author’s intent. The dominant analysis method allows detecting a hidden manifestation of the author’s image. The dominant, in turn, manifests itself in a text semantic field.

A text semantic field is a relatively new term in philology. This notion arose as a result of extrapolating the field approach to the study of a text. In this area among all scientists, Novikov (2001) made a great contribution, which identifies a text semantic field as a special kind of field. According to him, this term defines and explores the semantic field as a textual structure. As a method, the interaction of a text semantic field contributes to a more complete disclosure of images and ideas (Novikov, 2001) implicitly expressed within literary works.

Problem Statement

The image of the author is the central category of the literary work, and at the same time the method of its integral analysis and synthesis. It penetrates the entire structure of the literary work and defines the relations and interaction of all its elements (Vinogradov, 1971).

In the literary text, the image of the author manifests itself in the dominant. The dominant is a principle, a law, which knowledge allows not only explaining and understanding any component of the literary text, but also predicting further development of the text and evaluating each of its fragments in terms of compliance/non-conformity with the basic principle. In the creation of a text, the dominant is realized as a source of self-movement, which penetrates the whole text, thus mastering all its elements and controlling them (Valentinova & Denisenko, 2016). The dominant helps deploying the plot and semantically penetrates the entire text. It manifests itself in a text semantic field.

The text semantic field is organized by the author’s category as a purposeful system in which heterogeneous elements represent a single expression of ideological-aesthetic meaning (Novikova, 2005). Everything that exists in the literary text is aimed at overcoming the opposition of a natural language. Unlike the language itself, the combination of the text semantic field in the structure of the literary text usually depends on communicative attitudes of the author.

Thus, one cannot ignore the author’s intent and overcome the linearity of perception when analyzing literary texts using a text semantic field. The purpose of this study is to understand how these relations are ensured and reflected in the text under study.

Research Questions

I.S. Turgenev promoted Russian classical literature in Europe, thus opening the classic of the genre. “Europe unanimously gave for Turgenev the first place in modern literature”, “none of the Russian writers was read so diligently across the whole Europe as Turgenev”. In the novel A Nest of Gentlefolk, I.S. Turgenev introduced the Russian noble life to foreign readers.

The object of the paper is the image of the author in I.S. Turgenev’s novel A Nest of Gentlefolk. The subject – features of text semantic field in fixation and strengthening of the author’s image in literary texts.

The author is the one who creates the work and takes it upon himself by misappropriating and signing it. It is the producer of the literary space giving flow to ideological relations and conflicts of the society (Macherey, 2006). The concerns of the author are necessarily repeated and reinforced in his works. But the artist does it subconsciously. Only when the researcher reads the text carefully and slowly, does he notice these potential meanings unravelling of the plot of the text. In this work, this is particularly important to analyze the text.

Regarding the novelty of the work, the authors for the first time set the task to understand the specific reflections of the author’s image in the semantic structure of the Turgenev (1981) novel A Nest of Gentlefolk , strive to find changes of the opposition in integral semantic thread of the text using the method of linguistic analysis. The main task is to show how these oppositions begin to rebuild, some fields are formed around the images of heroes and begin to form a meaningful structure of these images. This shows the image of the author, i.e. his artistic personality.

Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of the study is to reveal the image of the author in the literary work of I.S. Turgenev (1981) A Nest of Gentlefolk , reflected in the text by means of a text semantic field. Analyzing the use of different oppositions to express the same meanings in the semantic structure of the novel, which I.S. Turgenev uses in characterizing the main characters, reveal the author’s attitude towards them and show not only something different from his own language, but also the hidden personality of the artist in the text.

Research Methods

The main methods for solving the scientific problem set by the authors as a whole include text semantic field and dominant analysis, which are specific reflections of an integrated approach. These methods are evolving and promising as they enable effective analysis of the language of the literary text.

Findings

In the process of the comprehensive analysis of the Turgenev (1981) novel A Nest of Gentlefolk we found different oppositions in the semantic structure, which are distinguished in a native language by repititions of a single meaning with different words or phrases to describe a specific hero, in which the image of the author as the dominant of the text is reflected. The overcoming these oppositions is manifested by the image of the author, his “ego” by means of special contextual conditions.

The analysis of oppositions in specific microfragments with adequate meanings extracted from the text is presented below. Let us show how these oppositions, which will not be found in the dictionary, begin to change and rebuild in the text.

Semantic approximation of lexemes a real man clumsy awkward a snail the one who is betrayed forms the text semantic field connected with the image of Lavretsky.

  • “Nobody would call Fedya an interesting kidult: he was quite pale, clumsy and awkward a real man , according to Glafira Petrovna” (Turgenev, 1981, p. 198).

According to the Dahl’s Explanatory Dictionary, clumsy means “not well built, clumsy, outrageous, ugly”, a man – “a person uneducated, ill-bred, rough, ignoramus, boor” (Dahl, 2002, para. 17).

The analysis shows that the underlined words get a general meaning in a context, i.e. serve as synonyms of one hyperonym of the field (i.e. a real man – is the one who is clumsy and awkward).

  • “Maria Dmitrievna with displeasure looked to it him [Lavretsky] leaving and thought: “What snail, a man. Well, now I understand why his wife could not remain true to him” (Turgenev, 1981, p. 269).

In the fragment, a snail is “awkward, clumsy, cumbersome” (Dahl, 2002). By appearance Lavretsky looks like a snail, and a man here gets the same meaning as the word snail. Thereby, by means of Marya Dmitrievna’s statement it is clear that Lavretsky is the one whom is betrayed.

These two fragments make it possible to form the semantic field “real man”: clumsy – awkward – a snail – the one who is betrayed. The semantic repetition of these words amplifies this sense and strengthens the image of Lavretsky, which is characterized as awkwardness, as reflects the author’s attitude towards him.

The image of Varvara Pavlova (Lavretsky’s wife) in the novel is introduce to oppose the image of Lavretsky, and is characterized by special agility.

Semantic approximation of lexemes swiftly – ability to become friends – skillfully forms the text semantic field connected with the image of Varvara Pavlova.

  • Do you [Marfa Timofeevna] like it [mantilla]?Varvara Pavlovna swiftly lowered it from shoulders (Turgenev, 1981).

The underlined word swiftly in this context means “a shifty, lively, dexterous person” (Dahl, 2002). When Varvara Pavlovna discovered that Marfa Timofeevna liked her mantilla, she immediately took it off her shoulders and asked if she liked it or not and wanted to give it to her. Here the word swiftly emphasizes the agility of Varvara Pavlovna.

  • “Varvara Pavlovna had the ability to become friends with anyone; two hours was enough for Panshin to seem to know her for ages ...” (Turgenev, 1981, p. 280).

Hence it seems that Varvara Pavlovna knows how to communicate and get close to everyone, and for some specific purpose. The expression ability to become friends with anyone once again emphasizes the agility of Varvara Pavlovna. The comparison with the words two hours and for ages strengthen this thought.

  • “Varvara Pavlovna very skillfully avoided everything that could at least bear a faint resemblance to her situation; there was no love in her speeches and memory: on the contrary, they were rather strict to passions, disappointed” (Turgenev, 1981, p. 321).

Varvara Pavlovna in this context carried out this action with great skill and subtlety (skillfully avoided everything and did not mention love at all), so that none of the attendees recalled her situation, even reminded.

In general, these three fragments describe and emphasize the agility of Varvara Pavlovna. The expressions shifty , ability to become friends and skillfully in the context have the general semantic meaning of agility , thus, the field “ agility " appears: swiftly – ability to become friends – skillfully , hence, the author’s attitude towards her is negative.

The agility does not only manifest itself in one hero Varvara Pavlovna, but also in the image of Panshin. So, this field will be applied to several images. By the nature of distributions of these meanings it is possible to draw a conclusion about the setting of images, i.e. structure, imagery.

The semantic approximation of lexemes kind dexterous trickster – to dazzle – diplomatically weighing each word forms the text semantic field connected with the image of Panshin.

  • In a short time, he [Panshin] gained the reputation of the most kind and dexterous young people in St. Petersburg. Panshin was really very dexterous no worse than his father (Turgenev, 1981).

According to the Dahl’s Explanatory Dictionary, the word gain the reputation means “to become known by good or bad, to earn glory, opinion of society” (Dahl, 2002, para. 21), i.e. Panshin very quickly became known in St. Petersburg. Kind – “ beloved, sweet, sweetheart, dear ”, and dexterous – “ tortuous, werewolf, agile ” (Dahl, 2002, p. 19). Here courtesy is associated with dexterity and courtesy in this context will have a negative connotation. In other words, the word kind here is used by the author of the novel as synonymous with the word dexterous, gets the general meaning of “ shifty ”. Adverbs really amplify this thought.

  • “And knows, the trickster, – Marfa Timofeevna interrupted her [Nastasia Karpovna], – knows how to seduce he: presented a snuffbox to her” (Turgenev, 1981, p. 305).

  • In this fragment, a trickster means “a slick cheater, a fraud, an idler, a dishonest man” (Dahl, 2002, para. 25). And to dazzle means “to capture by attracting fascination, to tempt” (Dahl, 2002). By the words of the hero Marfa Timofeevna expresses the author’s attitude to Panshin. Panshin is not only a trickster raft that often tells untruths, but is also able to tempt others and has flexibility, i.e. he is very shifty.

  • Then he [Panshin] started talking to Varvara Pavlovna, diplomatically weighing and rapping out each word, respectfully listening to her answers up to the end (Turgenev, 1981).

The meaning of dexterity is potentially enshrined in words diplomatically weighing and reporting each word . Panshin deliberately extended the speaking process, and here his trick is noticed.

In general, these fragments describe and emphasize Panshin’s agility. The attitude of the author is fixed in context, in words. Thereby, one more field is formed as kind dexterous trickster – to dazzle – diplomatically weighing each word .

Compared to the above images, the image of the main character Lisa is clean, and she is the only one in the novel with such a character.

The semantic approximation of lexemes serious – honest – innocent – clean – quiet – clear soul forms the text semantic field connected with the image of Lisa.

  • “A pale, fresh face, eyes and so serious lips, and honest and innocent look” – Lavretsky thought of Lisa (Turgenev, 1981).

In this fragment, not so much seriousness as honesty together with innocence, is important. The words honest and innocent in the common language are not synonyms: honest means “ direct, truthful, steady in conscience of his own and duty” , and innocent means “ immaculate, prickly, virgin ” (Dahl, 2002, para. 9).

Then, seriousness, honest and innocent represent co-position, they semantically tend to each other, it is not that lips are serious, but that in general a person is serious, honest and innocent.

  • “He [Lavretsky] began to think of her (Lisa), and his heart ceased. “A clean girl”, he said in a low voice, – “clean stars”, – he added with a smile and went to bed calmly” (Turgenev, 1981, p. 362).

(Thinking of Lisa) the heart subsided and after Lisa the main character Lavretsky becomes quietly semantically connected. What matters here is that Lisa is clean and she gives peace of mind.

  • “For other people the love marriage can be misfortune; but not for you, with your calm mores, with your clear soul!” – said Fedor Ivanovich to Lisa (Turgenev, 1981).

  • “The word will not express what occurred in a pure soul of the girl [Lisa]: it was a secret for her” – Fedor Ivanovich thought of Lisa (Turgenev, 1981).

In the last two fragments, a calm temper, a clear soul, and a pure soul enter one semantic field about Lisa’s characterization as purity.

All of these fragments describe and emphasize Lisa’s purity. Besides, here the author compares her with others, flawed and dishonest. In general, the field “clean girl” is revealed: serious – honest – innocent – quiet – clear soul. The dominant of this field is “pure” reflecting the author’s positive attitude towards Lisa.

Conclusion

The image of the author is encoded in the text. It is the personal attitude of the author to the subject matter of the image reflected in the text, and the organizational center, the core of the composition of the text. In the literary text, the image of the author is realized through the dominant, which semantically penetrates the whole text and manifests itself in the text semantic field.

Unlike the language itself, the composition of a text semantic field is limited to the text itself. Expanding the image through a whole word-named text is the element of a text field, and there are multiple nominations in the text to express virtually the same meaning.

In this work, by means of a text semantic field, i.e. literal and contextual definition and analysis of word meanings, classification and integration of general meanings laid down by the author in the semantic structure of the text to characterize his heroes, the image of the author reflected in the text is revealed.

In Turgenev (1981) novel A Nest of Gentlefolk, a text semantic field is widely used, which shows not only high education and language taste of the author, but also represents the keys to open the implicitly expressed copyright relations.

References

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Publisher

European Publisher

First Online

31.10.2020

Doi

10.15405/epsbs.2020.10.05.152

Online ISSN

2357-1330