The article looks into various intertextual inclusions (precedent names and precedent statements) in modern fiction that originate in children's reading. This is due to the orientation of modern fiction to the mass reader, which determines the use of children's literature texts as a translator of cultural symbols from “high” culture to ordinary consciousness. The ways of including precedent phenomena from the circle of children's reading in the texts of modern mass literature are demonstrated. They reflect the individual cultural experience of the author or character, the axiological significance of case names, their fixation in the language consciousness of readers since childhood, their functioning as speech templates that are filled in depending on the specific situation, participation in the mechanisms of creating a language game. The article analyzes the processes of transition of precedent phenomena into phraseological units, which are caused by the fixed elements of children's reading in the lexicon and thesaurus of a native Russian speaker. These units differ depending on the degree of precedent: cliché quotes, catch phrases, and new phraseological units. A special place is occupied by the problem of changing the cultural code, combining works of children's literature and cartoons in the thesaurus of the modern language personality. The article concludes emphasizing the presence of the entry of precedent phenomena from children's reading into the thesaurus of the modern language personality, in which they are characterized by socio-cultural fixity, resurgence in speech; cognitive-emotional relevance for members of one linguistic and cultural community.
Keywords: Children’s readingfictionintertextualityphraseologisationprecedent phenomena
One of the urgent problems of modern interdisciplinary research is the problem of a common cultural code that ensures the unity of the communicative space, the ability to adequately perceive cultural texts, and the cultural continuity of generations. The concept of a precedent text, associated with the combination of knowledge and representations of the national linguistic and cultural community, has become one of the key in the study of the modern language personality and modern text. The presence of a certain volume of precedent texts in person language consciousness allows us to judge the person characteristics and his or her ability to produce and perceive texts, taking into account their intertextuality (Nosova, 2017). In this regard, the study of the intertextual thesaurus of the language personality and its actualization in various types of discursive practices is of particular importance.
The object of our attention is that extremely significant part of the intertextual thesaurus, which is often not realized by native speakers themselves, but is related to children's reading.
According to Genis (2013), children's books are like myths, they ask the universe fundamental questions. The answers to them are suitable for everyone, because children, and especially animals, and especially plush ones, do not have their own history, biography, or unique past. The characters in children's books are generalized and universal, like Olympian gods, Christian saints, or psychoanalytic archetypes. They, even the smallest, fit in themselves more than it seems. Using this, children's books contain the whole world and make it bearable... (p; 260)
A children's book embodies moral values that have remained constant for different generations. In Russian culture, there are many children's books “that are suitable for everyone”. Their significance in the national intertextual thesaurus is evidenced both by the results of associative experiments and the active use of inclusions from children's books in various types of texts.
In the following article we analyze the ways of using intertextual inclusions from children’s literature in modern fiction, including mass literature – the one that is being read by everyone. In accordance with the given problem, there are discussed the following issues in this article:
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this article is to study in what forms and for what purpose intertextual inclusions from children's literature are used in modern fiction, including mass literature – literature that is read by everyone.
The discussed issues led to the application of a set of general philological and specific methods involving the analysis of relationships between language, text and “person speaking” (author, reader) as objects of philology.
The methods used in the article are:
- contextual analysis, aimed at studying a language unit in linguistic, literary, cultural contexts;
- intertextual analysis, aimed at studying intertextual interaction, identifying quotes, determining their status, relationships with the source text, transformations and functions in the tests under study;
- functional analysis that reveals the essence of the existence of the text in the text, the significance of this phenomenon, explaining the emergence of additional meanings when using precedent phenomena in the author's text.
Mass culture occupies an intermediate position between the ordinary culture, mastered by a person in the process of his socialization, and a specialized, elite culture, the development of which requires a certain aesthetic taste and educational level, it serves as a translator of cultural symbols from the “high” culture to the ordinary consciousness, implementing this by simplifying and standardizing the transmitted information. Children's literature becomes an important element of this “transmission”.
The orientation of fiction to the mass reader determines the use of proven aesthetic samples, dependence on the classics (including classics of children's literature). A fictional text is characterized by an everyday language that does not claim to be stylistic innovation. Aimed at recognizing the familiar in a chaotic variety of phenomena, fiction is located in the zone of important and “eternal” moral problems. The texts of fiction reflect the general cultural code of the contemporary, they are evidence of “collective cultural identity” (Bragina, 2007) and a kind of mirror of the generation.
Fiction is an important source of information not only about the reader's genre expectations, author's strategies, the transformation of the “language personality”, the daily life of a person, but also about the direction of children's reading. Let's turn to the forms of including fragments of children's reading in the texts of modern fiction. These forms are diverse and reflect different author strategies.
In some cases, quoting the works of children's literature is associated with individual components of the intertextual thesaurus, and reflects the individual cultural experience of author or character. That is an illustrative example: “December whistled by. I studied meaningless books, evaded Musya’s insinuations, brushed my teeth on Sundays with unpleasant toothpowder, and did not blame the prior.
The comparison of a very complex everyday situation with the situation depicted in the poem by A. Barto is related to purely individual associations of a young man, a graduate student of the philosophy faculty, on whose behalf the story is told. It is noteworthy that a children's poem is a kind of simplified formula for what is happening for an intelligent young person. At the same time, A. Barto's poem “Bullfinch” does not belong to the precedent verse texts of children's reading, which determines the necessary indication of the source of citation.
Much more often, modern fiction, and especially mass literature, demonstrates a steady appeal to precedent phenomena of various types, the reproducibility of which is associated with their unconditional fixation in the language consciousness from childhood. Thus, the character of K. Chukovsky's poem “Moidodyr” (“Washtoholes”) becomes a symbol of love for cleanliness. The use of the
“Lilka mentally washed this apartment too, as if there was
The correlation with the content of the case text determines the axiological significance of case names. Thus, the very common (usually in comparisons) name Papa Carlo is used in the meaning of “indefatigable worker” (often in combination with the verbs
“And today is my shift, and Anton, I tell you, he is ill. Here I am alone here since the morning, like
“I will unload in Munich and start working for this “Siemens” for almost a month in Germany, like
Such case names function as “value-marked and value-generating (axiogenic) cognitive-discursive world characteristics, the purpose of which is to preserve and transmit to contemporaries and future generations the most important results of life experience” (Karasik, 2019, p. 59-60).
Sometimes case names implement not only their own communication potential, but also a set of components of the case situation. For example, the names of characters in the fairy tale “The Three Little Pigs” are often used not only for ironic evaluation characteristics, but also in the context of comparing labor results:
“We live in a strong house, like the house of
“I will definitely, definitely buy an apartment in St. Petersburg, make a nest out of fluff, saliva, and the broken shells of my former lives, and build a hut out of sticks, like a second little pig,
“It wasn't because of me, it was because you lived in a straw house. Like a pig Nif-Nif. The most stupid and clueless. He was in a hurry, he wanted to build a house as quickly as possible, and so he built it out of straw!” (
Elements of children's reading texts, especially poetry texts, often act as speech templates that are filled in depending on the specific situation: “Natural reproducibility can be defined as the renewability / repeatability in the communication of stable phenomena, which is determined and dictated by culture and is often not realized by a person – the subject of language, culture, linguoculture, communication, either in the process of generation or in the process of perception” (Krasnykh, 2014, p. 13).
Natural reproducibility determines the existence of many precedent statements that are genetically associated with children's reading. For example, the line
Transmitting basic moral values, many classic texts of Soviet-era children's literature were placed in the ideological context of their time. In modern fiction, the ideological context of Soviet children's literature is often ironically reinterpreted:
The above fragment recreates the “lifelong” fixation of fragments of a children's poem in the language consciousness (it is important to note the characteristic replacement of the adjective
Gridina (2015), speaking about the gaming potential of the word specifically distinguishes lexical items “fit” for the language games already in the early stages of formation of the thesaurus of linguistic identity, as evidenced by associative experiments (e.g.,
“I put an ironic look.
– What if it's the President of Germany? – Nika straightens the napkin on Anna's lap. – Or mom, huh?
– The telephone rang, – I say thoughtfully. – Who's there?"
Having given a variant of the answer, Anna is again indifferent” (
The final remark destroys the reader's expectations – the standard response (
According to Cavelti (1996), formulas are ways in which specific cultural themes and stereotypes are embodied in more universal narrative archetypes. A formula is a combination or synthesis of a number of specific cultural clichés and more universal narrative forms or archetypes. (p. 35)
Speaking about the formality, clichéd mass literature, we should pay attention to the replication of the same precedent phenomena for the designation of a particular character, and favorite for some reason clichés go from one text to another. This is, for example, the phraseological formula
“In the meantime, the longer she hesitates, the more ridiculous the situation looks, the longer she delays the
“The extent of her father's help was well known to her. A call to the Prosecutor General, a call to the Minister of internal Affairs, a call to the chief of the Security Council – who else is there from the
Notable is the actualization of the expression
“A meter away from her, his index finger hooked on his jacket slung over his shoulder, stood an industrialist, politician, oligarch, governor,
“– Wait... – Ilyushin intently stared at the monitor. – Yes, of course, this is the Togoev, which I was thinking about.
He leaned back in his chair and drummed his fingers on the table.
- Owner of factories-newspapers-steamboats.
- Come on! – Babkin propped himself up on one elbow. Something does not look like that ...” (
Precedent phenomena motivated by children's reading have different status in the cultural field of modern precedent. In the main mass, they are “text within a text”, that is, quotes from children's literature. A different quality characterizes reproducible phrases that have already acquired the properties of winged expressions (winged words): they are recorded in dictionaries and accompanied by an interpretation of the
If we consider the constitutive properties of winged expressions stability, aphorism, origin from a certain source, then this list can be supplemented with turns
Many precedent phenomena are known to readers of mass literature not only (and often not so much) from the texts of children's reading, but also from children's cartoons (Chernyak & Huai, 2019), and their stability and aphorism is expressed in the communicative specialization: for example, in T. Ustinova's detectives, they serve as communicative and evaluative clichés that the author uses to briefly characterize the same type of situations or behavior of characters. Thus, the expression
“The coffee was ready just in time for Lada to fold the magnifying glass with a bang and say thoughtfully: “
“Rodionov was taken aback. <...>
“In the third variety of precedent statements, you can combine precedent phrases that only "survive" the process of phraseologization, for example,
The heterogeneity of precedent phenomena, motivated children's reading, largely explained by the different degree of involvement of the author's text in the case-base language, which is based on imprinting (Dyadechko, 2002). It seems that those of them that are “imprinted” from fairy tales, poems and stories, often not even read, but heard in childhood, have a higher degree of precedent (recognition and reproducibility) than, for example, precedent names and quotations from classical foreign literature, which are not included in the cultural competence of the mass reader.
In conclusion, let's consider a very revealing fragment of modern fiction from the new (2020) novel by the writer Elena Kolina. In six sentences, six intertextual inclusions are used, four of which are related to children's reading – the fairy tale “Little Red Riding Hood”, the poem “Mail” by S. Marshak, and the poem “Aibolit” by K. Chukovsky:
“Instead of a basket, Little Red Riding Hood had a blue mail bag. She was delivering telegrams. She rang the doorbell and questioned “Who is there?” she answered with a ringing voice:”
Designed for the mass reader, the intertexts associated with children's reading are quite consistent with the line included in the text from O. Mandelstam's poem “Leningrad”, which in the mass consciousness corresponds not so much to a poetic text as to a popular song. The final fragment of the phrase
Thus, precedent phenomena motivated by children's reading and included in the modern fiction texts are characterized by such general features as the presence in the language memory of the majority of modern readers, although with varying degrees of actualization; speech renewability; cognitive-emotional relevance for the same linguistic and cultural community members.
The “children's” cultural memory capacity, associated with the childhood reader's experience, becomes the means of social, professional, and age characteristics of popular literature characters, fits them into the modern cultural environment and speech situation. The analysis of various contemporary fiction genres convinces that those precedent phenomena from children's books, characters names, their statements and attributes, are not just remembered at older ages, but are also preserved in the language memory of native speakers, are the basic part of the intertextual thesaurus and exist in it as constants of Russian culture.
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27 May 2021
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Culture, communication, history, mediasphere, education, law
Cite this article as:
Didkovskaya, V., Chernyak, V., & Chernyak, M. (2021). Children's Reading As A Source Of Intertextual Inclusions In Fiction. In E. V. Toropova, E. F. Zhukova, S. A. Malenko, T. L. Kaminskaya, N. V. Salonikov, V. I. Makarov, A. V. Batulina, M. V. Zvyaglova, O. A. Fikhtner, & A. M. Grinev (Eds.), Man, Society, Communication, vol 108. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 120-128). European Publisher. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2021.05.02.15