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Zhang H. [Comparative analysis of the description of commercial and gambling card games in Russian literature] World of Science. Series: Sociology, Philology, Cultural Studies, 2022, Vol. 13, No. 3. Available at: https://sfk-mn.ru/PDF/24FLSK322.pdf (in Russian).
Comparative analysis of the description of commercial and gambling card games in Russian literature
Saint Petersburg State University, Saint Petersburg, Russia
Abstract. In Russian literature of the 19th century, the theme of the game occupies an important place. A number of works by Russian and foreign authors are devoted to the study of literature that contains image of a game. However, most of the works are devoted to the description of gambling. Nevertheless, in addition to gambling — both in Russian society and in Russian literature — there were also commercial games, i.e. card games in which the result is depended on the skill of the player, and not on luck. A comparative analysis of the description of commercial and gambling card games in Russian literature of the 19th century, carried out in this article, made it possible to identify not only similarities and differences in the description of two different types of card games, but also highlight new aspects of understanding the image of cards and card games in Russian literature. An analysis of the image of commercial and gambling games was carried out on the basis of such works as «The Queen of Spades» by A.S. Pushkin, «Masquerade», «Hero of Our Time» and «Stoss» by M.Yu. Lermontov, «Players» by N.V. Gogol, «Hadji Murad» and «War and Peace» by L.N. Tolstoy, «Martingale» by V.F. Odoevsky, «Grand Slam» by L.N. Andreev, «Vint» by A.P. Chekhov. As shown by the historical, cultural and literary analysis, although there are several traditional differences in the description of commercial and gambling games in Russian literature (commercial games are associated with a more homely and cozy atmosphere of the game space, commercial games are more typical for older players), in general, there are more similarities than differences in the description of the games. While in the Russian Empire society there was a clear difference between gambling and commercial games, in the descriptions of Russian authors, these two types of games tend to converge and adopt each other’s features. First of all, this can be associated with the special semantics of the cards, which in the Russian literary tradition are strongly associated with a mystic and the inevitability of fate.
Keywords: card game motif; gambling; commercial games; Russian literature of the 19th century; image of cards; semantics; Pushkin; Tolstoy; Lermontov; Gogol; Chekhov; Andreev; Odoevsky; card game
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