Semantic “devaluation” of the aesthetic value of beauty in love stories by L. Petrushevskaya

Tyumen State University Herald. Humanities Research. Humanitates


Vesntik TSU. Philology. 2013

Semantic “devaluation” of the aesthetic value of beauty in love stories by L. Petrushevskaya

About the author:

Irina E. Beliakova,
Cand. Philol. Sci., Associate Professor, Department of English Philology, Institute for Humanities, Tyumen State University


This article is devoted to the analysis of the lexemes belonging to the lexical-semantic field of beauty in the short stories about love by the contemporary Russian writer L.S. Petrushevskaya. It is claimed that Russian lexemes for “beauty”, “beautiful man”, “beautiful woman” underwent pejorative changes in their lexical meaning. In the stories in question they are employed in an unusual stylistic and lexical surrounding collocating with lexemes of the opposite pole of the semantic field “beautiful—ugly” and activate their comic potential. The process of pejoration of the studied lexemes correlates with the phenomenon of semantic “devaluation” of the esthetic value of beauty in the Russian society in the middle and at end of the previous century. The language and speech units that were singled out in the prose of L. Petrushevskaya belonging to the middle and end of XX century allow to relate the studied works of literature to the aesthetics of dirty realism which is characterized by the absence of stylistic expressivity and by simplicity of speech.


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