Topos of the “Garden” as a Spatial Dominant in Anton Chekhov’s Works in the 1890s—1900s

Tyumen State University Herald. Humanities Research. Humanitates


2018, Vol. 4. №2

Topos of the “Garden” as a Spatial Dominant in Anton Chekhov’s Works in the 1890s—1900s

For citation: Komarov S. A., Shelemekha K. S. 2018. “Topos of the ‘Garden’ as a Spatial Dominant in Anton Chekhov’s Works in the 1890s—1900s”. Tyumen State University Herald. Humanities Research. Humanitates, vol. 4, no 2, pp. 124-138. DOI: 10.21684/2411-197X-2018-4-2-124-138

About the authors:

Sergey A. Komarov, Dr. Sci. (Philol.), Professor, Department of Russian and Foreign Literature, University of Tyumen;; ORCID: 0000-0003-4506-4027

Kristina S. Shelemekha, Postgraduate Student, University of Tyumen;


This article studies the evolution of the topos of “garden” in Anton Chekhov’s works in the 1890s —1900s. The lexical analysis shows the decay of topos’s duality “Sea + steppe” described earlier by Toporov and Razumova. A new dominant toponym — a “garden” — is being formed. The structure of topos develops gradually.

In Chekhov’s story “The Duel”, the garden becomes a reflection of the emotional state within the family. In the story “Fear”, the first elements of symbolization the come out. Subjectivity of perception of the world becomes the main purpose for the author. In the story “Black Monk”, Chekhov enters into a dialogue with Nietzsche and uses the idea of the Dionysian and Apollonian principles to create characters’ images. Topos is independent of the genre-ordinary decisions. Chekhov continues to shape a garden space in the drama as well. The topos “Garden” emerges in full in “Cherry Orchard”. Chekhov takes topos beyond visual action. Space is no longer the place of the event, which enhances the effect of symbolization. With the help of topos, Chekhov actualizes the installation of modernists to expand artistic impression. The world is no longer perceived as a beautiful and stable system created by God, space is transformed through the prism of subjective perception of heroes.


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