Philology, pedagogy, and psychology

2023 Issue №3

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Book-centric picture of the world in O. Tokarchuk’s novels “The Journey of the Book-People” and “The Books of Jacob”



The authors have conducted a comparative analysis of the novels by Olga Tokarczuk, "The Journey of the People of the Book" and "The Books of Jacob,", where the conceptual role is played by motifs of travel and books, and the theme of religious-mystical societies of the 17th-18th centuries becomes significant. The genre specificity of the two texts, features of their narrative structure, and character systems are considered. It is asserted that the two analyzed books share a logocentric and book-centric worldview, the meaning of which lies in the belief in the ability of humans to influence reality through words and books. In connection with the dialectic of word and deed, Faustian motifs of both texts are revealed. In "The Jour­ney of the People of the Book" and "The Books of Jacob," there is also an important opposition of feminine and masculine in the ideological-artistic structure of the novels. Connected with this is the polocentric aspect of "The Books of Jacob," where the issues of Polish messianism are raised, and the archetype of the Virgin, acquiring national color through a uniquely inter­preted myth of the Black Madonna of Częstochowa, finds expression. In connection with the cult of the Virgin, the issue of the influence on Tokarczuk's artistic imagination of Jung's idea of quaternity as an archetypal numerical expression of the absolute is also noted.