About the Genius Loci Phenomenon – in General and in Particular

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Элеонора Шафранская


The article presents a discussion discourse about the cultural category genius loci. The ancient concept creates aberrations in modern language, turning genius loci into some bonus when describing a significant cultural topos, which contradicts the origi- nal meaning. The author of the article shows the presence of genius loci in its organic form, which came from the ancient mythological consciousness, in its various mani- festations on the material of a number of works of Russian literature. Ruth Zernova’s short story Scorpion berries (1961) presents the ruinous role of genius loci. Yevgeny Abdullayev’s story Wake up in Tashkent (2008) sacralizes the city of Tashkent as a saving locus in the traumatic vicissitudes of the ХХth century, as a city under the pa- tronage of the spirit of the place. His story Penuel (2007) shows the struggle of genius loci with the ideology and social transformations alien to the nature of the spirit of this place. Thus, genius loci in culture and literature acts as a category of poetics of an artistic or cultural text, dictating features in the image of space and time, and not in the form of a person who glorified the place.


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Literary studies