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25a, Povarskaya str., Moscow, 121069, Russian Federation
DSc in Philology, Leading Researcher, Department of the Most Recent Russian Literature and Russian-Language Literature Abroad, A. M. Gorky Institute of World Literature, Russian Academy of Science
This article, dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the end of the Great Patriotic War, examines the people’s attitude toward the war, which, along with human resources, the quality of weaponry, strategic and tactical leadership, became one of the sources of the victory. Their attitude to wars of liberation was inherited from the past and is associated with the idea of the heroic — a most important category of traditional culture, which is the dominant semantic and emotional core of high genres. The traditional folk epic, for example, describes and extols actions that demonstrate the fearlessness of heroes, their ability to overcome the instinct of self-preservation and sacrifice themselves for the common good. The tradition of stories by veterans that have been collected over more than the last three decades generates its own original texts in both oral (audio-visual recording) and written form; both channels of transmission are closely intertwined and equally important. One of their main features is that the epic heroization of the past in some cases combines with the desire to reveal new truth about the war, to overcome its stereotypical perception due to Soviet censorship and ideological attitudes. These features are also characteristic of the story told by Hero of the Soviet Union A. N. Azarov that has been preserved in his family’s archive. It covers a significant period of history, from his conscription for active military service in 1940 to his participation in the operation to capture Berlin as part of the 6th tank corps.
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