Background: The present study is part of an ongoing research project in the framework of the Russian short stories corpus (1900 - 1930) . The corpus currently contains a few thousands of Russian short stories written in the initial three decades of the 20th century. This particular period is targeted because it was marked by a series of dramatic historical events (Russo-Japanese war, World War I, February and October revolutions, the Civil War, formation of the Soviet Union) that could not but affect Russian literature and Russian language. A preliminary analysis of the short stories in question has shown significant changes in all the three constituents of a genre, namely themes, plot structure and language style. This calls for a dynamic approach. In the present paper, it is applied to the stories’ thematic content. Aim: The paper aims to trace the ways the thematic content of Russian short stories kept changing over the above-mentioned period. It discusses a number of controversial issues pertaining to the very notion of text topic, or theme, which is argued to be fuzzy and ambivalent, all the more so in the case of literary prose. A conception is put forward that enables to identify a set of relevant themes, tag a random sample of short stories accordingly and analyze each theme’s dynamics of change over the three timespans: pre-war time (1900-1913), wars and revolutions period (1914-1922), and the socialist period (1923-1930). Results: The thematic content of the Russian short stories over the three periods differs greatly. Most themes display an obvious dynamics of change triggered, more or less directly, by the political events. The future prospects of the Corpus’ thematic tagging lie in developing automatic tagging algorithms based on word frequencies analysis and correlations between content words rankings and the stories’ themes.
|Translated title of the contribution||EARLY 20 CENTURY RUSSIAN SHORT STORIES THEMES AND THEIR DYNAMICS OF CHANGE|
|Journal||Философия и гуманитарные науки в информационном обществе|
|Publication status||Published - 2020|