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Vladimir Makanin, "Prisoner of the Caucasus" - summary, analysis and reviews
Vladimir Makanin, "Prisoner of the Caucasus" - summary, analysis and reviews

Summary of Makanin's "Prisoner of the Caucasus" will allow you to carefully get acquainted with the features of this work, without even reading it. This story, written in 1994, focuses on the relationship between a young Chechen fighter and a Russian soldier. To date, it has been repeatedly reprinted, translated into several European languages ​​and even filmed. The writer received for him in 1999 the State Prize in the field of art and literature.

History of Creation

Vladimir Makanin

Summary of Makanin's "Prisoner of the Caucasus" will help you prepare for an exam or a seminar on this work. It is also worth knowing that the story was created in the summer and autumn of 1994, when the Chechen war had not yet begun. So we can say that the author had a presentimentlooming tragedy.

Makanin himself recalled that he finished the work on December 1, exactly one month before the start of the First Chechen War. In 1995 it was published in the fourth issue of the Novy Mir magazine. After that, he was repeatedly published in numerous collections of the writer, as well as anthologies of contemporary authors.

Makanin returned to the Chechen theme in the late 2000s, writing the novel Asan. For it, he received the Big Book Award in 2008.


The story of the Caucasian prisoner

To tell a summary of Makanin's "Prisoner of the Caucasus" let's start with the fact that the action of the work takes place on the territory of Chechnya on the eve of the war.

Militants block the road to a column of Russian soldiers. An experienced warrior Rubakhin is assigned to find some way out, he takes Vovka the shooter to help. They do not find understanding with Lieutenant Colonel Gurov, as he is busy negotiating with a captured Chechen about the exchange of weapons for food for soldiers.

Even in the summary of Makanin's "Prisoner of the Caucasus" it is important to note that the Chechen refuses to consider himself a prisoner. Laughing, he declares to Gurov that he is a prisoner of his, all his soldiers are prisoners.

After that, Rubakhin takes part in an ambush for militants. Russian soldiers organize everything so that they run along a specially organized corridor in the forest. At this point, some of them are arrested. Rubakhin himself captures a handsome and young Chechen youth. With Vovka the shooter, they take him to the mountains to exchange him forthe possibility of passage for the convoy.


The content of the story Caucasian prisoner

On the road, the main character begins to feel an unexpected attraction to this young man. He is literally mesmerized by its beauty. They stay overnight in the forest, and in the morning, having got into the gorge, they hear that two detachments of militants are passing on both sides. The culmination of the plot of Vladimir Makanin's Prisoner of the Caucasus is coming. In order not to let himself be discovered, Rubakhin strangles the young man, fearing that he will scream.

At the end of the story, they come back with nothing. They failed to agree on the passage of a convoy of trucks.

Artistic Features

The name and content of Makanin's "Prisoner of the Caucasus" refers us to the works of Russian classics. Alexander Pushkin, Mikhail Lermontov, Leo Tolstoy, Sasha Cherny have works with a similar name. Only all of them have the name "Prisoner of the Caucasus".

It is also worth noting that one of the main leitmotifs for this work was Dostoevsky's words that beauty will save the world. Makanin himself gives a reference to this, mentioning this phrase already in the first sentence of the story. However, in the finale, beauty "does not save", failing to save the young man from death, and Rubakhin from committing murder.


The plot of the story Prisoner of the Caucasus

In reviews of Makanin's "Prisoner of the Caucasus", critics and readers noted that the author in a modern way reinterprets Caucasian motifs, well known in the big Russianclassics. In his work, he demonstrates the good quality of work with the word. At the same time, he manages to remind that it will not be easy to untie the "Caucasian knot", this war has been well known to Russians since the 19th century.

It is important that the war in this story is only a trigger for the plot. The narrative is more existential, and the main counterpoint is the confrontation between insiders and outsiders. Makanin demonstrates the aggressiveness spilled in the world, it constantly breaks out through murders and wars. But the story is not only about that. An important place in it is occupied by beauty that can really save the world. Moreover, it is with these words that the writer begins his story about violence, murders and aggression.

In reviews of Vladimir Makanin's story "Prisoner of the Caucasus", critics noted the symbolic monumentality of this work. The author managed to embody the archetical conflict of the present time. This is the mental anguish of a man who is doomed to destroy what he loves most. The motive for the murder turns into a thoughtful parable, a battle story of amazing tension. The cause of the war is not hatred, but unrequited, passionate and perverted love.

Analysis of the product

Writer Vladimir Makanin

The story "Prisoner of the Caucasus" by V. Makanin was highly praised in the West. The author refutes the Caucasian myth, depriving it of a romantic halo. His heroes got used to military everyday life, embittered and hardened. They take death for granted, calmly relate to corpses, burying them in the ground. About itindifference Makanin mentions several times. At the same time, he describes death as creepy and scary as possible, so that the reader cannot perceive death indifferently. For soldiers, war turns into work, while the author sets himself the task of preventing this from happening in civilian life.

The temporal and spatial organization of the work is very unusual. There is a thin line between the present time and its purpose. At the same time, individual time segments are knocked out of the general flow, acquiring their own meaning in the story. At the same time, the space itself is divided into separate segments, which, in the end, are repeated and intertwined with each other. There is a strong feeling that the characters have fallen into an intricate labyrinth, from which there is simply no way out. They became his captives forever.

Dostoevsky's statement about beauty runs through the whole work of Makanin. But here it takes on a different meaning. The harsh and alien beauty of the Caucasian mountains becomes hostile and alien to the Russian people. The mountains are a mortal danger for Russian soldiers. The beauty of a Chechen youth at first awakens new and strong feelings in Rubakhin, there is a feeling that they are able to play an important role in the life of a Russian soldier, to change him, but this beauty does not save anyone either. As soon as he has a sense of danger that comes from the prisoner, the main character brutally cracks down on him.

Makanin comes to the conclusion that where anger and chaos reign, there is simply no place for beauty. She acquires destructive power, his beauty does not save, likeDostoevsky, but kills.

Innovation and uniqueness

Review of the story by Vladimir Makanin

Makanin mercilessly exposes the romantic Caucasian myth, which was created by Russian classics - Pushkin, Lermontov, Tolstoy. A modern author opens the reader's eyes to the true Caucasus, which no longer fascinates anyone.

He completely refutes Dostoevsky's classic phrase, proving that there can be nothing romantic and beautiful in war. Everywhere there are only mutilated corpses, blood and crippled fates of those who managed to survive.


Film Captive

In 2008, the book "Prisoner of the Caucasus" by Vladimir Makanin was filmed by director Alexei Uchitel. The cinematographer admitted that he was impressed and hurt by this work. He personally met the author, amazed that the already middle-aged man spoke in a very modern and relevant way. He clearly assessed the current state of Russian cinema, moreover, he had a screenwriting education. So Teacher arranged for him to rework his story for the film.

The picture came out under the name "Prisoner". The main roles were played by Vyacheslav Krikunov, Petr Logachev and Irakli Mskhalaia.

The picture participated in the Kinotavr festival, but did not win any awards. At the competition in Karlovy Vary, the tape received the award for best director.

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