Scholarly article on topic 'The Autobiographical Story as a Means of Modeling Global Events'

The Autobiographical Story as a Means of Modeling Global Events Academic research paper on "Art (arts, history of arts, performing arts, music)"

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Abstract of research paper on Art (arts, history of arts, performing arts, music), author of scientific article — Svetlana V. Voloshina, Tatiana A. Demeshkina

Abstract In this article we will discuss the speech genre of autobiograohical narrative as a means of modeling global events. As a source of information about global events oral stories of people who live in Siberian villages, representatives of peasant folk culture, are analyzed. The research was carried out using the material of Russian old-dialects in the Middle Ob, reflecting the theme of the Great Patriotic War. War is presented as a global event that has become autobiographical. There is a schematic representation of the elements included in the speech genre of the autobiographical story. The genre scheme has its transformation types which are discussed depending on various factors. A conclusion is made on the world modeling potential of autobiographical texts.

Academic research paper on topic "The Autobiographical Story as a Means of Modeling Global Events"

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Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 200 (2015) 563 - 568

THE XXVI ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL ACADEMIC CONFERENCE, LANGUAGE AND

CULTURE, 27-30 October 2015

The Autobiographical Story as a Means of Modeling Global Events

Svetlana V. Voloshinaa*, Tatiana A. Demeshkinaa

aTomsk State University, 36, Lenin Ave., Tomsk, 634050, Russia

Abstract

In this article we will discuss the speech genre of autobiograohical narrative as a means of modeling global events. As a source of information about global events oral stories of people who live in Siberian villages, representatives of peasant folk culture,are analyzed. The research was carried out using the material of Russian old-dialects in the Middle Ob, reflecting the theme of the Great Patriotic War. War is presented as a global event that has become autobiographical. There is a schematic representation of the elements included in the speech genre of the autobiographical story. The genre scheme has its transformation types which are discussed depending on various factors. A conclusion is made on the world modeling potential of autobiographical texts.

© 2015TheAuthors. Published by ElsevierLtd.This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.Org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

Peer-review under responsibility of National Research Tomsk State University. Keywords: autobiographical story; autobiography; identity; world modeling; speech genre

1. Introduction

The study of autobiographical texts is common in modern anthropology, history, psychology, sociology, philosophy, literary studies. The craze of autobiographical research is due to, on the one hand, the anthropological turn in the humanities, and on the other hand the creation of a large number of autobiographical texts, their spreading in new areas - the Internet, the appearance of new autobiographical genres (for example, the summary genre). To investigate the nature of Man, autobiographical texts are a representational source: they reflect not only a person who writes or tells about himself, but also the history of society, and its impact on humans. Autobiographical texts for a long time were ignored by researchers. If they were studied, it was only in the aspect of the identity of the author's text. Recently, the autobiographical text has been discussed as a valuable historical source (Dekker, 2002; Khisamutdinova and Korableva, 2012; Warshavsky, 2012; Petrov, 2014). On the one hand, the correlation of the

* Corresponding author. Tel.: +7-913-878-0808. E-mail address: vsv1304@yandex.ru

1877-0428 © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

Peer-review under responsibility of National Research Tomsk State University. doi: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.08.029

personal and social are analyzed in ego-texts. On the other hand, researchers consider important historical events through the prism of autobiographies. "Although the biography of the individual, of course, is valuable itself, in terms of social history, comparative biographies of people have a particular importance as participants and witnesses of the events, since they allow us to pay attention to common factors and exceptions that are "hiding" from the eyes of the historian in the traditional reading of certain sources (Kisileva). This approach to the study of autobiographical texts fits into the context of modern identity research. Autobiographical discourse is discourse which is easy for self-representation, self-concept, self-expression (Kovanova, 2005). In our opinion, the important thing is observation of research on the significance of autobiographical memory for the formation of both personal and social identity. "Personal memory plays an important role in identity construction because it provides pertine nt and plentiful information" (Wilson and Ross, 2003: 147)."Many social groups are formed around autobiographical memories. Common memories help a person get through unity with various social communities, beginning with the family (family legends) generation and nation, humanity as a whole"(Nurkova, 2006: 80).

Of special significance is analysis of autobiographical texts in the aspect of linguistically modeling global and epochal events, which have influenced the destiny of nations and individuals, as it provides an opportunity to look at the history of the society through the prism of the history of the individual.

This article describes how a global event may affect the life of the individual, and also determine the genre originality of representational events. The purpose of the article is toidentify the world modeling potential of autobiographical texts as a means of modeling social and global eventson the basis of information about war, presented in oral autobiographical stories.

One such event in Russian history is the war of 1941-1945, which received the official name "Great Patriotic War". Linguists' attention is attracted bythe Russian realization of a war concept based on proverbs (Kalmikova, 2011;Osipova, 2014), folklore texts (Emer, 2012;Podukov andSvalova, 2013), songs of the Great Patriotic War (Potapchuk, 2011) and dictionaries (Korzhneva,2012).

The study involved more than 100 oral autobiographical stories of people who speak with dialects, residents of Tomsk Region, born at the end of the 19th to the first half of the 20thcentury (1893-1946). All the participants encountered war in other periods of their life. In their stories, the theme of war occupies a significant role; it occurs most frequently. Research of such personal stories is topical now, as people who have information and are direct witnesses of war, now become fewer and fewer. Study of stories about war enables imagination about national consciousness and identity, which allows them to fit into the context of modern humanities research about personal and collective trauma (Rozhdestvenskaya,2009;Ushakin, 2009; Bray and Bray, 2013) where war is compared to repressions, diseases, traumas, etc.

2. Research methods

The understanding of such a destructive global event as the Great Patriotic War has not undergone linguistic analysis using autobiographical stories, though records of dialectal speech occur with quite a high frequency. Research texts consider the autobiographical story as a speech genre. A speech genre is a "realization field of a certain range of social values and linguocultural conceptsbased on them (Slishkin, 2005: 43). We believe that the speech genre has world modeling potential (Voloshina & Demeshkina, 2012) and can be considered as a means of modeling global events. This approach allows us to identify how the analyzed speech genre affects the reflection of one or another event in a man's life, and how it affects the construction of a speech genre. The method of this research can be defined as cognitive-discursive, including interpretation methods, introspection, metaphorical modeling and contextual analysis (Demeshkina, 2014).

3. World modeling potential of autobiographical stories

In an analysis of autobiographical stories (Voloshina, 2008), we found that in each of them there are repeated elements in the structure and content.

Autobiographical stories are characterized by a pronounced personal principle, which is the main structuring element of the speech genre, which determines the presence of other components, reflecting the most important

stages of life. The egocentric character of memories and autobiographies can be displayed in schematic form (Fig. 1):

Fig. 1.

A complete set of these elements is not always realized and not required in the narrative. We note that there is no clear sequence of their inclusion in autobiographical stories. The scheme reflects the elements relating to the personal life of informants. In this case, a person exists in social time and space which influence his life. Researchers of autobiographical memory note that not all events from personal past are included by people in the stories about their life despite the fact that there can be thousands of such memories: "Memories that individuals consider autobiographical are likely to be those that have an emotional impact or that provide a motivational explanation for later developments." (Bluck and Habermas, 2000: 122). One of the most important stages of informants' lives is the period of war, which is different compared to elements showed in the diagram. It can displace, replace and deform individual components (study, work), it can provoke a loss of elements (parents, children, family members). Analysis of global events taking into account the elements of this scheme gives an idea of different perception by subjects of different ages, sexes and social statuses.

War is an event that divided a country's and people's lives into segments before and after. In the autobiographical stories time markers before war, during war, after war, etc. are used: "Before the war, I went to Moscow. I was a calf-woman, I was 18 years old. I went to Moscow in 1939for these calves, as a best worker, from Kolpashevo there were 25 people who went to Moscow. I was given a return-ticket, lo and behold war startedAfter the war, we moved here. Me and my husband we worked together in a fish factory, selling and preparing different stuff'.

Informants whose childhood happened during the war period, took war as a time that deprived a person of natural needs for development, starving time and time of constant absence of parents: "The illiterate woman (about her mother) stayed with her children, whose age was from eight to ten months, five children, she was a worker in the butter factory. Now I look back and think:"My God, how did we live through the famine?!", but the only thing that saved us was a cow. How could my mother hire someone, there were no such conditions as there are now, a worker in the butter factory didn't have a lot of money. During the war the working days were 7 days a week, night leaves, night comes... My mom had five hungry children, I remember it like it happened recently, mom cooked us something, I don't know when, I guess at night, there were not any electric stoves, everything was so primitive, however we tried to survive and survived.". The author evaluates this event from the position of an adult, however, shows us the children's perception: "hungry, I remember it like it happened recently. "

The element "my parents" due to the war is exposed as loss or temporary absence and change: "Myparents, see, my father worked in the village as a master of the dairy industry, the first time he worked as a worker, then as a

master of the butter factory, then as a technologist, of course, he was a veteran, he died when he was only 55 years old, because of wounds and different diseases..."; My father died because of dramatic wounds during the war. He was wounded 7 times and one time he was contused. He came back in 1945. He got through Japan and Germany. He died in 1974."

Depending on age, which age an informant was during the war, there is a transformation of the element "study": It turned out that it was impossible to begin or continue studying in school. "I left school because my brother was born in August of 1941. My father was drafted into the army in June, and then in August my brother was born. Of course my mother couldn't baby-sit and I was sent to work: I was eleven"; I finished the fourth grade and the war began, it was difficult time. We carried wood ourselves and straw for cattle ".

The component "The birth of children" is mentioned in the stories when a child was born immediately after the beginning of war or after war: "My father was sent to the Front in June, and then in August my brother was born. Of course my mother couldn't baby-sit and I was sent to work: I was eleven. I baby-sitted till he turned 1 year"; "It was difficult to live through it"; When war started, I had had three children at that moment. My last son was born after the war."

The war specifically affected the component "work"; here we can clearly see the destructive nature of war: there is a shift in division of labor between men and women, there is child labor, labor becomes unbearable: "During the war we caught fish with nets. We lived on the collective farm, worked, carried soil, wood. I carried wood with men, felled timber. A man had a horse and I had a horse. I worked on a par with the men. Therefore I was exhausted all the time"; "...next spring a nursery opened and I sent my brother there, me and my mother worked together on equal terms. She mowed grass and I did it, and any other work - all we did together"; Then I became a tractor driver. Then I studied as a train driver. I worked as a train driver. When my team-mate was sent to the Front, I had to work as a tractor and train driver. And then to the Front in 6 months." The war was an event that influenced careers.

The element "My family: husband/wife/children" experiencing a transformation in time of war: "There were six children and his old woman. He was sent to the Front. He hadn 't been home for two years, someone had to bring up the children"; My husband took part in the war then came back and died here. "We married, my mother-in-law hated me. We lived for 18 years and then he was sent to the Front, he was killed there, so I stayed alone. It affected my nerves, I was a cripple"; Got married, he was sent to war. I was with two children, they both died."

It should be noted that the war touched not only the family of an informant, a particular family, but the family in general: "In my family there was my father, mother, grandmother (father's mother), elder sister, the eldest, she died a long time ago, elder brother, he was killed in 1942 somewhere during military actions, and me, there was a girl between us, but she died of disease"; One brother was killed, another came back but he was a cripple. "

Thus, the types of varying autobiographical stories are determined by the specifics of an external event (Tig. 2).

Fig. 2.

In the stories it is said that the war affected the lives of individuals, families, villages, the whole country. Collective and personal principles are inextricably connected in the view of this global event in peasant consciousness: "It was difficult to live during the war. We were hungry, bare and felt cold"; "One time we went into battle. Firstly, there were eight people from the same village. Only I came back "; "And we worked day and night, all day long you spent knitting and hammering at night and speaking at the same time, everything for the war, everything just for our soldiers to win the war. Oh-oh-oh. God forbid you see it, God forbid, I do not wish to see this even for an evil Tatar. I do not wish even that. We lived like that. We worked in collectives during the war. ... So, my dear, we were living, oh-oh-oh, I do not wish for anyone to live how we were living. We lived through so many things."

In this context, the idea of war is realized as an event that is sent by the higher powers: "God forbid you see it, God forbid." According to research of the study of folklore and dialect texts it is marked by mythological, folk understanding of the war, according to which the war in the popular mind is a disaster, God's punishment, and not the result of human activity (Podyukov andSvalova, 2013). Its spontaneous, unpredictable character, independence of man and his inability to influence it is emphasized in phrases: "Then the war became a curse. We have just begun to live, got on our feet, and here just drop everything and go to beat the Germans"; And then, when the war started, I was summoned to the office and was told that, "Now, girl, you go to the captain's mate;" I returned, the war was soon over. I started to work. I was working little by little. "

The described material allows us to consider war as an event which found a place, time, beginning, end and result. The victory in the Great Patriotic War was the result which is conceptualized in the relation of the personal and collective: "And when the war was over, oh well, here it was. There was the festival. And for the first time, for the first time I drank a glass of vodka, and then I vomited terribly, I was sick, and my mother was telling me off so much. And women were sticking up for me; they said that we were drunk because of joy. The festival was one time for the whole collective. Tables were placed near the whole fence. There were large tables and the whole collective was having fun. The victory was celebrated in such a way. "

The study of narration in dialect discourse has allowed researchers to make a conclusion that "the more an event is revealed in dialect narration, the more precisely it focuses on man and his speech and the more fully the narrator and the audience of his story are "admitted to the event" (Goldin, 2009: 7). We can note that war as a global event which has become one of the most important periods in the life of the informants found its reflection in autobiographical stories. But it is not always revealed by the informant in detail since the main purpose of his story is to present himself. The study of a large array of ego-texts can be considered as a way of modeling the events of the outside world.

War is presented as an event which is hard to remember and speak about: "It is difficult for me to remember this war..."; "I told you about the war already. It is better for you, my 'kosatochki', not to know anything, we suffered a lot, we cried a lot and there were so many tears, that even in the ocean there will be less water..." Studies of traumatic experience and traumatic events show that "in this case there is a problem with the utterance of just what is most painful, that brings new torment in the process of telling the story" (Rozhdestvenskaya, 2009: 109).

4. Conclusion

Thus, war in the speech genre of autobiographical story is presented as a global event, which intruded upon and changed peaceful life and became autobiographical, deforming a given period of life. Research of autobiographical stories of a large number of informants who lived in the same period of time and in the same historical, political, social processes leads to the conclusion that ego-texts areone of the means of modeling global events.

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