Restoration of Dignity in Behavioral Models of Сharacters from Caucasus in Post-Soviet Literature

1. We are interested not in so-called reality of Caucasian life, but in its representations in "Caucasian text" of the Russian literature, in which one still can detect traces of original interpretations of the category of "dignity" and actually to judge the diverse forms of its manifestations associated both with a change of consciousness on the anthropological level, and with highly controversial transformation of its representation in the public sphere.

2. We consider dignity in the spirit of H. Bhabha's postcolonial sketches, and postcolonialism theory — as its restoration in the Caucasian context, for dignity is the most important component in the origin and development of the Caucasian identity. It always had a special place in the Caucasus self-identification, although in mass perception of the Russians it acquired an exaggerated form. The category of “dignity” largely determines the identity of Caucasians, it is key to their perception of their uniqueness and a full right to such uniqueness.

3. Restoration of dignity is often incorporated into the narrative of national salvation — with a hint of tragic pathos — emerged on the background of inter-ethnic conflicts.

4. It turned out that creators of the Soviet ethics, which explained the concept of dignity from class positions, preferred the connotation that at semantic level incorporated it only as a “positive quality” that allowed, among other things, to structure history according to one's taste. Thereby they managed to preserve the institutional character of the ethical paradigm constructed according to these ideological patterns, and the category itself was crushed, which over time led to development of the signs of collective trauma among Caucasians. Due to exploration of the motif of dignity, the authors of “Caucasian text,” at first, strive to overcome the doublethink and doublespeak of the Soviet era, and capacity of the writer and the reader formed by it to adapt to “external imperatives and governmental limitations” (Boris Dubin) in a flexible manner.

5. Dignity perceived as a speech act largely determines the existence of literary characters. These statements have pronounced performative character and literally “break” reality, doing this so brutally that its presentations resulting from such breaking are highly controversially perceived by the community to which they are addressed. Dignity is losing its spiritual and psychological base, becoming almost a biological reflex.

6. Dignity as the cornerstone of the national character is discussed in the works not by aqsaqals, not by ashugs and mullahs, who are honored among the people, not even by “masters of public opinion,” which until recently included writers, but by criminals, criminal authorities, any kind of “warlords,” “sharifs” assigned by the international terrorist community, and neophytes of Wahhabism. Their understanding and definition of dignity, and, most importantly, methods of its implementation in life often find fanatical followers. Not coincidentally, the most tragic form of its representation is associated with terrorism. In Yuri Kozlov's novel “The Well of the Prophets” (1998), Caucasian terrorism is seen not as an ideology but as a restoration of ethnic, family and tribal dignity, as a return to a kind of originally pure “forms,” which is not preceded by metanoia known to Europeans.