Classification – name: Literary studies
Pages: 132–169
Publisher: A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IWL RAS Publ.)
Rights – description: Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 (СС BY-ND)
Rights – URL:
Language of the publication: Russian
Type of document: Research Article
Collection: Sergey Esenin in the Context of the Epoch
Year of publication: 2021
Place of publication: Moscow


Author: Maxim V. Skorokhodov
Skorokhodov, M. V. “The Motive of Wandering in the Early Work of Sergey Esenin.” Sergey Esenin in the Context of the Epoch: Сollective Мonograph. Ex. ed. Natalia I. Shubnikova-Guseva. Moscow, IWL RAS Publ., 2021, pp. 132–169. (In Russian)

About the author:

Maxim V. Skorokhodov — PhD in Philology, Senior Researchук, Department of Modern Russian Literature and Russian Literature Abroad, A.M. Gorky Institute of World literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Povarskaya 25 а, 121069 Moscow, Russia.


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The article traces the origins of the motif of wandering in the works of S. A. Esenin: personal impressions of communication with the wanderers and the pilgrimages to monasteries, folklore tradition, perceived in direct communication with its carriers and from the books, works of the Russian classical literature and the contemporaries, orthodox iconography and divine services. As an invariant of the motive, the author considers the pilgrimage to the land of Christ, the Mother of God and the saints, as well as the forced pilgrimage, primarily due to the exile to Siberia. Special attention is paid to the small poem “Mikola”, written by Esenin in his native village in the summer of 1915 and published at the same time in the newspaper “Birzhevye Vedomosti”. The main character of the work is Mikola (Saint Nicholas of Mirlikisky), who goes around the Russian land as a wanderer, acting as its intercessor and intercessor before God. The poem is analyzed in the context of works, written or published at the beginning of the 20th century which was dedicated to the saint or testifying to the worship of him. These are the texts for which the motive of wandering is relevant.

Keywords: the motif of wandering, the origins of the motif, tradition, folklore, Russian literature, iconography, the exile to Siberia, S. A. Esenin, Z. N. Gippius, F. K. Sologub, A. M. Remizov.