Oriental Gown of I.I. Oblomov and Metaphysics of "Oblomovism"Likhomanov Igor
The author substantiates his opinion that I. A. Goncharov's novel "Oblomov" is a philosophical and symbolic literary text. The method of symbolization the characters allows the author to include into the novel a system of philosophical ideas revealing the cultural and historical specificity of Russia. So, for example, the character of Oblomov, according to the author, was formed as a generalizing type of some psychological traits of real Russian people. But gradually it was transformed into a symbol of the Russian "in general". Another character, Andrey Stoltz, symbolically embodies the synthesis of the Russian world and the West. Not only people perform a symbolic function in the novel. Oblomov's gown is a symbol of the Islamic East, which is sharply different from the Indo-Buddhist Far East. Thus, the philosophical depth of the novel is achieved through symbolization of characters, not by a collision of abstract ideas. The philosophical content of the novel is to identify the specificity of Russia (the "Russian soul") in its opposition to "the West" and "the East”. The "West" is treated as the mechanical, moving force, opposed to the fixed, inert "East". At the same time, the Western principles are immanent to the Russian ones, while the Eastern principles are transcendent, and they are connected with the Russian principles only mechanically. The specificity of Russia is in its "spiritualized" impulse towards the transcendental meaning of the existence. The philosophical content of the novel, thus, reproduces the Slavophile complex of ideas. However, unlike the Slavophiles, Goncharov created the novel not about greatness, but about self-destruction of the "Russian soul." The main characters of the novel experience an existential crisis due to the loss of meaning in life. But the feminine part of the "Russian soul", which embodies its dynamic and strong-willed principle, is not capable of transcendence. And the male part of the "Russian soul", which has this transcendence ability, is weak-willed, passive and cannot resist the fatal influence of the "East". Thus, the novel "Oblomov" is considered to be anti-Eurasian and it warns against "the Eurasian temptation".