2012 №2 (13)

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Anatoly A. Fomin
Ural Federal University
Ekaterinburg, Russia

Squaring the Circle of the Karenin Family: On the Associative Potential of the Main Character’s Two Names in the Novel by Leo Tolstoy

Citation information: Voprosy onomastiki (Problems of Onomastics). 2012. № 2 (13). Р. 63–82 (in Russian)

Abstract: The article analyzes the associative potential of the family names Karenina (Каренина) and Oblonskaya (Облонская) both belonging to the main character of the famous novel. In the text, the two co-referential names form some correlated series of associations (Kareninacarré – square; Oblonskaya – облый – round), each name being a sign for a group of meanings symbolically linked with a square or a circle and reinforcing the semantic potential of each other. The author shows that the juxtapositions and the oppositions of the abovementioned meanings relying on the traditional opposition of squares and circles in culture are used by Tolstoy as an important means to deepen the imaginative and conceptual aspects of the novel.

Key words: literary onomastics, poetic onomastics, literary proper name, poetonym, proper name poetics, phonosemantics of a proper name, associative background of proper names


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