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Author: Zlata Kocić

Abstract

The article explores the semantic layers intertwined in Sasha Sokolov’s novel Between Dog and Wolf through an inductive analysis based on its major themes and motifs (force and powerlessness; railway and morgue; boats; water meter; Moebius’s uncertainty; crutches; paradise and its parody; judgement; wheels; twilight; letters; “zagovor” or incantations; language). These motifs provide both semantic connections within the novel and associations beyond it, increasing thus its semantic complexity. This complexity is embedded in the very structure of the novel, in the internal echoes of the three different narratives that compose it, yet it is deepened by content-related chains of associations. For example, the connection between the motifs of the railway and the morgue leads to the semantic center of the novel and, thanks also to Sokolov’s method of multiplying the names of characters, to a new Biblical parallel (in this case: Orina – Mary Magdalene); furthermore, following this, we notice ever new associations (eg. the boat and Noah’s ark; the river crossing and the resurrection of Lazarus; the village of “Meadow Saturday” and Paradise). (For a summary of the novel’s plot, please consult the introduction to this issue of CASS).

In: Canadian-American Slavic Studies