Back to the issue

Full text - PDF



UDC 821.16-312.9

I. V. Bratus, PhD, Associate Prof.
Borys Grinchenko Kyiv University,
I. Shamo boulevard, 18/2, Kyiv, 02154, Ukraine


Aspects of countering the system and anti-system are considered in the Strugatsky brothers ' novel "Snail on the slope". It is proved that science fiction writers managed to recreate quite complex aspects of the interaction of various systems within the framework of literary heritage. The broad palette of writers has absorbed an understanding of contradictions with underlying causes. In this article, some aspects of the interaction of the individual and the system, systems and anti-systems are demonstrated. Special attention is paid to the Soviet realities, which became the basis for the artistic picture of the fantastic world. This indicates the uniqueness of "Snail on the slope". One of the unique qualities is the influence on the story "Snail on the slope" by Franz Kafka (novels "The Process", "The Castle"). When analyzing the story, the focus of countering the system and the anti- system is transferred to the idea of the future. It is proved that the writers abandoned the continuous optimistic model of the future inherent in their earlier works. Strugatsky brothers have worked out in detail the mechanism of the inability to evolve into the future without radical changes in the essence of man. The literature of the second half of the twentieth century contains an extraordinary potential for understanding our current realities. Somewhere we are even in a more "winning" position – the authors and readers of that time had a more narrowed range of analysis, which was naturally inherent in "their time". At the same time, we are also partially vulnerable, especially in the historical and cultural context. Because the time of writing a work leaves an imprint on its content, the keys to its understanding are often in the social parallels of everyday life, which is fully understood by contemporaries, and "descendants" need to explain certain specific aspects of everyday life, psychological model or banal meaning of a particular word (they become anachronisms or acquire a different meaning). At the same time, it is worth paying attention to those questions that are transcendental in nature. Strugatsky brothers in "Snail on the Slope" experienced a corresponding experience – they tried to create a multi-faceted picture of the world with "their own" laws. At the same time, the task they set was not only to come up with, but also to "guess" the true concept, to bring the artistic fabric of the work closer to the "truth of life". Therefore, this work is fundamentally different from a significant part of their literary heritage, it is a kind of "experimental platform". They did not try to repeat this experience in their future work.

Keywords: fiction, Strugatsky, system, anti-system, literature, Kafka, USSR.


1. Bratus, I., Kuzmenko, H. (2020). Deyaki kulʹturno-istorychni aspekty samoidentyfikatsiyi osobystosti "intelektualiv" u tvorakh druhoyi polovyny XX stolittya. [Some cultural and historical aspects of self- identification of the personality of "intellectuals" in the works of the second half of the twentieth century]. Art-platforma, No 1, 39–68.

2. Bratus, I., Mikhalevich, V., Gunka,A. (2020). Deyaki aspekty osmyslennya radyansʹkoyi diysnosti v povisti Yuriya Tryfonova "Inshe zhyttya" [Some aspects of understanding the Soviet reality in Yuri Trifonov's novel "Another Life"]. Molodyy vchenyy, No 4, 638–640. Retrieved from

3. Bulgakov, M. (1966). Master i Margarita [Master and Margarita]. Moskva, No 11, 6–131.

4. Gumilev, L. N. (2012). Struna istorii: lektsii po etnologii [The string of history: lectures on ethnology]. Moskow, Ayris-press.

5. Kron, Aleksandr. (1979). Bessonnitsa [Insomnia]. Moskow, Sovetskiy pisatel'.

6. Mikeshin, M. I. (2015). Sotsial'naya metafizika brat'yev Strugatskikh [Social metaphysics of the Strugatsky brothers]. Vestnik LGU im. A. S. Pushkina, No 4. Retrieved from sotsialnaya-metafizika-bratiev-strugatskih.

7. Ognev, K.K. (2018). Ekranizatsii brat'yev Strugatskikh i evolyutsiya otechestvennogo kinematografa [Screen adaptations of the Strugatsky brothers and the evolution of domestic cinema]. Vestnik UUrGU. Seriya: Sotsial'no-gumanitarnyye nauki, No1. Retrieved from otechestvennogo-kinematografa.

8. Strugatskiy, A., Strugatskiy, B. (1993). Strana bagrovykh tuch: Povest'. Rasskazy. Stat'i, interv'yu. [Country of crimson clouds: A Story. Stories. Articles, interviews.]. Moskow, Tekst.

9. Strugatskiy, A., Strugatskiy, B. (1992). Ulitka na sklone i dr. [Snail on a slope, etc.]. Moskow, Tekst.

10. Frolov, A. V. (2012). Problema periodizatsii tvorchestva Arkadiya i Borisa Strugatskikh [The problem of periodization of the work of Arkady and Boris Strugatsky]. Vestnik BGU, No 2 (1). Retrieved from i-borisa-strugatskih.

11. Chubays, I. (2021). Rasskaz 5. Novoye nastupleniye vlasti, 1946– 1953 [New offensive of power, 1946–1953]. Retrieved from

© I. V. Bratus, 2021