Chapaev and immortality: how the red brigade commander became a character in folklore

Chapaev and immortality: how the red brigade commander became a character in folklore

130 years ago in a village near Cheboksary, born Vasily Ivanovich Chapaev, the future red cavalry, the Civil war, turned into a hero of anecdotes and checkers Board game (aka “clicks”). Konstantin Milchin — the phenomenon of reincarnation combat commander in the image of a folkloric character.

Immediately after the beginning of the great Patriotic war in July 1941, the screens of the USSR came the short film “Chapaev with us.”

It was a kind of sequel to the original movie “Chapaev” 1934 year. Vasily Ivanovich goes to the shore of the Ural river and asked the soldiers: “why are you here? Again the Germans have got?” And then makes a long Patriotic speech about that now, of course, hard, but was harder. Then the enemies have won and will now win.

So Chapaev became the “king under the mountain”. This is such a common mythological motif. Great king, the terror of enemies, the defender of the wronged, long did not know defeats in battle, still dies. But not until the end. In fact, he sleeps a magic sleep in a special place.

And when his home will be threatened by a terrible danger, he would Wake up, get up, take up your weapon, and banish all enemies. The most famous of the “kings under the mountain” is, of course, king Arthur. But similar legends in almost all cultures. And now, at the beginning of the war, Soviet filmmakers liven Chapaeva, once again calling him to the service of their country. But why him?

He worked as a carpenter, fought in the First world war, received wounds and awards, rose to the rank of Sergeant. Continued to fight in the Civil, commanded a regiment, brigade, division. Took a few cities, succeeded in dashing raids, during the same dashing incursion of the white guard detachment at their own headquarters had received a mortal wound. War like as well, but just missed the attack, it means that the great commander was not.

Second Chapaev appears in a couple of years after the death of the first

The young Soviet government wins the Civil war and begins to create its own Pantheon of heroes. There is no state without the Pantheon. The main characters are the commanders of the guerrilla or semi-guerrilla units Shchors, Lazo, Chapaev.

They are very convenient heroes: they are from people not associated with the old regime, dashing and daring, finally, they’re dead. Heroes always live dangerously. Suddenly the hero appears ambitions. With the dead much easier. Chapayev died the way it fits. Even very suitable is a division, commanded by Chapaev, was called “Pugachev”, he fought in places, where there was the Pugachev rebellion. The analogy suggests: Chapaev — is the successor of Joe.

A popular myth about the national hero is enshrined in the book of Dmitry Furmanov “Chapaev”. The future writer served in Chapayev division Commissioner, joined with him in the conflict, was transferred to another front, but in the novel, the author looks at his former boss almost adoring eyes.

The main character appears in the book immediately, first readers eat enthusiastic rumors about the red commander. And then there he is. Ambiguous, but beautiful. Yes, Chapaev are not ideologically savvy, Yes he dislikes the scientists and studies, but his unit of chaos, but the men fanatically devoted to their commander and fight the way he can.

Third Chapaev appears to the world in 1934, in the image of the actor Boris Babochkin

The film by the Vasiliev brothers, and now is a pleasure to watch. That’s where the image Chapaev finally formed: ideologically naive, but wise worldly wisdom, and clever at the same time sociable, not particularly educated and at the same time, an idiosyncratic philosopher. The film was pilfered for quotes that go so far. If you never asked relatives or waiters soup using the phrase “my brother, die — soup asks,” then you clearly have something wrong.

Chapaev has captivated everyone not only dashing mustache actor Babochkin. Chapaev — the hero without a policy and ideology. Power, even the most popular, it is always separately and men separately. Whatever they’re told about the greatness of leaders, you will not present yourself at the kitchen table. And Vasily Ivanovich in this interior will fit perfectly. He’s well to drink vodka or tea, listen to his wisdom.

In fact it is all the same Chapaev from the movie, the genius of paradox. “Vasily Ivanovich, white brought. — How many boxes?”.

Jokes about Chapayev often good. How else people will laugh at folk hero? Of all the stars of Chapaev jokes the least politicized, and on the other hand, other more clearly reflects the absurdity of life. “Vasily Ivanovich, what is transparency? Is when you, Petka, you’ll be able to tell the truth and nothing for you it will not! No horse, no checkers, no hats”.

Chapaev jokes is a popular interpreter of events, a street prophet, kitchen analyst. Yes, it is a mockery of the commander of the Civil war. But the others generally forgotten. Immortal only Chapaev.