Sergei Parajanov in Search of Identity: Between Self-Burial and Reflection on Death




S. Parajanov, semiotic translation, semiosis, funeral, aestheticization of death, mortality, game of death


This article continues the discourse on humanitarian thanatology and the question of mortality in art. The author describes the initial impulses of the manifestation of the motifs of self-mourning and self-burial with reference to the habitus of Parajanov and his work and other intertextual connections. As the empirical material shows, the motifs in question manifested themselves in different years through different channels of communication (memories of friends, letters, scripts, collages, photographs, photographs of performative acts, etc.). These motifs were an important leitmotif of his creative nature. Parajanov’s encounters with death in various formats show that he, as a survivor of prison, was confronted with the problem of death. Through performative acts, he repeatedly replayed his experiences of death through self-mourning and selfburial games. The analysis shows that almost all performative acts manifest the code of carnivality. The problem of a funeral and self-mourning is presented indirectly. The great Parajanov is also mourned through cultural and religious images (Gioconda, Catholicos of all Armenians). Sergei Parajanov also acts as a director, aestheticising the wake and funeral of his relatives and close friends (son-in-law, sister). His detachment from the death of his loved ones and the aestheticisation of the funerals show that in his mind, the code of mourning is replaced by carnivality. The funeral procession is aestheticised, what happens is perceived from a distance, but with an emphasis on beauty.

Author Biography

Tigran Simyan

Dr. Hab. (Philology), Professor, Yerevan State University.

1, Alex Manoogian Str., 0025, Yerevan, Armenia.

ORCID 0000-0001-9534-3505


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How to Cite

Simyan, T. (2024). Sergei Parajanov in Search of Identity: Between Self-Burial and Reflection on Death. Quaestio Rossica, 12(2), 422–435.



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