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However, remaining true to the nonsignificant nature of the actions of mudak characters, none of this talk is turned into the fatal real.
While the chudak was directly concerned with the relationship between self and society within a milieu of civic consciousness, the mudak is part of a comprehensive and complex aesthetic and ontological statement by Popov.
Another story, 'Poliarnaia zvezda' ('The Polar Star'), (17) similarly combines a strangely lethargic mudak with the theme of creativity and suicide (p.
To a certain extent, Popov and many other writers of his generation adopted organic units like the mudak as weapons against the utilitarianization of literature.
Perversely, in negating usefulness (he has just won the Nobel prize, but does not collect it), (19) this mudak is afforded a sovereignty that would have otherwise been denied him.
But it is from the work of Daniil Kharms that these motifs of falling and disappearance in Popov seem to take their real significance, just as this absurdist avant-garde writer is clearly in part the originator of the other mudak characteristics of violence and overt sexuality.
It is this synergy between absurdism and the Russian cultural phenomenon that Popov continually draws upon in his drawing of the mudak. The 'structural chaos' of Kharms's cycles of 'incidents' certainly points to a 'generic unity' (Brandist, ibid.), and in Popov's reworking of the avant-garde such unity is retained, albeit in order to fulfil a related, updated version of the original function of ethical dissidence.
Violence and the grotesque, hand in hand with other motifs of the mudak character, are devices used by Popov to render the world unfathomable, rather than fundamentally cruel or evil.
To conclude, the significance of the updating of the chudak character type and the creation of the mudak is in the striking moral insignificance of the important events in characters' lives: losing jobs, the end of relationships, murder, sexuality.