The article examines a key structural component of autobiographical fiction. The images and impressions of childhood are considered as the initial point of the writers’ creativity and their individual creative styles. A special category is needed to describe this phenomenon: the initial event [pervichnoe sobytie]. The category was offered by Irina Mineralova in the early 2010s to state the initial episode in the plot of Russian autobiographical fiction focused on childhood. In our paper, we have broadened our understanding of the initial event to incorporate the initial impression that determines the interrelation between authors and the world they are living in and interpreting in their creative writing. Thus, the initial event can be seen as a cornerstone of a writer’s coexistence [so-bytie] with other elements of their environment and even the universe. The beginning of individual life corresponds to the genesis as seen through the unique writer’s viewpoint. The genre of the autobiographical novel presupposes the combination of the documentary and the fictional, the bringing together of facts of history and real lives with images of creative work. An author is understood as a creative phenomenon whose personality is reflected in the style and manner of their writing. The study is based on a wide range of pieces of classical Russian literature from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, from Alexander Herzen and Sergei Aksakov to Ivan Bunin and Ivan Shmelev.
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