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A History of Russian Literature$
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Andrew Kahn, Mark Lipovetsky, Irina Reyfman, and Stephanie Sandler

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780199663941

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199663941.001.0001

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Prose and drama

Prose and drama

Negotiations with history

(p.644) 4 Prose and drama
A History of Russian Literature

Andrew Kahn

Mark Lipovetsky

Irina Reyfman

Stephanie Sandler

Oxford University Press

A central theme of narrative prose and dramatic theater remained the conflict between an individual and society, increasingly specified as the clash of a man or woman with ongoing historical destruction. Prose and drama, like poetry, tested the formation of new subjectivities in response to historical catastrophe. Alongside the manifestations of Socialist Realism and its derivatives, the century-long evolution of the utopian/dystopian is traced. Attention is paid to the aesthetics of the grotesque and to the poetics of skaz, to an emerging trend of existentialist narrative and the flourishing women’s prose. Also important is the quasi-fictional mode best described as “in-between prose.” The continuous exploration of identity through changing literary genres, including resurgent modernist forms, runs through the diverse case studies.

Keywords:   utopia/dystopia, grotesque, skaz, Vladimir Nabokov, Venedikt Erofeev, Maxim Gorky, Leonid Andreev, Liudmila Petrushesvkaya, Socialist Realism, postmodernism

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