The Novellas of Valentin Rasputin
Genre, Language and Style
Year of Publication: 1989
New York, Bern, Frankfurt/M., Paris, 1988. X, 262 pp.
ISBN 978-0-8204-0643-5 hardback (Hardcover)
Weight: 0.440 kg, 0.970 lbs
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Valentin Rasputin is, by popular and critical acclaim, one of the most thought-provoking writers in the Soviet Union today. The Novellas of Valentin Rasputin is the first comprehensive analysis of the prose style of this major Russian author. This study introduces the reader to the four novellas for which Rasputin is best known, works which were written between 1967 and 1976 and which represent an important period in Rasputin's career. Here they are treated as a unified corpus through an examination of structure, plot, thematics, characterization, use of language and other elements of style. The study is made current by a discussion of Rasputin's most recent works and it identifies features of continuity and change between the earlier novellas and Rasputin's prose of the 1980s.
Contents: Rasputin's personal and literary biographies, an overview of critical responses to his prose; «Plot, Theme and Characterization in Rasputin's Novellas;» «Tragedy and Myth» and «Language and Style» in Live and Remember and Farewell to Matera; Rasputin's most recent works, and his place in the Soviet Russian literary process.
«This full length study of the major fiction of the Soviet Union's foremost prose writer, Valentin Rasputin, gives us real insight into his language (including Siberian dialect) as well as a good understanding of the themes which are of such paramount importance to the whole Russian way of thinking today.» (Barbara Heldt, University of British Columbia)
«This monograph on the novellas of Valentin Rasputin provides an excellent introduction to the prose of Russia's finest writer who still resides in the Soviet Union. The novella (povest') is Rasputin's principal genre and Dr. Polowy's study does much to illuminate the peculiarities of this author's literary technique that have combined to give him such a distinctive and influential voice in contemporary Russian culture and society.» (Gerald E. Mikkelson, The University of Kansas)
«...Dr. Polowy's work is to be welcomed, particularly for its contribution to our understanding and appreciation of Rasputin's language and style. ...For all that, this is a very worthwhile study, which makes an auspicious start for the new Middlebury series.» (Arnold McMillin, University of London, The Slavonic Review)
Middlebury Studies in Russian Language and Literature. Vol. 1
General Editor: Thomas R. Beyer, Jr.