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Russian Postmodernist Metafiction

Nina Kolesnikoff

One of the most outstanding properties of Russian postmodernist fiction is its reliance on metafictional devices which foreground aspects of the writing, reading or structure, and draw attention to the constructed nature of fiction writing. Some common metafictional strategies include overt commentary on the process of writing, the presence of an obtrusive narrator, dehumanization of character, total breakdown of temporal and spatial organization and the undermining of specific literary conventions.
This book examines the most representative postmodernist texts and addresses the following questions: How widespread is the use of metafiction in contemporary Russian literature? What are its most pronounced forms? What is the function of metafictional devices? How innovative are Russian postmodernist writers in their use of metafictional techniques?
This study reveals the unique contribution of postmodernist writers to the development of Russian literature through their systematic use of metafiction and their bold experimentation with new metafictional devices on all the principal levels of the text, including narration, plot, characterization, setting and language.

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Chapter Two - Narrative Strategies - 33

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33 Chapter Two Narrative Strategies & * )& some aspects of the writing, reading or structure of a literary work accommodates both the all-inclusive and selective approaches to ) ' >" >&? … ! ‚& - 'E* > † !& &? …* &‚ & - !>" ") reality, the relationship of the author and the reader, and others. $ ' (& ‚ ! ) !> - & ) > "! * - * > ! & ! *>*> ! *! !'B&? …*& ! & &) G B *HPushkinskii dom>*- nii Popov’s ! @ Alek- Y " G*H J 6>( Y HVidenie zhira (Fat’s Vision), and many others. All these texts place the act of writ- ing in the centre of the narrative, and use it as a means to reveal & ) >* "! ! rules rather than a resemblance to reality. On the level of narra- > & ! *! * & by the introduction into the text of an author-persona, the explicit dramatization of the reader and textual interrogation of literary rules and conventions. B * ‚ explicit than the presence of the ever-obtrusive author who 34 continuously interrupts the narrative with his/her comments on &) &>˜!) the material, the critical assessment of the work’s shortcomings "! ) ' In some cases the rewriting involves entire sections and new ver- sions are added to the already existing narrative. The presence of an obtrusive author-persona is evident in many of the works of * *>BG Y " G*># G >" "* &B *> ! *>Pushkinskii dom.1 * ! ") ) - rative perspectives, that of an extradiegetic narrator who in the third-person narrates the story of the Odoevtsev family, and that & ? ) ? story, its key elements and the act of storywriting. Whereas the extradiegetic narrator goes out of his way to create the illusion of verisimilitude by placing the story in the context of the Soviet !&:;‡=> ? &) G"! * ") world...

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