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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 Seven - Stylistic Experimentation - 119


119 Chapter Seven ! An innovative and extremely radical experimentation with lan- & & &$ - '!& * >$ ) !" & ) G of narrative texts. The foregrounding of language is accomplished "!* *> * linguistic aspect of narration, as well as a systematic violation of the phonetic, semantic and syntactic properties of language. ( ? " !>+J GL H /K of Illumination) Sasha Sokolov describes his fascination with the ) & G> &) G and his painful search for his own voice. He overtly acknowledges the inspiration received from Pasternak’s texts, matched with his "! ) ) ' * && &) The poetry of the most gifted lyrical poet was a source of inspiration on a " >" ! '(! ! & > & " - tions, diverse rhythms and sounds, ideas and prosodies, but you could not translate them into the language of language.1 ( * ! >Podlin- UX "@4/* * his careless style which he claims is the result of his lack of liter- ! [ G*>+J GL H >/Oktiabr’> '\]K:;;:Q>'\: > >G* as a constructive factor which shapes all other narrative elements. According to Iurii Tynianov, each work of verbal art displays a hierarchy of elements, and only one of these elements can func- tion as a constructive factor, subordinating all other elements to itself.3 This is exactly what happens in all Sokolov’s texts in which language functions as the predominant element, supplanting the ' ( *>Shkola dlia dura- kov, Sokolov captures the unique perspective of a schizophrenic narrator and renders his continuous shift of focus, his unusual chain of associations, and his inability to grasp abstract concepts. The narrative contains persistent repetitions of words and phrases, 2 Popov, UX "@4/'\::'...

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