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Their Fathers' Voice

Vassily Aksyonov, Venedikt Erofeev, Eduard Limonov, and Sasha Sokolov


Cynthia Simmons

Aksyonov, Venedikt Erofeev, Limonov, and Sokolov, «children of the sixties and seventies», were among the first to test the limits of «glasnost» in the post-Stalin period. Although their major novels suggest a shared modernist belief in the power of verbal art to provide a place or promise of truth, and, perhaps, salvation, they set out first to recapture, for their abused native tongue, its ability to «mean». They called into question the literary conventions concerning logicality, coherence, and propriety. Through their own «aberrant discourse» they sought to «mean» anew. Long in need of thorough explication, their works constitute the missing link between the «alternative prose» writers of the nineties and Russia's pre-Soviet literary heritage.