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Post-Soviet Russian Literature, Part 2
July 28, 2015 16:09

Post-Soviet literature positions itself as a standalone phenomenon, disassociated from the progressive Sixtiers, aka the Thaw writers. Liberal editions, in their turn, split down the middle on the heated debate about Postmodernism: the journals Solo, Newsletter of New Literature, and the New Literature Review supporting new, modernist and post-modernist aesthetics opposed resist traditionalism of The New World and The Continent magazines in the first half of the 1990s.
Readers of post-Soviet literature observe blurring of narration, as well as diffusion and reduction of traditional prosaic and poetic genres (the novel, the story, the short story, the poem, the verse), which are replaced with intermediate or hybrid forms. 

A peculiar feature of the Russian Postmodernism is the genre generating principle of rhizome intertextuality, i.e. a list of interlinear notes that turn into infinite comments (Neverending Deadlock by Dmitry Galkovsky, Close Retro by Andrey Bitov, Adventures of Green Musicians by Yevgeny Popov, etc.), or sets of "candy wrappers" and "brands" (Lines of Fortune by M. Kharitonov, Stamp Album by A. Sergeyev), or a single novel-like comment (Parting with Narcissus by A. Goldstein). 
On the border of prose, fiction and non-fiction, documentary literature and essays there appear texts with opportunities of a broad range of styles (End of the Quote by Mikhail Bezrodny), new hybrid genres (philological prose by Alexander Genis). Fragmentary and mosaic character, minimalism, and play with various styles colour not only post-modernist, but traditional prose and poetry as well.

Leslie Fiedler’s well-known motto that gave green light to Postmodernism – “Cross the ditches and fill up the borders!” - has been actively implemented by writers of various trends and genres of both realistic and post-modernist literature since then. Nevertheless it does not revoke ideological and artistic disputes and contraposition of commercial mainstream and highbrow alternative,  fashionable and traditional, liberal and patriotic, etc. within modern Russian literature.

Author: Vera Ivanova

Tags: Russian Literature Modern Literature Postmodernism Post-Soviet Literature Contemporary Writers 


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