Northern Illinois University Press

The Rise of the Russian Novel

Carnival, Stylization, and Mockery of the West

David Gasperetti

"This colorful study ... makes an excellent case for the artistic value of a pioneering set of novels whose significance outweighs their small number."—TLS

"A timely and useful book.... A welcome addition to every Slavicist's library."—Slavic Review

"A pioneering work."—Russian Review

Overturning the standard view of early Russian prose fiction as a pale imitation of European models, Gasperetti locates the origins of the Russian novel in indigenous writing. He shows how Russian writers used elements of a native-inspired subculture—folklore, pulp fiction, and the entertainment of carnival—to subvert the conventions of foreign literature, thus establishing an independent course for prose fiction in Russia.

(1998) 270 pp.
ISBN: 978-0-87580-230-5
cloth $35.50

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Literary-Historical Importance of the Eighteenth-Century Russian Novel
Part 1: Context and Theory
Reluctant Imitators: The Cultural Context of the Early Russian Novel
The Carnivalesque Spirit of the Eighteenth-Century Russian Novel
Part 2: Textual Analysis
Approaches: Historicity versus Fiction
The Limitations and Possibilities of Voice and Rhetoric
The Social Order
Part 3: Stylization: A Metaliterary Strategy of the 1840s
A Theory of Stylization
Slowly Fading into Nothing: The Self-Effacing Stylization of The Double
Conclusion: Emin, Chulkov, and Komarov and the Rise of the Russian Novel
Plot Summaries
Works Cited

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ISBN: 978-0-87580-230-5
cloth $35.50