chapter  1
9 Pages

Introduction

WithNadya L. Peterson

This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book provides the story of literary change in the context of social change and belongs to a trend in Western criticism that views Soviet literary output in a process of mutual dialectic interaction with various aspects of the dominant culture, including ideology and politics. It explores the literary and social roots or fantastic prose, seeking its motivation and purpose in relationship to socialist realism. Russian writers of the late eighties and early nineties have placed the myths of the Soviet state at the core of their works, examined genesis and language of the myths, and then discarded them in a gesture of frustration with failed truths. In this process the rhetoric of the Stalinist culture, and the Soviet culture it spawned, is brought forth and made visible.