chapter  1
11 Pages

shlomo berger

This chapter explores the significance of the upside-down world in the first volume of At the Dnieper: including not only the inversion of order, but also scenes of the lower body, play, parody, moments of inexplicable fear and images of mass death. Bakhtin and Likhachev provide a way of understanding the emergence of the upside-down world in At the Dnieper, beyond the simple joy of child's play. A 1936 review of the Russian translation of the novel makes a similar point. At the Dnieper is the multisided and consequential depiction of the child Penek's consciousness. At the Dnieper are both a Soviet revolutionary Bildungsroman and a portrait of the artist as a young man. However, there are clusters of images and scenes that disturb the continuity and implied belief in progress central to this genre, especially in its Soviet Marxist incarnation.