The Routledge Companion to Russian Literature

The Routledge Companion to Russian Literature

The Routledge Companion to Russian Literature

The Routledge Companion to Russian Literature

Synopsis

The Routledge Companion to Russian Literature is an engaging and accessible guide to Russian writing of the past thousand years.
The volume covers the entire span of Russian literature, from the Middle Ages to the post-Soviet period, and explores all the forms that have made it so famous: poetry, drama and, of course, the Russian novel. A particular emphasis is given to the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, when Russian literature achieved world-wide recognition through the works of writers such as Pushkin, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Chekhov, Nabokov and Solzhenitsyn. Covering a range of subjects including women's writing, Russian literary theory, socialist realism and émigré writing, leading international scholars open up the wonderful diversity of Russian literature.
With recommended lists of further reading and an excellent up-to-date general bibliography, The Routledge Companion to Russian Literature is the perfect guide for students and general readers alike.

Excerpt

An ‘introductory’ volume such as this naturally gives rise to the question: introductory to whom? The present book does assume a certain amount of literary knowledge and at least a vague familiarity with Russian history and culture. It is therefore intended to provide a reasonably comprehensive guide, or companion, to the development of Russian literature and to its main facets, in terms of period, genre and related topics. It is accordingly primarily aimed at students, at their teachers and at the informed or inquisitive general reader. It is hoped that it will also be of some interest to the more advanced scholar. While there is here a certain coverage of early Russian literature and a chapter surveying the eighteenth century, the bulk of this multi-authored study concentrates unashamedly on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries: the two-hundred-year period in which Russian literature first established and then confirmed itself as a prominent force in world culture.

Thirteen of the twenty essays comprising this book appeared as introductory contributions to the Reference Guide to Russian Literature (edited by Neil Cornwell with Nicole Christian as Associate Editor), published by Fitzroy Dearborn (London and Chicago, 1998). Those essays broaching the contemporary period have been updated or extended, to reach the end of the twentieth century. Others have undergone minor revisions. A further seven (the Introduction included) were newly commissioned for the present volume. Each essay is followed by an appropriate list of sources and suggested further reading. The present volume also contains a bibliography of recommended general studies and anthologies. For bibliographies of individual authors, readers may consult such sources as Proffer and Meyer’s Nineteenth-Century Russian Literature in English (Ann Arbor, 1990), and relevant volumes in the Dictionary of Literary Biography series, as well as the main body of entries in the Reference Guide to Russian Literature.

The transliteration system used is that of the Library of Congress system (minus diacritics). Exceptions have been made for surnames ending in ‘-ii’ or ‘-i’ (hence the more familiar ‘Dostoevsky’ and ‘Tolstoy’); certain other anglicizations or accustomed spellings have also been retained (e.g. ‘glasnost’, rather than glasnost’).

A brief word should perhaps be added about two of the essays. One solitary essay is devoted to a single author, albeit examining the impact on him of two key English figures; if any single Russian writer deserves such selectively individual attention, then surely that writer has to be Aleksandr Pushkin, the acknowledged ‘father of Russian literature’ and of the modern Russian literary language, whose . . .

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