Russian Postmodernism: New Perspectives on Post-Soviet Culture

By Mikhail Epstein; Alexander Genis et al. | Go to book overview

Chapter 18
THE NEW MODEL OF DISCOURSE IN POST-SOVIET RUSSIAN FICTION Liudmila Petrushevskaia and Tatiana Tolstaia

Slobodanka Vladiv-Glover

If the Russian literature published during and since perestroika a new poetics has come into force, one hard to describe with the tools of traditional Russian criticism. The "new" Russian prose of the 1980s and 1990s has been variously identified as the "new wave literature" (novaia volna), "other prose," and "alternative prose."1 One of the first critics to describe the new movement was Vladimir Potapov,2 writing in Novy mir in 1989. Potapov identifies the "alternative prose" writers as Tatiana Tolstaia (born in 1951), Evgeny Popov (born in 1946), and Viacheslav Pietsukh (born in 1946), the young Afghanistan war veteran Oleg Ermakov (born in 1961), Viktor Erofeev (born in 1947), author of the soft-porn novel A Russian Beauty (Russkaia krasavitsa), as well as the older and renowned Venedikt Erofeev ( 1938-1990) of the Moscow Circles. To Potapov's list must be added Liudmila Petrushevskaia (born in 1939), whom Potapov mentions only in passing. Potapov leaves out a whole host of lesser-known younger writers, who are included in the most representative collection of contemporary Russian fiction to date, edited by the poet Oleg Chukhontsev.3

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