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Russian Village Prose : The Radiant Past

By: Parthé, Kathleen F.
Material type: TextTextSeries: eBooks on Demand.Publisher: Princeton : Princeton University Press, 1992Description: 1 online resource (213 p.).ISBN: 9781400820757.Subject(s): Country life in literature | Russian fiction -- 20th century -- History and criticismGenre/Form: Electronic books.Additional physical formats: Print version:: Russian Village Prose : The Radiant PastDDC classification: 891.73/4409321734 LOC classification: PG3096.C68 P37 1992Online resources: Click here to view this ebook.
Contents:
Book Cover; Title; Copyright; CONTENTS
Summary: Kathleen Parth offers the first comprehensive examination of the controversial literary movement Russian Village Prose. From the 1950s to the decline of the movement in the 1970s, Valentin Rasputin, Fedor Abramov, and other writers drew on "luminous" memories of their rural childhoods to evoke a thousand-year-old pattern of life that was disappearing as they wrote. In their lyrical descriptions of a vanishing world, they expressed nostalgia for Russia''s past and fears for the nation''s future; they opposed collectivized agriculture, and fought to preserve traditional art and architecture and to protect the environment. Assessing the place of Village Prose in the newly revised canon of twentieth-century Russian literature, Parth maintains that these writers consciously ignored and undermined Socialist Realism, and created the most aesthetically coherent and ideologically important body of published writings to appear in the Soviet Union between Stalin''s death and Gorbachev''s ascendancy. In the 1970s, Village Prose was seen as moderately nationalist and conservative in spirit. After 1985, however, statements by several of its practitioners caused the movement to be reread as a possible stimulus for chauvinistic, anti-Semitic groups like Pamyat. This important development is treated here with a thorough discussion of all the political implications of these rural narratives. Nevertheless, the center of Parth''s work remains her exploration of the parameters that constitute a "code of reading" for works of Village Prose. The appendixes contain a translation and analysis of a particularly fine example of Russian Village Prose--Aleksei Leonov''s "Kondyr."
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Book Cover; Title; Copyright; CONTENTS

Kathleen Parth offers the first comprehensive examination of the controversial literary movement Russian Village Prose. From the 1950s to the decline of the movement in the 1970s, Valentin Rasputin, Fedor Abramov, and other writers drew on "luminous" memories of their rural childhoods to evoke a thousand-year-old pattern of life that was disappearing as they wrote. In their lyrical descriptions of a vanishing world, they expressed nostalgia for Russia''s past and fears for the nation''s future; they opposed collectivized agriculture, and fought to preserve traditional art and architecture and to protect the environment. Assessing the place of Village Prose in the newly revised canon of twentieth-century Russian literature, Parth maintains that these writers consciously ignored and undermined Socialist Realism, and created the most aesthetically coherent and ideologically important body of published writings to appear in the Soviet Union between Stalin''s death and Gorbachev''s ascendancy. In the 1970s, Village Prose was seen as moderately nationalist and conservative in spirit. After 1985, however, statements by several of its practitioners caused the movement to be reread as a possible stimulus for chauvinistic, anti-Semitic groups like Pamyat. This important development is treated here with a thorough discussion of all the political implications of these rural narratives. Nevertheless, the center of Parth''s work remains her exploration of the parameters that constitute a "code of reading" for works of Village Prose. The appendixes contain a translation and analysis of a particularly fine example of Russian Village Prose--Aleksei Leonov''s "Kondyr."

Description based upon print version of record.

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CHOICE Review

^D" which flourished from the mid-1950s to 1980, was an attempt to commemorate and, if possible, restore the virtues of an idealized rural Russian past to a shallowly rationalistic Soviet urban culture that was in danger of losing its soul. Many of its practitioners, such as Valentin Rasputin, Vasilii Belov, Viktor Astafiev, and Vladimir Lichutin, were indeed fine writers who found favor with both the public and the government, thanks to their strong feelings of Russian patriotism. Because of these authors' traditionalist orientation and lack of any ^D" Western critics have devoted relatively little attention to their work. Parthe (Univ. of Rochester) provides the first systematic attempt to define village prose in terms of its themes, style, history, and socio-political context. Although standard histories of Russian literature offer brief surveys of the movement and its major participants, and numerous articles deal with individual authors and works, Parthe's study offers an in-depth examination of the entire phenomenon. Handsomely produced, with notes and index, the volume is essential for all libraries supporting Russian literature programs. D. B. Johnson University of California, Santa Barbara

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