Academic Studies Press
Across the twentieth century, the Russian literary hero remained central to Russian fiction and frequently “battled” one enemy or another, whether on the battlefield or on a civilian front. War was the experience of the Russian people, and it became a dominant trope to represent the Soviet experience in literature as well as other areas of cultural life. This book traces those war experiences, memories, tropes, and metaphors in the literature of the Soviet and post-Soviet period, examining the work of Dmitry Furmanov, Fyodor Gladkov, Alexander Tvardovsky, Emmanuil Kazakevich, Vera Panova, Viktor Nekrasov, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Vladimir Voinovich, Sergei Dovlatov, Vladimir Makanin, Viktor Astafiev, Viktor Pelevin, and Vasily Aksyonov. These authors represented official Soviet literature and underground or dissident literature; they fell into and out of favor, were exiled and returned to Russia, died at home and abroad. Most importantly, they were all touched by war, and they reacted to the state of war in their literary works.
Beginning early in the century when Civil War hero Vasily Chapaev was the central figure of war and literature, Brintlinger (Slavic and East European languages and literatures, Ohio State U.) traces the figure as he becomes a vital part of Soviet cultural memory, reflected in literary texts and broader social contexts. When the Soviet Union collapsed, she says, he reemerged, reclaimed in the service of the post-Soviet camp. She looks at the work of a dozen writers in sections on creating heroes from chaos, World War II and the hero, Cold War repercussions, and Chapaev and war: Russian redux. Annotation ©2013 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)