Biographical and Critical Study of Russian Writer Eduard Limonov

Author: Rogachevskii, Andrei
Eduard Liminov (b. 1943), one of the most controversial writers of his generation, was brought to international fame by his allegedly autobiographical cycle of novels and short stories, with their obscene language, shocking eroticism and provocative political statements. This is the first comprehensive and unbiased analysis of Limonov’s poetry, fiction, and journalism in any language. It distinguishes between Limonov the author and Limonov the character in order to pinpoint Limonov’s true beliefs, as opposed to his public statements, which are often meant to cause outrage. It discusses his mixed Russian/non-Russian literary pedigree, the controversial reception of his work in the US, Europe and Soviet/post-Soviet Russia. A great deal of previously unpublished archive material is quoted throughout.


“…Rogachevskii’s work, however, does not merely fill a lacuna in Limonov studies; it serves the important function of contextualizing its controversial subject as a product of the Russian literary tradition and the media age. Through painstaking research of unpublished archival materials, original readings of Limonov’s creative output (including lyrical poems, narrative prose, publicistic writings, political speeches and interviews), and a critical eye toward the construction of authorial legend and biographical criticism, Dr. Rogachevskii explicates the methods of self-promotion and artistic expression Limonov has developed over the course of his career as a writer and politician and provides the first comprehensive study of this unique cultural figure…. Rogachevskii’s detailed documentation of Limonov’s development and impressive command of the sources he cites in his study ensure that his monograph will be used as a reference by scholars interested in contemporary Russian letters, Russian postmodern culture, and methodologies for the study of avant garde paradigms of creative influence.” – Lisa Ryoko Wakamiya, the University of Arizona

“One of the most appealing features of Rogachevskii’s study is that it strikes a refreshing balance between the rigors of scholarly research and the open-ended, inconclusive nature of the biography in the making. The author avoids the usual pitfalls of those who write about Limonov: Rogachevskii is neither shrill in his criticism, nor is he overly enthusiastic in assessing Limonov’s achievements. The research demonstrated in this monograph is impressive in its scope and detail: this is the most comprehensive and up-to-date information on Limonov’s life and art. Of particular interest is Rogachevskii’s archival finds: Limonov’s correspondence with Nikolai Bokov and with Vladimir Maksimov…. Rogachevskii does not only trace out both the fictional and the true biographies of the writer, he carefully isolates the points where the two lines converge, and where they diverge…. Some of the Rogachevskii’s conclusions (i.e., the origin of Limonov’s homosexuality; the temporary nature of Limonov’s appeal) will undoubtedly be challenged. What is indisputable, however, is that this volume on Limonov will be welcomed by all students of the contemporary Russian literature.” – Dr. Alexei Pavlenko, Colorado College

"... a monograph that combines solid academic worth with readability ... a valuable addition to reading lists wherever contemporary Russian literature is taught." - Prof. Arnold McMillin, University College, London

Table of Contents

Table of contents:
Preface by Robert Porter
1. Dichtung und Wahrheit: Limonov and ‘Limonov’
2. Les Liaisons dangereueses: Eduard Limonov and Ataman Krasnov
3. The Doppelganger, or the Quest for Love: Eduard Limonov as Vladimir Maiakovskii
4. ‘Ia eval vas vsekh, ebanye v rot suki’: Limonov and his critics
Conclusion; Notes; Bibliography; Index