Myth and Symbol in Soviet Fiction Images of the Savior Hero, Great Mother,

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This book outlines the archetypes of Soviet fiction, showing the remarkably recurrent and largely unconscious pattern from one author to the next over a period of some seven decades in Soviet letters. Authors include: Zamyatin, Babel, Olesha, Pil'nyak, Platonov, Bulgakov, Pasternak, Rasputin, Aytmatov, and the film-maker Tarkovsky. A number of these writers' narratives are, on the surface, highly fragmented and obscure, and most are still not well-known by nonspecialists in the West. This archetypal elucidation renders their writing intelligible and meaningful to a wider readership. The concluding chapter reviews the following ancillary themes: the authors' generally tragic philosophical ambivalence; their powerful and uncompromising use of psychosexual imagery; their synthesis of archaic and Judeo-Christian symbols; their implicit commentary on the role of the artist as catalyst for sensitization and social reform; and the reflection in their writing of their personal circumstances and world view vis-a-vis the Soviet regime and the historical period during which each lived.


"In my years in the Soviet Union and my time here in America, I have rarely read anything that approaches the core ideas - the leitmotifs - of our recent fiction with this much sympathy and understanding. . . . I especially like the way Rogers is able to deal with Zamyatin, Babel Olesna, Pilnyak, Platonov, Bulgakov and N. Rasputin (authors in so many ways as different as R.W. Emerson and Henry Miller are to American readers) by isolating their tragic ambivalence towards their world and their beliefs. . . . [This work] will greatly expand knowledge of many key (but less than well known) Russian writers and it introduces a powerful tool of understanding and appraisal to their works." - >Dr. A. Bogdanov, All-Union Institute of World Literature, editor of the Complete Works of Andrey'ev

Table of Contents


Chronological Listing

Chapter 1 The Mythopeic in Soviet Fiction

Chapter 2 We

Chapter 3 Red Cavalry

Chapter 4 Envy

Chapter 5 The Naked Year, "Damp Mother Earth,"Ivan Moscow, Machines and Wolves, Mahogany, The Volga Falls to the Caspian Sea

Chapter 6 "The Epifan Locks," Chevengur, The Foundation Pit, Dzhan

Chapter 7 The Master and Margarita

Chapter 8 Doctor Zhivago

Chapter 9 Live and Remember, Farewell to Matyora

Chapter 10 "The White Steamship," The Day Lasts More Than a Hundred Years, The Execution Place

Chapter 11 Andrey Rublyov, Mirror, Stalker, Nostalgia, Sacrifice

Chapter 12 Conclusion


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