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Title: The works of Valentin Kataev
Author: Russell, Robert
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1979
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The career of Valentin Kataev (1897 - ) spans the entire Soviet period, during which he has continued to write and publish topical works despite the many changes of political and literary climate. The aim of this thesis is to trace the evolution of Kataev's career from the beginning until 1969. The diversity of Kataev's work is most striking, but from an early date it contains two elements which are almost always present and which frequently pull in opposite directions. These are aestheticism and support for the Communist regime. In Trava zabven'ya (1967) Kataev implicitly links these elements with the two great influences on his work - the aesthete, Bunin, and the ideologically committed Tiayakovskii. Kataev's uneasy position in Trava zabven'ya midway between Bunin and Tiayakovskii reflects the most notable feature of his entire work. His earliest work was lyric poetry written under Bunin's influence and characterised by clarity, concreteness and sensuousness. These qualities carried over into his prose, and Kataev's gifts are largely those of the poet rather than the novelist. In the 1920s he was a typical Fellow Traveller, writing both lyrical and satirical works. At the beginning of the 1930s he heeded warnings to change his style, and for thirty years, wrote works which were politically acceptable but which reveal his 'Bunin' side intermittently. In the 1960s, he surprised critics by writing modernistic works apparently quite unlike his earlier books. But Svyatoi kolodets, Trava zabven'ya and Kubik are not entirely new; they recall features of the works of the 1920s. Whereas in the previous era the 'Mayakovskii' side had dominated, now, in the more relaxed atmosphere of the 1960s, the 'Bunin' side came once more to the fore, eclipsing but not extinguishing Kataev's protestations of support for the Soviet regime.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available