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Title: Nineteenth-century Russian metafiction : narrative and ideological self-consciousness in the Russian novels of the 1860s
Author: Vaysman, Margarita
ISNI:       0000 0004 6499 0883
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis analyses the persistence of metafictional narrative strategies in nineteenth-century Russian literature, focussing particularly on examples from the decade of the 1860s. Self-conscious narrative techniques featured prominently in Russian novels of the 1860s, a period when Russian culture in general became exceedingly politicised. This thesis argues that this rise of self-conscious elements in fiction, mainly in the novel, coincided with the rise of ideological self-consciousness in readers and writers. Moreover, it argues that self-consciousness was integral to the development of the Russian novel and can be traced from the earliest examples of the genre in the late eighteenth century to the realist prose of the 1860s and further. It is argued in the first chapter that Nikolai Chernyshevskii's novel Chto delat'? (1863) used metafictional narrative strategies to communicate to the readers ideas on the relationship between art and reality developed by Chernyshevskii. In the second chapter, it is argued that in his novel Vzbalamuchennoe more (1863) Aleksei Pisemskii used metanarrative to achieve a balance between verisimilitude and didacticism in the literary text. It is argued in the third chapter that Avdot'ia Panaeva's novel Zhenskaia dolia (1862) was an example of feminist metafiction that used a self-consciously transgressive narrative voice to negotiate its status as a realist narrative that was authored by a woman writer. It is concluded that metafictional narrative strategies featured prominently in Russian novels of the 1860s, regardless of the ideological persuasion of the author. The conclusion ultimately frames self-consciousness as an inherent trait of the Russian novelistic tradition and raises broader questions regarding its role in Russian literary history.
Supervisor: Zorin, Andrei Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available