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Narrative strategies for representing the divine in the 1930s: Thomas Mann's Joseph und seine Brüder and Mikhail Bulgakov's Мастер и Маргарита

Voronina, O.G.; (2011) Narrative strategies for representing the divine in the 1930s: Thomas Mann's Joseph und seine Brüder and Mikhail Bulgakov's Мастер и Маргарита. Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

The state in Soviet Russia and in National Socialist Germany sought to usurp and monopolise public discourse in all areas of life, striving towards ideological homogeneity and orthodoxy. Soviet anti-religious and German anti-Semitic campaigns, which arose in this context, were influenced by 19th and 20th century academic and public debates about the origins and the significance of the Bible. Echoes of these debates can be found in Mikhail Bulgakov's Master i Margarita (written 1928-1940, published 1966) and in Thomas Mann's Joseph und seine Brüder (published 1933 - 1943). The thesis explores to what extent the narrative strategies developed by the writers to represent divine characters, Yahweh and Bulgakov's Christ figure Yeshua Ha-Notsri, may have been shaped by these debates. It considers the de-sacralisation of the figure of Jesus in Bulgakov's novel and the mythologisation of human experience central to Mann's depiction of Yahweh. It also interrogates how far the coherence of these figures may be shaped by the narrativisation of individual experience by the characters of the novels. Finally, the centrality of subjectivity to the representation of the divine is read as a critical response to the totalitarian politics of the state and its attempts to monopolise the production of meaning.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:Narrative strategies for representing the divine in the 1930s: Thomas Mann's Joseph und seine Brüder and Mikhail Bulgakov's Мастер и Маргарита
Language:English
Additional information:Permission for digitisation not received
UCL classification:UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of EU Langs, Culture and Society > German
UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > SSEES (School of Slavonic and East European Studies)

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