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Andrei Siniavskii. A hero of his time?

Markesinis, E.F.; (2010) Andrei Siniavskii. A hero of his time? Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis is an artistic biography of Andrei Siniavskii (1925-1997) as a writer in and of his time, showing how this subtle and complex author found his way in a society polarised into heroes and villains, patriots and traitors; how he progresses from identification with the value system and ideology of his time to reaction against it, his dissidence expressed in literary terms. Beyond this, I hope to show how he moves to a new conception of the writer in the fusion of his creative and critical selves that is dominated neither by the voice of the collective ‘we’, nor by the voice of the individual ‘I’ but which leaves space in the text for engagement by the reader. Individual readers, passing manuscripts from hand to hand or reciting texts orally had assured the continuity of the Russian literary tradition during the long bleak years when literature seemed to mark time under the strictures of Soviet ideology and Socialist Realist aesthetics. Siniavskii’s work is motivated by the passionate belief that the way forward for Russian literature lay in this same spark generated between individual reader and text. My thesis is organised chronologically and is based on a close reading of Siniavskii’s work. It explores the way his art does not simply reflect the circumstances of his life and times but is actively shaped by an intricate commerce between the two. I intend to show how Siniavskii’s distancing himself, first ideologically then physically, from the Soviet system is counterbalanced by his creative reintegration with Russia through literature.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:Andrei Siniavskii. A hero of his time?
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language:English
UCL classification:UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > SSEES (School of Slavonic and East European Studies)

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