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Women and violence in post-war Russian literature.

Skomp, Elizabeth Ann; (2003) Women and violence in post-war Russian literature. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis discusses and evaluates women and violence in Russian prose fiction after World War II (particularly from the 1970s to the 1990s), including the violence affecting or perpetrated by women. Using representative works and authors, I explore five major ways of viewing textual violence; authorial and narratorial judgements offered about the events related are of particular interest. By drawing on a rich historical, cultural and literary context, I highlight the significance of violence as a motif in recent Russian literature. The first chapter of the thesis focuses on images of women and the depiction of violence in the novels of Vladimir Nabokov, ranging from the utilization of violence as cliché, drawing on cinematic conventions; to an exploration of text as apologia for brutality; to the consequences of muddling imagination and 'reality'. The analysis then segues into an evaluation of the role of misogyny and the male gaze in producing violence and violent fantasies in the works of Viktor Erofeev and Eduard Limonov; these elements are also examined in the short prose of lurii Miloslavskii, with an additional emphasis on his portrayal of harsh street life. The analysis of the texts of contemporary Russian women writers forms the core of the thesis: Liudmila Petrushevskaia exposes the violence of everyday domestic life in her prose while also subverting the mundanity of the quotidian through the introduction of supernatural elements. Tatiana Tolstaia, Nina Sadur, and Svetlana Vasilenko portray grotesque females both as victims of violence and as aggressors. The final chapter explores gynocentric space and discourse about violence in texts by luliia Voznesenskaia and Elena Makarova; an examination of illness and other forms of violence to the body follows, with analysis of texts by Natalia Sukhanova, Elena Tarasova, Larisa Vaneeva, and Marina Palei.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Women and violence in post-war Russian literature.
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10103337
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