The generic originality of Iurii Tynianov's representation of Pushkin in the novels 'Pushkin' and 'The Gannibals'
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This thesis is the first extensive study devoted to the generic originality of Iurii Tynianov’s representation of Pushkin in his two historical novels, Pushkin (1935-1943) and the abandoned The Gannibals (1932). Chapter 1 contextualises Tynianov’s contribution to the current debates on the novel’s demise, ‘large’ form and the worthy protagonist. The conditions giving rise to contemporary interest in the genres of biography and the historical novel are delineated and the critical issues surrounding these are examined; Tynianov’s concern to secularise the rigid monolith of an all but sanctified ‘state-sponsored Pushkin’ and the difficulties of the task are also reviewed. Chapter 2 shifts the examination of Pushkin as a historical novel to its study within the generic framework of the Bildungs, Erziehungs and Künstlerromane with their particular problematics which allowed Tynianov to grapple with a cluster of moral, philosophical and educational issues, and to explore the formative influences on the protagonist’s identity as a poet. Chapter 3 explores the concept of history underlying Tynianov’s interpretation of the characters and events and the historiographical practices he employed in his analyses of the factors that shaped Pushkin’s own historical thinking. Chapter 4 investigates Tynianov’s scepticism about Abram Gannibal’s and A. Pushkin’s mythopoeia which reveals itself in Tynianov’s subversively ironical and playful use of myth in both novels. The Conclusion assesses Tynianov’s contribution to the 20th century fictional Pushkiniana and reflects on his innovative transgeneric historical novel which broke the normative restrictions of the genre, elevated it to the level of ‘serious’ literature and made it conducive to stylistic experimentation.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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