Transgressive Texts: Writing Women in Post-Soviet Russian Literature Cover Image
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Transgressive Texts: Writing Women in Post-Soviet Russian Literature
Transgressive Texts: Writing Women in Post-Soviet Russian Literature

Author(s): Erin Collopy
Subject(s): Gender Studies, Russian Literature
Published by: Editura Universităţii din Bucureşti
Summary/Abstract: Writers of the late Soviet period used stylistic and linguistic innovation to challenge boundaries established by cultural convention and political requirements. It was not until the mid-eighties, the period of glasnost, that such experimental writing could be published in the Soviet Union. Through their subject matter and language usage, these texts broke not only the restrictions set by the Soviet government, but also social and cultural taboos. Perhaps more unexpected for the Soviet reading public was the emergence of experimental women writers such as Lyudmila Petrushevskaya and Tatyana Tolstaya, who, because of their gender, disturbed the public perhaps even more than Yuz Aleshkovsky or Venedikt Yerofeyev. While Petrushevskaya and Tolstaya are distinct in style and voice, they both subvert Soviet and Russian gender stereotypes in their depictions of women as sexual beings or as destructive mothers. More significantly, they depict women as authors of their own complex texts. Another talented experimental woman writer from this period who engages gender stereotypes in order to question and deconstruct them is Nina Sadur. The focus of the present paper is on the experimental techniques that these three writers employ in transgressing both literary and gender expectations.

  • Page Range: 145-159
  • Page Count: 15
  • Publication Year: 2005
  • Language: English