The Novel in Russia examines the Russian sensibility as it is revealed in prose fiction, the dominant mode of Russian literature. It explores how, in the work of Pushkin, Lermontov and Gogol, narrative art forsakes poetry for prose, and considers in turn six authors from the great age of prose realism: Goncharov, Turgenev, Leskov, Tolstoy, Saltykov-Shchedrin and Dostoevsky. The book provides an account of Chekhov and Gorky, appraises 'decadent' prose, the earlier Soviet writing, the school of Socialist Realism, and Doctor Zhivago. The theme of the writer's contest with critical pressure and State interference runs throughout.
Table of Contents
Introduction; Part One: The Transition from Poetry; 1: Pushkin: the novel in verse and prose; 2: Lermontov: A Hero of Our Own Time; 3: Gogol's Dead Souls; Part Two: Prose Paramount; A note on the critics; 4: Goncharov and the myth of Oblomov; 5: Turgenev in Fathers and Children; 6: Leskov and the righteous man; 7: Tolstoy: art and conscience (Anna Karenina); 8: Saltykov-Shchedrin: The Golovlyov Family; 9: Dostoevsky: the dialectic of resistance; Part Three: The Revolutionary Crisis; The beginning of modern times; 10: Chekhov the humanist; 11: Gorky and proletarian writing; 12: The age of decadence; 13: Soviet writing: the creative start; 14: Socialist realism; 15: Doctor Zhivago: a novel in prose and verse; Notes and references; Select bibliography; Index
Henry Gifford was Winterstoke Professor of English at the University of Bristol