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Isaac Babel and the Self-Invention of Odessan Modernism
by Rebecca Jane Stanton
Northwestern University Press, 2012
Paper: 978-0-8101-2941-2 | eISBN: 978-0-8101-6615-8 | Cloth: 978-0-8101-2832-3
Library of Congress Classification PG3476.B2Z799 2012
Dewey Decimal Classification 891.7342

ABOUT THIS BOOK | AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY | TOC | REQUEST ACCESSIBLE FILE
ABOUT THIS BOOK
In what marks an exciting new critical direction, Rebecca Stanton contends that the city of Odessa—as a canonical literary image and as a kaleidoscopic cultural milieu—shaped the narrative strategies developed by Isaac Babel and his contemporaries of the Revolutionary generation. Modeling themselves on the tricksters and rogues of Odessa lore, Babel and his fellow Odessans Val­entin Kataev and Yury Olesha manipulated their literary personae through complex, playful, and often subversive negotiations of the boundary between autobiography and fiction. In so doing, they cannily took up a place prepared for them in the Russian canon and fostered modes of storytelling that both reflected and resisted the aesthetics of Socialist Realism. Stanton concludes with a rereading of Babel’s “autobiographical” stories and examines their leg­acy in post-Thaw works by Kataev, Olesha, and Konstantin Paustovsky.


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