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The Imperative of Reliability: Russian Prose on the Eve of the Novel, 1820s-1850s
by Victoria Somoff
Northwestern University Press, 2015
eISBN: 978-0-8101-6821-3 | Cloth: 978-0-8101-3057-9 | Paper: 978-0-8101-3442-3
Library of Congress Classification PG3093.S66 2015
Dewey Decimal Classification 891.78309

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ABOUT THIS BOOK
The Imperative of Reliability examines the development of nineteenth-century Russian prose and the remarkably swift emergence of the Russian novel. Victoria Somoff identifies an unprecedented situation in the production and perception of the utterance that came to define nascent novelistic fictionality both in European and Russian prose, where the utterance itself—whether an oral story or a “found” manuscript—became the object of representation within the compositional format of the frame narrative. This circumstance generated a narrative perspective from which both the events and their representation appeared as concomitant in time and space: the events did not precede their narration but rather occurred and developed along with and within the narration itself. Somoff establishes this story-discourse convergence as a major factor in enabling the transition from shorter forms of Russian prose to the full-fledged realist novel.



 



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