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Durham e-Theses
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The stories of Andrei Bitov, 1958-1966: a search for individual perception

Hagen, Stephen George Sidney (1980) The stories of Andrei Bitov, 1958-1966: a search for individual perception. Masters thesis, Durham University.



The thesis traces and analyses Andrei Bitov's development from literary impressionist and short-story writer of the late fifties to philosopher and novelist of the mid-sixties. The writer's search for vision and idea is revealed through a detailed chronological study of each major work and cycle of short stories. The progression of Bitov's solitary hero through successive stages of childhood, adolescence and adulthood and his interaction with everyday problems follow a particular pattern towards self-perception. Although not a moralist, the writer guides the reader on an inward search for self-knowledge through his characters' experiences including both religious and mystical revelations. In addition to the treatment of the common themes of life, death and growing-up, Bitov gives literary expression to Zen Buddhist notions of Koan and Satori and reinterprets the nineteenth century concept of poshlost in the new idea of poluson. The usual classification of Bitov as a "psychological" writer of molodaya proza is viewed as too narrow a definition despite the outward appearance of "confessionalism" and storylines concerning the alienated young man. The year I966 is taken as the end of Bitov's early phase with the completion of the novel Dni cheloveka and the beginnings of Pushkinsky dom. The mid-sixties mark a transition in Bitov's search from one of idea to one of form and style. The thesis seeks to throw new light on Andrei Bitov's contribution tithe Soviet short story of the sixties with a reappraisal of both the nature and progression of his writing, and the inclusion of original unpublished material from Bitov himself.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1980
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:18 Sep 2013 15:33

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