Contemporary Russian Satire: A Genre Study by Karen L. Ryan-Hayes (University of Virginia)
This wide-ranging 1996 study presents an examination of the extraordinary diversity and range of satirical writing in Russian literature and will be of interest not only to Slavicists but also to those interested in genre theory. Through the close analysis of seminal satirical texts written by five Russian and emigre authors in the 1970s and 1980s, Karen Ryan-Hayes demonstrates that formal and thematic parody is pervasive and that it provides additional levels of meaning in contemporary Russian satire. Each work under examination is placed within the wider European literary context as well as within the Russian tradition and is representative of a different sub-genre of satire. The author focuses on a variety of these genres and modes and offers practical criticism on each text. The writers under discussion have enjoyed a positive reception in the West and their works demonstrate the variety and vitality of Russian and Soviet satire.