Case Studies in Russian Literature: A Grammatical Approach to Genre
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Vitali, Sarah Catherine
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CitationVitali, Sarah Catherine. 2019. Case Studies in Russian Literature: A Grammatical Approach to Genre. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
AbstractIn this dissertation, I employ a Structuralist approach to examine how traditional understandings of generic boundaries in Russian literature can be enriched by what I term “case-oriented readings,” which is to say, an analysis of the marked appearances of one or another grammatical case in key moments of the text. Building on the work of case linguists including Roman Jakobson, Rodney Sangster, Laura Janda, and Steven Clancy, I demonstrate how the functions of a primary case are reflected in the major themes and patterns of communication of a given text. For example, I argue that nominative-oriented works are those in which the concept of the creation of the self is central to the text, while dative-oriented works concentrate on the creation of the other; accusative-oriented works focus on the creation of new worlds and literary realities, while genitive-oriented works ruminate on what it means to conjure up the absent. Drawing on texts ranging from Pushkin’s unfinished Novel in Letters (1829) to Pelevin’s Chapaev and Void (1996), I show how such grammatically-rooted readings transcend traditional boundaries of time and genre.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:42013091
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