Copy-writing Post-Soviet Russia. Viktor Pelevin's work in Postcolonial Terms

Boris Noordenbos

    OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review


    The copywriters and creatives in Viktor Pelevin's novel Generation "II" (1999) both 'copy' and 'write' Russian identity. Through advertising texts, video scripts, and written scenario's for Russia's stage-set democracy, the commercial elite makes Russia into a superficial and virtual copy of 'the West'. Some members of the Nouveaux Russes in fact protest against the meek imitation of western cultural forms, and propose a uniquely Russian path of development. However, to Pelevin, repeating nineteenth-century arguments about Russia's non-Western particularity is also a form of imitation and cannot produce authentic and stable identities either. The novel's ambivalent orientation on 'western universality' and 'Russian authenticity', together with the constant doubts about the reality of identity and the centrality of meaning, displays striking similarities with the ongoing debates and concerns of post-colonial literature and theory. This article proposes a post-colonial reading of Pelevin's text. It uses elements from the work of the prominent post-colonial critic Homi Bhabha for an analysis of the re-imagination of Russian identity in Generation "II".1

    Originele taal-2English
    TitelDutch Contributions to the Fourteenth International Congress of Slavists: Literature
    RedacteurenS Brouwer
    Plaats van productieAmsterdam
    Aantal pagina's26
    ISBN van geprinte versie978-90-420-2487-8
    StatusPublished - 2008
    EvenementDutch Contributions to the 14th International Congress of Slavists -
    Duur: 10-sep-200816-sep-2008

    Publicatie series

    NaamStudies in Slavic Literature and Poetics


    OtherDutch Contributions to the 14th International Congress of Slavists

    Citeer dit