Intelligentsia In Tatyana Tolstaya's The Slynx

1850 Words8 Pages
Emerged in the 18th century with the Peter the Great's educational reforms, Russian intelligentsia has never fully acquiered a status of a social class mainly due to the vagueness of the very definition of the concept wich suffered constant modifications over time as well as the intelligentsia representatives’ emphasis on their vneklassovost’. As a result of the soundness of the philosophical underpinnings of the notion, the definition of intelligentsia was in a state of constant development carried through by Russian philosophers and literary figures up untill the arrival of the Soviet government which added a state authority dimension to the concept. Thus, void of a fixed and comprehensible definition, intelligentsia can only be claimed to…show more content…
In The Slynx a technological disaster called a “blast” opens a way to a direct leap from the Soviet utopianism to a post-historical world, where history is substitued by historical memory of the survivors, who reminisce about their life in the pre-blast Soviet times. The dystopian chronotope in the novel is built in a post-catastrophe city of Fyodor Kuzmichsk (prevously Moscow), where the Oldeners – the intelligentsia in the novel - and those born after the blast co-survive in an environment close to the Russian traditional setting: “the world of The Slynx is a postapocalyptic variation on the feudal system in general, and the Russian feudal past in particular.” The traditionality in the novel expressed through such elements as Russian izby, abundance of folkloral motives and presence of the Church Slavonic language in the names of the chapters, is paradoxically combined with the total absence of the cultural and spiritual dimension, intrinsic in the Russian traditional way of life. As Agren claims, in Tolstaya´s novel “history has ended, the language and the culture have been destroyed, but memory is still preserved by the ‘Oldeners’ – an image of the intelligentsia – who survived the Blast and thereby mysteriously acquired longevity” . The chronotope constructed by the author fully meets the conventions of the genre, even though the critics’ views on the novel’s affiliation to dystopia differ, as talking about a traditional dystopian novel one would pay particulat attention to its function of depicting a “reasonably probable alarming future” , which can hardly be traced in the

    More about Intelligentsia In Tatyana Tolstaya's The Slynx

      Open Document