Elena MikhailikElena Mihailik is a poet, philologist, Doctor of Philosophy. Works at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia.
Link to russian page of Elena Mikhailik.
Potentialities of Intertextuality in the Short Story On Tick Varlam Shalamov: Problems of Cultural Context
“The intertextual connections in Shalamov's prose are powerful story-line building factor on both the structural and semantic levels. These connections permit the story to exist as if in several cultural volumes, they also intensify the informative and emotional pressure inside the text. In the short story On Tick Shalamov employs intertext as a general-purpose tool for solving both composition and semantic problems. Such an intensive use of the culture's capability for dialogue as an artistic device is uncharacteristic even for post modernist Russian prose and has analogs only in modern poetry”.
“Despite outward similarities the Kolyma Tales is not a part of the menippean tradition. The menippea tested people and ideas in an attempt to answer the “ultimate questions”. Dostoevsky needed indeterminism and polyphony to provide his protagonists with choices. Shalamov has no need to create a testing ground. He already has one. He also has no need to actually stage a test. That has also been taken care of by the system that for decades has been testing millions of human beings to destruction. Shalamov’s challenge is quite different from that of Dostoevsky. Dostoevsky was looking for answers. Shalamov knew he had found them”.
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