ON THE GENRE BOUNDARIES OF THE RUSSIAN ALTERNATE HISTORY NOVEL
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Abstract: The object of research presented in the article is the Russian alternate history novel. In the course of analysis of various definitions of the genre, the author singles out its major and minor elements, links between the alternate history novel and historical, pseudo-historical and crypto-historical novels, utopia and dystopia. The purpose of the article is to determine the differences between the Russian alternate history novel and the related genres in the course of the genre specificity study, as well as to formulate the criteria for identification of a particular work as alternate history fiction. The analysis of the novels “The Island of Crimea” by V. Aksenov and “The Gravity-spaceship Tsesarevich” by Vladimir Rybakov emphasizes the connection of the alternate history novel with utopia and dystopia: they all focus on the development of new social models. The presence of utopian and dystopian elements is an indispensable feature of the alternate history work, but if the fictional world of dystopia reflects the planned perspective of development of reality, the alternate world is parallel to ours. The question of the differences between the alternate history novel and the crypto-story is considered in the context of different attitudes to the reliability of the depicted history and a different chronotopic structure. The analysis of the genre specificity of V. Zvyagintsev’s novel “Odysseus Leaves Ithaca” and S. Lukyanenko’s novels “The Draft Copy” and “The Clean Copy” allows one to conclude that modern science fiction tends to employ meta-genres, in particular, it shows a tendency to integrate the genres of popular literature: detective and spy fiction. The sense-based approach consisting in the comparison of the plots does not allow establishing clear criteria for delimitation of the genres under study – in contrast to the methods based on investigation of the ways of fiction space organization. The topic of counterfactual modeling of history may be interesting in the context of integrated lessons of literature and history, in the course of which alternate history science fiction can be compared with classical historical novels and real archival documents.
Key words: ALTERNATIVE HISTORICAL NOVELS; RUSSIAN LITERATURE; RUSSIAN WRITERS; ALTERNATIVE HISTORY; CRYPTO HISTORY; SCIENCE FICTION NOVELS; FANTASY; META-GENRE
Putilo, O. O. On the Genre Boundaries of the Russian Alternate History Novel / O. O. Putilo // Philological Class. – 2019. – №4 (58). – P. 181-186. DOI 10.26170/FK19-04-23.