Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Narrative reliability in selected works by Bulgakov, Nabokov, and Tertz
by Butler, Michael Austin, M.A., University of Oregon, 2012, 60; 1516793
Abstract (Summary)

This work examines the use of ambiguous or obfuscating narrative devices in 3 works by 20th century Russian authors: A Dead Man's Memoir, by Mikhail Bulgakov, The Eye, by Vladimir Nabokov, and You and I, by Abram Tertz. Bulgakov relies on diabolical imagery as well as characters that are by and large caricatures of how any decent person would behave. Nabokov employs several modernist tropes including skillful use of estrangement, as well as a bland tone towards occurrences that ordinary people would find miraculous. Tertz plays on the notion of a double identity by psychically linking two polar extremes until they are nearly unable to tell themselves apart from one another, causing one to crack and kill himself, thus restoring his observer to a more enlightened state. Each work uses the idea of narrative ambiguity and unreliability to demonstrate the incommunicability of one's artistic vision in its purest, platonic form.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Presto, Jenifer
Commitee: Hokanson, Katya
School: University of Oregon
Department: Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies Program
School Location: United States -- Oregon
Source: MAI 51/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Modern literature, Slavic literature, American literature
Keywords: Bulgakov, Mikhail, Nabokov, Vladimir, Narrative, Reliability, Russia, Tertz, Abram
Publication Number: 1516793
ISBN: 978-1-267-56309-5
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