Eduard Limonov: A Critical Study

Rogachevskii, Anderi (1998) Eduard Limonov: A Critical Study. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

Full text available as:
[thumbnail of 13818637.pdf] PDF
Download (10MB)


The publication of Eduard Limonov's exhibitionist novel Eto ia - Edichka (It's Me, Eddie) in 1979 provoked, both among readers and critics, a great deal of negative emotion, which simmers on even now, boosted by the publication of virtually all Limonov's major writings in Russia and by Limonov's transformation into a notorious public figure of dubious political persuasions. The emotion mentioned often precludes a sober comprehensive analysis of Limonov's creative activity, an analysis which his unquestionable success requires. Limonov's infamy frequently casts an unmerited shadow over the significance of his artistic works, especially over his exquisite, innovative poetry which is often neglected nowadays. This thesis tries to repair the damage by following, step by step, Limonov's life and career (partly mythologized by him in his allegedly autobiographical prose) sine ira et studio, relying on the whole body of his work which includes poetry, fiction, journalism and private correspondence. (Permission to cite extracts from and refer to unpublished items was given to me by Limonov via my proxy in Moscow in the summer of 1995.) Although there is no separate chapter on Limonov's poetry in the thesis, his poems are copiously quoted throughout the whole work. Another step which has been taken in properly evaluating Limonov's output (over twenty books altogether, translated into at least fifteen languages) is to consider it as a link in the chain of his Russian literary predecessors. The need of a reassessment of Limonov is also met through pointing to some literary sources important for this author, such as the Cossack Ataman and writer Petr Krasnov, the poet of the Russian revolution Vladimir Maiakovskii, Limonov's Russian and Western critics, his colleague from the so-called Khar'kov poetic school Iurii Miloslavskii, and the Eurasianist movement (the last two sources have been touched on in passing only). In addition, Limonov's idiosyncratic concepts of Hero and Barbarity are discussed at some length. Our thesis, we hope, finally makes it possible to regard Limonov not merely as an obnoxious literary hooligan, but also as a writer with roots and ideology, with an underground past and a firmly established, if slightly embarrassing, present reputation. Some theoretical issues pertaining to certain limitations in the existing definitions of literary influence and intertextuality are also raised.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Adviser: Martin Dewhirst
Keywords: Slavic literature
Date of Award: 1998
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1998-75900
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 19 Nov 2019 17:38
Last Modified: 19 Nov 2019 17:38

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year