"Veselye pochorony”: A Russian Microcosm in New York

  • Claudio Schirò University of Palermo
Keywords: Ulickaja, New York, Russia, Memory, Space, Immigration

Abstract

This essay analyses the novel Veselye pochorony (1997) by the Russian writer Ljudmila Ulickaja, investigating the relationship between the life experiences of the characters and the area of New York where they live. The main character is Alek, a talented painter who knows he is going to die very soon. Alek is surrounded and supported by several Russian women seeking a new identity after their immigration. The plot of the novel is developed in the big American city which sometimes has claustrophobic features and sometimes appears as a surrealistic space. The author of this essay stresses how the Big Apple of the novel represents a symbolic space, a limbo, a transit area, a threshold of different cultures and contrasting lifestyles. The city also becomes the memory space of people who feel attracted by the American culture, despite their experiences of being uprooted rom their own culture and their historical background.

Author Biography

Claudio Schirò, University of Palermo
Claudio Schirò is a Lecturer of Russian literature and language in the Faculty of “Lettere- Filosofia” of Palermo University. His studies relating to eighteenth-century Russian literature, include two essays: the first is devoted to the analysis of the novel Prigožaja povaricha ili pochoždenija razvratnoj ženščiny by M Čulkov and the second to the play Nedorosl’ by D Fonvizin. In another work, he has investigated the symbology of water in poetic works by G Deržavin. He also edited the translation of a selection of poems by G Deržavin, published in 1998.

Pertaining to nineteenth-century literature, Schirò published an essay on the peculiar topography of the poem Mcyri by M Lermontov. In 2008, he edited the translation of the ballad Ljudmila by V Žukovskij. This volume includes an essay dedicated to a comparison between the ballad and Lenore, the German ballad by G Bürger. His work on the twentieth century includes essays published on the prose of M Kuzmin and an essay on the symbolic system related to food in three poems by V Chlebnikov. In 2006, he published a volume in which he analysed the poetry collection of M Kuzmin, Seti.

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Published
2011-11-26
How to Cite
Schirò, C. (2011). "Veselye pochorony”: A Russian Microcosm in New York. Between, 1(2). https://doi.org/10.13125/2039-6597/308