Abject realism and the depiction of violence in late imperial Russian crime fiction: the case of N.P. Timofeev

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Abstract

This article examines violence in ‘Prestuplenie sueveriia’ (1872) and ‘Na sovesti’ (1879) by Nikolai Timofeev. While many works of early Russian crime fiction sanitize the portrayal of violence, Timofeev takes a different approach in these novellas. His unflinching descriptions of violence employ an aesthetic of 'abject realism', a radical extension of the critical realism more typical of the late Imperial era. A reading of abject realism in Timofeev's writing extends our understanding of the variety within early Russian crime fiction and of the ways in which this particular form of realism functions and the effects that it can create.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)498-524
Number of pages27
JournalModern Language Review
Volume114
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019

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