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The Word

Shrayer, Maxim D.

This presentation explores the principal historical, sociopolitical, cultural, linguistic, and religious parameters that shaped Russian émigré literature of the Third Wave. The history of the Jewish emigration from the former Soviet Union to the US in the 1970s and 1980s will be briefly considered in connection with the origins and cultural pedigree of the Third Wave. The interactions between the predominantly Jewish “Soviet” Diaspora and the representatives of the First and Second Waves of Russian Emigration will not be overlooked. However, the main emphasis will be placed on the prevalent themes, styles, literary forms and genres, and also on the literary publications and forums to which Third Wave authors contributed in America. The decline of the Third Wave in the early 1990s will be placed not only in the apparent context of the fall of the Soviet Union, but will also be linked to the growing detachment of America ’s Jewish-Russian readers from the Russian cultural mainstream. Finally, preliminary observations will be made about the state of bilingualism among Third Wave writers and about the rise of the so-called new stage of Russian-American literature. Among the authors considered will be Philip Isaac Berman, Joseph Brodsky, Sergei Dovlatov, Igor Mikhalevich-Kaplan, Mikhail Kreps, Arkady Lvov, David Shrayer-Petrov, Marina Temkina, Felix Roziner and others.

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Harriman Institute
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September 20, 2013