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Language on Display

Writers, Fiction and Linguistic Culture in Post-Soviet Russia

Ingunn Lunde

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How did Russian writers respond to linguistic debate in the post-Soviet period?

Post-Soviet Russia was a period of linguistic liberalisation, instability and change with varied attempts to regulate and legislate language usage, a time when the language question permeated all spheres of social, cultural and political life.

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Note on transliteration and translations

Introduction: sociolinguistic change and the response of literature

Part I. Post-Soviet language culture

Chapter 1. Newspeak, counterspeak and linguistic memory

Chapter 2. Challenging the standard

Part II. Language, writers and fiction

Chapter 3. Languages and styles of post-Soviet Russian prose

Chapter 4. The literary norm

Part III. Writers on language: telling and showing

Chapter 5. Pisateli o iazyke: writers’ reflections on language

Chapter 6. Abanamat: reactions to the ban on profanity in art (2014)

Part IV. Language on display

Chapter 7. Confronting linguistic legacies: Evgenii Popov and Vladimir Sorokin

Chapter 8. Language, time and linguistic dystopia: Tatiana Tolstaia and Evgenii Vodolazkin

Chapter 9. Language ideologies and society: Valerii Votrin and Mikhail Gigolashvili

Conclusion: Towards a theory of performative metalanguage



About the Author

Ingunn Lunde is Professor of Russian in the Department of Foreign Languages at the University of Bergen.


Lunde’s study deserves a wider audience than Slavists alone. Her groundbreaking interdisciplinary methodology, as well as the compelling argument about performative metalanguage, could inspire new (comparative) perspectives on other cultural and linguistic contexts.

- Boris Noordenbos, University of Amsterdam, The Russian Review

A highly stimulating book that understands the range of contemporary literary performative metalanguage in Russia.

- Holger Kuße, Dresden, Zeitschrift für Slavische Philologie

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