A synthesis of genres in Andrey Bolotov’s memoirs
Although the genre status of the memoirs of the Russian writer Andrei T. Bolotov has been repeatedly raised in the literature, it has never merited a separate study. This article analyses the structure of Bolotov’s memoirs in terms of their genre peculiarity. Text analysis shows that, when writing his memoirs, Bolotov used techniques borrowed from across various genres with which he was well acquainted. Those were the novel, the epistolary genre, the travelogue, the historical essay, etc. In the broad context of Bolotov’s works, the article shows that all those elements were not combined mechanically. A well-read and stylistically sensitive author, he was guided by an intuitive sense of appropriateness of each technique depending on the object of description and thus achieved a genuine synthesis of genres. Finally, it is concluded that this intuition and a clear understanding that his task was a thorough description of his life as a record for posterity translated in the literary finesse of Bolotov’s texts and their appeal to the reader.
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