Russian Classics in the USA Transcultural Canon

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The issue of the canon (the most studied and taught classics) is one of the most important in the world literature system. The paper briefly outlines the formation of the USA literary canon since the middle of the 19th century and details the formation of the Russian segment in the transcultural canon since the late 20th century. In the history of the USA canon formation, the institutional or sociological model (Jonathan Culler, Stanley Fish, Paul Lauter), which argues that social institutions respond to ideological demands, and the aesthetic model embodied by Harold Bloom’s Shakespeare-centered “Western Canon” stand out. An up-to-date approach to the canon assumes taking both models into account, as well as the perception of the canon as cultural memory. Anthologies are most important sources of documenting the canon. For the 20th century American literature researchers distinguish three phases formed by the leading literary trends: historiographic (1919-1946), new critical (1947-1967) and multicultural (1967- present). Based on the analysis of Norton and Longman anthologies, as well as a popular textbook The Bedford Introduction to Literature since the late 20th century to the present, the paper highlights the Russian core in the USA transcultural canon, which became the source of creative reinterpretation in contemporary literature. The present research is to be continued through the study of the Russian literature canon in specialized editions to outline a comprehensive history of the Russian-American cultural transfer.

About the authors

Evgeniya M. Butenina

Far Eastern Federal University

Author for correspondence.

Doctor of Science, Professor, Linguistics and Intercultural Communication Department

10, Ajax Bay, Russky Island, Vladivostok, 690922, Russian Federation


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Copyright (c) 2021 Butenina E.M.

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