National narrative in Ukrainian historical novels from post-Stalinist to post-independence texts
thesisposted on 28.03.2022, 11:12 by Anna Carr
This thesis studies the development of the Ukrainian national narrative in historical novels of the last fifty years. It objectivises this genre of fiction as the most powerful channel of transmitting the national story within a nation oriented to literature. The study regards the national narrative as a coherent story and, thus, sets as the primary task to extract it from four different types of historical fiction. Starting with a Socialist Realist historical novel, the thesis accepts it as a ‘progenitor narrative’ and analyses all consecutive texts in the light of its structure. The most restricted of the national narratives in the Ukrainian field, the progenitor narrative has influenced the course of the transformation of the national story until recently. Having extracted the narratives, the thesis focuses on their formal and semantic differences concentrating on the expressions of the national narrative in Ukrainian historical novels. In particular, it starts with the objectivation of formal aspects of the progenitor narrative,dissociating it into motifs, which gives reasons to divide the national narratives to fabula- and syuzhet-oriented stories. Due to the complicated nature of the latter, the study investigates the ways of forming the syuzhet of the narrative. For this reason, it pays significant attention to the narrative as desire and turns to the politics of the body with regard to gender context in the novels. In the historical novels of Pavlo Zahrenel’nyi, Valerii Shevchuk, and Oksana Zabuzhko, the thesis recognises an overall unique and complicated pattern of transformation of Ukrainian national narrative. The latter is put in historical and ideological contexts to understand the conditions of the narrative types’ formation. As a conclusion, the thesis makes an attempt to set the pattern of the narrative creation.