Hybrid imagery in Russian and English postcolonial literature


The article analyzes stylistic and figurative hybridity phenomena as the main peculiarity of Russian and English prose-writers in the late 20th – early 21st centuries. Modern Russian prose (A. Volos, D. Rubina, S. Aflatuni, A. Khairov, etc.) presents a very interesting and complicated space where different ethnic groups, cultures, languages intersect. Such kind of literature gets similar to a palimpsest – a kind of testing area for enriching the Russian language with borrowings, linguistic interference effects, and hybrid linguistic forms. It also promotes a cultural dialogue between Slavic, Asian and Western civilizations, which is an essential issue in this politically uneasy epoch. In modern English literature one of the most outstanding authors, who practices hybrid imagery, is Salman Rushdie, a prose-writer of the Indo-Pakistan origin (his novels “Midnight Children”, “Shame”, “The Last Moor’s Sigh”, etc.). Taking his creative activity as an example we can put forward a hypothesis that hybridity does not mean erasing or rejecting any set of traditions, but rather highlights the current development of cultural forms, mutual influence of different histories and traditions. Therefore, hybridity does not always mean annulment of a tradition though such a thing may eventually happen. This phenomenon rather represents absorption of one tradition by the others. We argue that the degree and the paradigm of hybridization of customs and traditions vary within a very wide range, depending upon cultural, political and economic circumstances. As a result of this process, a kind of reconciliation between native and foreign forms takes place even at the time when these forms exist independently.

Key words: 

multicultural literature, hybridity, creolization, interspatiality, diaspora, threshold value.

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