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World outlook strategy in the modern American novel

Liberal Arts in Russia. 2015. Vol. 4. No. 5. Pp. 395-406.
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Tatarinov A. V.
Kuban State University
149 Stavropolskaya St., 350040 Krasnodar, Russia


In the article on material of seventeen texts, the problem of world outlook strategy in the American novel of the 21th century is studied. The most influential author's models are considered: neodecadence (M. Cunningham), post-apocalyptic humanity (K. McCarthy), personal versions of social and psychological realism (J. Eugenides, J. Franzen) and existentialist consciousness (D. Delillo, P. Oster, J. Littell, D. Tartt). The main attention is paid to the description and interpretation of the general for modern American novels of a national picture of the world. The family history remains the stable level of a narration. At other level, there is a depressive or protest word about a condition of life, about the absolute beginnings dooming the person to suffering. In the narrative center, there is a hero, who has to solve personal problems in the context of the opened emptiness capable to get metaphysical meanings or to replace them. Reducing dynamics of a plot and formation of character, the novel becomes a form of the image of a steady state. For this state, the complex combination of two literary archetypes is characteristic: Job and Hamlet. The love to the world is not provided, the problem of finding of arguments for continuation of life is perceived by writers as main. If the classical American novel (London, Dreiser, Fitzgerald, Hemingway) has positioned itself between dream and the tragedy, the modern novel settles down between everyday life and emptiness. The key paradox of the studied art texts is connected with it: two forms of fatigue - not only from the Absolute responsible for weight of existence, but also from its absence connect in one complex. The hero does not know with whom he does not agree: God or with essentially subjectless life depriving any God of will, power and sense. Search of new moral rituals is represented in this situation quite natural.


  • • modern literature
  • • novel genre
  • • American novel
  • • the 21st century
  • • religious and philosophical problems
  • • national idea
  • • literary archetypes


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