Boris Akunin's "novyi detektiv" Genre in Modern Russian Literature: Innovation and Success
AuthorD'Aquisto, Joseph Paul
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractBoris Akunin’s Erast Fandorin ‘novyi detektiv’ (‘new detective’) works have been a tremendous success, with millions of copies sold in translation all over the globe. Boris Akunin is the pen name of literary critic and translator, Grigory Chkhartishvili. Chkhartishvili was born in 1956 in the Soviet republic of Georgia. He published his first Fandorin novel of a planned sixteen in 1998; to date twelve have been published. My thesis will discuss only the first four novels. His featured protagonist, Erast Fandorin is a young police inspector, who resembles a mixture of Sherlock Holmes and James Bond. His journeys take him all over the Russian Empire of the late nineteenth century, and he regularly finds himself at the center of key historic events. Akunin’s keys to success are discussed in my thesis through the reviews of several articles in the critical literature about the Fandorin series that concentrate on themes such as: historical elements, attitudes toward pre-revolutionary Russia, references to well-known literary classics, style, philosophy and parallels to modern day Russia. The main argument in my thesis is that Akunin differs from other Russian writers of the ‘detektiv’, and it attempts to identify the reasons behind this difference as well as his literary success.
Degree ProgramHonors College
Russian & Slavic Studies