Next generation of Russian classics


Recently, I heard  many questions about whom to consider the best contemporary writer among the new generation of Russian writers. It is always risky to make a prediction  for the future. What the writers themselves think?

From the interview of the winner of SuperNatsBest ( bestseller of the decade) Zakhar Prilepin for the published on January 14th, 2011: “ Who, in your opinion, is the best writer of your generation and why? (You don’t need to mention a specific name.)

Z.P.: In my generation (the thirty-year-olds) the ones with the best chance of becoming classics are Sergei Samsonov and Mikhail Elizarov. In the next generation up (the forty-year-olds) – Dmitry Bykov and Alexander Terekhov. I can’t say who the best writer is. For example, I like the work of Mikhail Tarkovsky and of Dmitry Danilov. But could I call one of them the best? And why would I? One possible answer to this question is to say that the best is the one who can do more than anyone else. Then the best is Bykov. Another possible answer is that the best is the one who can do something that no one else can. Then it’s Terekhov. The third answer is that the best is the one who does something in a way only he can. Then it is Danilov and Elizarov and Senchin and Shargunov and Ildar Abuzyarov and Andei Rubanov. OK, let’s make this simpler. In reply to your question I’ll name a person who recently wrote a great novel. His name is Alexander Kuznetsov-Tulyanin and the book is called The Pagan. Not many people have read it, which is a real shame”.

Zakhar Prilepin’s interiew gave an outline of the modern literary process in Russia. We should not forget however the appearance of the literary tendencies connected to the New Realism in Russian Literature. One of the best contemporary novels  was written  by Olga Slavnikova  –  2017 , it is  already a modern classic.  We will continue the conversation about the best contemporary Russian writers.

By Elena Dimov

About Elena Dimov

Elena Dimov holds a Ph.D. in history from the Russian Academy of Sciences. Her specialties include Russian culture and literature. She has also taught Russian Language at UVA. She is currently working on a study of Russian poetry in the late twentieth century and developing the bibliography of current Russian prose and poetry
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