Andrey Platonov (1899-1951) is increasingly acknowledged as one of the greatest writers of the Soviet period. His linguistic virtuosity, philosophical rigour and political unorthodoxy combined to create some of the most compellingly absurd works of literature in any language. Unsurprisingly, many of these remained unpublished in his lifetime, and indeed for many years thereafter. In this lively and original study, Philip Ross Bullock traces the development of feminine imagery in Platonov's prose, from the seemingly misogynist outrage of his early works to the tender reconciliation with domesticity in his final stories, and argues that gender is a crucial feature of the author's audacious utopian vision.
Philip Ross Bullock is Lecturer in Russian at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London.
‘The author traces with great clarity the development of Platonov's thinking... This appears to be Legenda's first excursion into the Russian field, and the results are impressive. There are long, carefully analysed quotations in Cyrillic, all fully translated in a way which does justice to Platonov's highly idiosyncratic style.’ — Michael Pursglove, Slavonic and East European Review 84.2, 2006, 314-15 (full text online)
‘Interesting... Although Bullock sets out to concentrate on a single topic (gender) from specific points of view (feminism and psychoanalysis), he admits to his "admiration of the paradoxical nature of [Platonov's] prose", and it is exactly this admiration that prevents the monograph from becoming a single-minded study of just one theme in the prose in question.’ — Anat Vernitski, Modern Language Review 103.3, July 2008, 921-23 (full text online)
‘The book is founded on close readings that every scholar of Platonov will want to consult. The formulations are elegant and are likely to be quoted frequently in the scholarly literature... This indispensable book on Platonov is also a compelling study in the value and limits of methodology.’ — Eric Naiman, Russian Review 68.4, 2009, 693-94
‘Philip Bullock’s important new book on Andrei Platonov energetically elaborates what it promises at its outset: a feminist reading of Platonov’s most significant prose works... an eloquent and insightful investigation into a distinctly unsettled element in Platonov’s worldview. Bullock follows earlier studies of gender relations and sexuality in Platonov by Eric Naiman, Eliot Borenstein, and Valerii Podoroga but offers a far more extensive and synthetic account of the oeuvre.’ — Thomas Seifrid, Slavic Review 69.1, Spring 2010, 236-37
‘(notice in Japanese)’ — Susumu Nonaka, Bulletin of the Japanese Association of Russian Scholars 38, 2006, 143-46
‘(notice in Russian)’ — Tat’iana Krasavchenko, Literaturnovedenie 1 (2007), 124-32
Bullock, Philip, The Feminine in the Prose of Andrey Platonov (Cambridge: Legenda, 2005)
First footnote reference:35 Philip Bullock, The Feminine in the Prose of Andrey Platonov (Cambridge: Legenda, 2005), p. 21.