Vladimir Voinovich Analysis

Discussion Topics

(Masterpieces of World Literature, Critical Edition)

How does Vladimir Voinovich blend comedy and satire in The Life and Extraordinary Adventures of Private Ivan Chonkin?

Did Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn enjoy a literary, if not personal, advantage over Voinovich in being imprisoned instead of being simply evicted from the Soviet Union?

What motivates the circle of friends in the story so titled?

Did the revolution that swept away Soviet communism a few years after the publication of Voinovich’s Moscow 2042 render the novel irrelevant thereafter?

What do you presume will be the future reputation of Voinovich in Russia?


(Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Dalton-Brown, Sally. “Signposting the Way to the City of Night: Recent Russian Dystopian Fiction.” Modern Language Review 90 (January, 1995): 103. Moscow 2042 is one of several novels discussed in a study of dystopian themes in post-glasnost fiction.

Kasack, Wolfgang. “Vladimir Voinovich and His Undesirable Satires.” In Fiction and Drama in Eastern and Southeastern Europe: Evolution and Experiment in the Postwar Period, edited by Henrik Birnbaum and Thomas Eekman. Columbus, Ohio: Slavica, 1980. Worthy of attention.

Khan, Halimur. “Folklore and Fairytale Elements in Vladimir Voinovich’s Novel The Life and Extraordinary Adventures of Private Ivan Chonkin.” Slavic and East European Journal 40 (Fall, 1996): 494-518. Discusses the relationship between folktale and satire in Voinovich’s novel.

Matich, Olga, and Michael Heim, eds. The Third Wave: Russian Literature in Emigration. Ann Arbor, Mich.: Ardis, 1984. Contains discussion of issues by Soviet émigré dissidents, including Voinovich, as well as bio-bibliographical data.

Novikov, Tatyana. “The Poetics of Confrontation: Carnival in V. Voinovich’s Moscow 2042.” Canadian Slavonic Papers 42 (December, 2000): 491-505. Analyzes Voinovich’s dystopian novel using Mikhail Bakhtin’s theory of the carnivalesque,

Porter, R. C. Four Contemporary Russian Writers. New York: Berg, 1989. Voinovich’s work is profiled, along with that of Valentin Rasputin, Chingiz Aitmatov, and Georgii Vladimov. Good coverage of Voinovich’s work up to the point of the fall of the Soviet Union.

Rancour-Laferriere, Daniel. “From Incompetence to Satire: Voinovich’s Image of Stalin as Castrated Leader of the Soviet Union in 1941.” Slavic Review 50 (Spring, 1991): 36. Voinovich’s The Life and Extraordinary Adventures of Private Ivan Chonkin is analyzed.