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Article

Genre Studies in Russian Literary Research: Achievements and Challenges

Interlitteraria. 2020. Vol. 25. No. 2. P. 319-331.
Nikitina N. A., Tuliakova N. A.

Genre has been one of the key categories for Russian literary studies

ever since the late nineteenth century, creating a long tradition of artistic,

critical and scientific interpretation. The present paper aims to outline major

findings of Russian scholars in the field of genre studies and to account for

current pitfalls, suggesting a solution. Russian scholars have contributed

noticeably to both constructing the theory of genre in general and establishing

the laws and genesis of many separate genres. Historical poetics, the Russian

Formalists, Bakhtin’s school and structuralism worked out the principles

of generic evolution and explained the nature of the genre category. Still,

currently Russian genology faces a number of challenges, among which is the

inability to work out a universal approach to genre nomination and attribution,

which causes inconsistent and unverified results. W hen it comes to describing

new genres, most troubling is the choice of deductive method in genre analysis

and a narrow specialist approach to each genre leading to inconclusive or

biased results. The paper suggests that these challenges can be overcome by

turning to the heritage of the classical Russian literary science and taking

advantage of comparative and inductive methods proponed by it.