The Great Patriotic War of 1941 and the Soviet Man: A Kafkaesque Expression of Soviet Ideology in Andrey Kurkov‟s The Bickford Fuse
Haritha Fernandez1, Anusudha R S2
1Haritha Fernandez*, PG Student, Department of English, Amrita School of Arts and Sciences, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Amritapuri Campus, Kollam, Kerala, India.
2Anusudha R S, Assistant Professor, Department of English, Amrita School of Arts and Sciences, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham , Amritapuri Campus, Kollam, Kerala, India.
Manuscript received on September 16, 2019. | Revised Manuscript received on 24 September, 2019. | Manuscript published on October 10, 2019. | PP: 2688-2692 | Volume-8 Issue-12, October 2019. | Retrieval Number: L25331081219/2019©BEIESP | DOI: 10.35940/ijitee.L2533.1081219
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© The Authors. Blue Eyes Intelligence Engineering and Sciences Publication (BEIESP). This is an open access article under the CC-BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/)
Abstract: Andrey Kurkov, in The Bickford Fuse, opens up an uncanny nightmarish world embroiled in war that ravaged it for years on end, making it nothing short of an episode taken right out of a Kafka novel. Kurkov’s narrative mode does not stray much from the Kafkaesque realm when he employs techniques such as psychological explorations, surrealism, dream sequences and nihilism to tell the story of the wandering Soviet man in the days of the former Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Nikita Khrushchev. The Soviet man represents the distraught Soviet population who was ambushed by the Great Patriotic war of 1941and the disillusionment and nihilism it brought with it. The minds of multiple personae in the novel reveal a struggle between the forces of Thanatos and Eros and a psychological oppression unleashed by the Great Patriotic War. This study chronicles the transformation of the Soviet mentality and the failure of the socialist ideology, through the parallel journeys of Kharitonov, the searchlight operators, Andrey and the occupant of the airship, who stands for Nikita Khrushchev. This paper also aims to establish that surrealism is employed to give voice to the unconscious mind of the Soviet man as in the works of Kafka. The objective of this study will be to probe the Kafkaesque elements in the novel which encodes in it the myriad faces of the Soviet man of Khrushchev’s days.
Keywords: Great Patriotic War, Kafkaesque, Thanatos, Nihilism, Soviet man, Surrealism
Scope of the Article: Social Sciences