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The Slavonic And East European Review


The present article investigates the tension between speech/thought and writing present in Sasha Sokolov's first novel, Shkola dlia durakov (A School for Fools). It maintains that the critical tendency to view the hero's narrative as an unstructured, unnatural speech or thought act tends to exaggerate its deviancy and obscures its peculiar status as a frenzied transcription of his ideas. As the first half of the article demonstrates, Sokolov uses visual markers inherent to a written text alone, along with readerly habits, to craft his tale about thought materializing on the page in concrete form. Furthermore, Sokolov deploys related body imagery that operates on a metaliterary level to accentuate this relationship between corporeality and writing, thereby giving a form, as it were, to the book's true hero: language.


Novels, Written narratives, Words, Punctuation, Stream of consciousness, Russian literature, Writing, Written composition, Body image


This work is freely available courtesy of The Slavonic And East European Review.