Particularities of Depicting Foreign Culture Spaces in Elvira Baryakina’s Novel White Shanghai

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Ludmiła Szewczenko

Abstract

The novel White Shanghai tells the story of the life of Russian immigrants in China in the 1920s and 1930s. The aim of the article is 1) to examine how the Celestial Empire and one of its metropolitan areas are represented in this text, and 2) to analyse the peculiarities of the representation of multicultural spaces of Shanghai in the novel. As already mentioned in the critical reviews, E. Baryakina wrote a text based on memories, documents, archival data and the works of sinologists, which has the characteristics of historical, adventurist, action, detective and love genres. Our analysis shows that this text can also be classifi ed as women’s prose. The article reveals the reasons for the use of a woman’s view of the world in the text and how exactly it is reflected in the description of the urban spaces, which are a foreign culture for the representatives of the Russian immigration and for the readers, and how E. Bariakina describes Shanghai and the Haipai culture in this novel. The results of this analysis could be used for further study of the ways of depicting the Celestial Empire and Shanghai in the works of contemporary prose writers, and for further analysis of the style of E. Bariakina’s work.

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Section
Literary studies