“Where Are You Going To Live? In What Language?”: The Search for Identity in Iurii Serebrianskii’s Russophone Prose, the article by german slavist Nina Friess focused on identity matters in prose works appears in Russian literature last issue.

Identity is the overarching topic that connects most of the texts written by Iurii Serebrianskii, one of the leading representatives of so-called “Young” Russophone literature in Kazakhstan. This paper analyses how the topic is presented and what concepts of identity are integrated in four of the author’s most recognized works: Destination. Dorozhnaia pastoral’ (2010), Prazhaki (2014), Kazakhstanskie skazki (2017), and Altynshash (2018). I argue that Serebrianskii’s use of the Russian language, together with his explicit self-positioning in the Russophone world rather than the Russian world, is significant in the first two texts but loses importance through the later course of his work—both on a textual level and beyond. This development corresponds to a change in Serebrianskii’s reading audience. While he targeted a broader Russophone readership in his early work, he wrote his latter works for a primarily Kazakhstani readership, thereby shaping the emerging discourse of a polyphonic Kazakhstani identity.

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