Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Laura Osterman

Second Advisor

Mark Leiderman

Third Advisor

Jillian Porter


The following paper examines several different manifestations of the grotesque in Tatyana Tolstaya’s novel The Slynx. Tolstaya experiments with the grotesque in several realms, by setting the town Fyodor Kuzmichsk with mutated people, creating for them a peculiar language and wrapping the whole story into an original style of narration which embodies divergent discourses. The grotesque can be flexibly defined and applied to a variety of aspects of a literary text. The thesis discusses the most traditional one, related to distortions of the human body, but also explores how the grotesque manifests itself through postmodern language and narration. In particular, since the narration is dominated by postmodern language and a polyphony of discourses, The Slynx signifies a break with the previous forms of the grotesque. In comparison with Romantic and Realist grotesques, a contrast with the norm no longer defines the grotesque; instead, unbound to the past, the postmodern grotesque exists within the absence of any norm.