Twilight of All the Russias: The Red Wheel as Literary Historiography

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Krasnoe koleso (The Red Wheel), Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's mega-saga of World War I and the Russian revolution, is a work of literary historiography, rather than historical fiction, a generic distinction that explains the discontinuities in its reception. This paper examines Solzhenitsyn's philosophy of history and predilection for historical counterfactuality as expressed in his “epopee”, as well as its anthologizing treatment of nineteenth- and twentieth-century Russian literature. The experimental aspects of the saga, for example the quasi-cinematic Screens, use of montage, variable modes of narration, and diegetic blanks and ellipses, are discussed with reference to the practices of Russian and Western modernism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-58
Number of pages46
JournalRussian Literature
StatePublished - Aug 15 2018


  • A.I. Solzhenitsyn
  • Counterfactuality
  • Historiography
  • Modernism
  • Philosophy of History
  • Russian Literature
  • The Red Wheel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Literature and Literary Theory


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