World War II in Andreï Makine’s Historiographic Metafiction: 'No One Is Forgotten, Nothing Is Forgotten'

Helena Duffy

Research output: Book/ReportBook


The present book addresses the prose of Andreï Makine (b. 1957), a highly successful and prolific Russian–born, French–language writer whose novels in their majority deal with the Great Fatherland War and its legacy. By repeatedly revisiting the Soviet Union’s involvement in World War II Makine’s work can be classified as historical literature, yet, rather with the novel à la Walter Scott, which is driven by the principles of objectivity and omniscience, it shows affinity with ‘historiographic metafiction’, as Linda Hutcheon terms the postmodern novel set in the past. In contrast to its classical predecessor, historiographic metafiction, which puts into practice many of the tenets of contemporary philosophy of history (as represented by Hayden White, Frank Ankersmit or Dominick LaCapra), is openly self–conscious about the partiality (in both senses of the term), textuality and plurality of historical knowledge. Also, it narrates histories rather than History, that is it offers revisionist accounts of the past told by those previously excluded from the dominant historiographic discourse. The main objective of the present book is to explore the correspondence between Makine’s novels, which, I argue, promote conservative, not to say reactionary ideals, and the Hutcheonean model of historical fiction, which is associated with dissidence and radical politics. To achieve this, I investigate the Franco–Russian writer’s portrayal of his homeland’s contribution to the struggle against Hitler, and in particular his oeuvre’s position towards the Soviet state–manufactured myth of the Great Victory. The book does so by analysing some of the formal characteristics of Makine’s writing (Chapter 1) and the author’s fictional representation of the heroes and victims of the Great Fatherland War (Chapters 2 through 5).
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
PublisherBrill Rodopi
Number of pages291
ISBN (Electronic)978-90-04-36240-6
ISBN (Print)978-90-04-36231-4
Publication statusPublished - 26 Apr 2018

Publication series

NameFaux Titre


  • Andrei Makine
  • Postmodernism
  • Historiographic metafiction
  • historical fiction
  • Great Fatherland War
  • World War II
  • Holocaust
  • Invalids
  • Siege of Leningrad
  • Soviet Union

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