The distinctive feature of the adventure-picaresque novels, novellas and romances is parody. M M Bakhtin, in his classic study on Rabelais and His World, proclaimed parody to be the founding structure of the modern world view, modelling a ‘dialogic’ relationship between the text and the reader. As such, parody becomes a kind of arche trace of representation as a mode of thought or discourse.
popular culture vs. mass culture: tolstoy’s what is art? as a test for the russian detektiv – slobodanka vladiv-glover (2002, pdf)