Cover

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pp. c-c

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-x

This book has been in the works for a long time, and I owe a debt of gratitude to more family, friends, colleagues, administrators, and students than I can possibly list here. However, I would fi rst like to thank the Milwaukee thieves who spirited away the computers and all the backup DVDs containing the fi rst, almost complete draft of this book when they burglarized our home in June 2009. There is no doubt ...

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Note on Transliteration and Translation

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pp. xi-2

Russian words and names in this book have been transliterated using a simplifi ed version (without ligatures and diacritics) of the Library of Congress Romanization table. All translations are my own except where otherwise indicated....

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Introduction

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pp. 3-8

According to legend, it was around three in the morning when the knock came at the door.1 Outside, in the Russian expression, June of 1826 was standing in the yard. These were tough times. Six months had passed since the Decembrist Uprising, and over three thousand people had already been arrested on suspicion of sedi-tion.2 The new tsar, Nicholas I, had created an Investigatory Commission, and his ...

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1. Roots and Contexts

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pp. 9-33

In 1825, soon before her marriage to the poet Anton Del’vig, Sofi a Mikhailovna Saltykova wrote to one of her girlfriends: “A propos, le cher Pouchkin a été ren-voyé au village chez son père pour de nouvelles folies.” If we cut off Saltykova’s letter here, it would be unclear in early nineteenth- century usage what kind of behavior had warranted Pushkin’s latest bout of trouble with the authorities. He ...

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2. Arzamas: Rudeness

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pp. 34-59

The Arzamas Society of Obscure Men (1815–18), or simply “Arzamas,” as it is usu-ally called, has been the subject of so much excellent scholarship that it requires little introduction.1 In short, though, Arzamas was a jocular, familiar literary soci-ety, which sprang out of the foreign policy and literary language debates of the early nineteenth century. It was conceived in large part as a polemical counterpoint ...

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3. The Green Lamp: Sexual Banter

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pp. 60-93

The Semenovskii Regiment mutiny in October 1820 spurred a general crackdown on unsanctioned assembly of all sorts, and the familiar literary societies that had begun to multiply rapidly in the late 1810s were among the targets. One tale of this crackdown comes to us from Filipp Lialikov’s memoir of his student days. Lialikov, later a prominent education offi cial, recalls a literary society that he and ...

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4. Ruslan and Liudmila: Rudeness and Sexual Banter

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pp. 94-114

It would be diffi cult to overstate the signifi cance of Pushkin’s Ruslan i Liudmila (Ruslan and Liudmila, 1820; hereafter RL) in the history of Russian literature. For nearly 170 years, it has been almost universally recognized as one of the most important works of the Russian Golden Age. It is no coincidence that Pushkin opens his masterwork, Eugene Onegin, with an appeal to “the friends of Liudmila ...

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Epilogue: Pushkin the Pornographer, Two Hundred Years Later

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pp. 115-124

The ballad Ten’ Barkova (The Shade of Barkov, composed circa 1815, hereafter TB) has stirred more controversy in the past decade than any other issue in Push-kin studies. This is mostly due to its single most remarkable feature: its lexicon, roughly 30 percent of which is obscene (mat). Otherwise, TB is a narrative poem that consists of twenty- four twelve- line stanzas and that is unremarkable in every ...

Notes

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pp. 125-150

Index

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pp. 151-bc