Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Frontmatter

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

List of Illustrations

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. vii-viii

read more

Acknowledgments

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. ix-xii

I would like to thank the institutions whose financial support has made this book possible: the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research, the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Centre for International Mobility in Helsinki, the University of Groningen, and the Institute for Cultural Disciplines of the University of Leiden. ...

read more

A Note on Transliteration, Translation, and Dates

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. xiii-xiv

In the main text, I have relied on the Library of Congress system of transliteration with a few exceptions. The names of Russian rulers and well-known cultural figures are expressed in the more familiar English versions (Nicholas for Nikolai, Tolstoy for Tolstoi). In the notes I adhere strictly to the Library of Congress system (Gippius for Hippius). Dates ...

read more

Introduction

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 3-26

In February 1908 Lev Tolstoy received an agitated letter from a certain Moisei Dokshitskii, the seventeen-year-old son of a watchmaker, who claimed to have fallen into a state of utter confusion after reading Mikhail Artsybashev’s novel Sanin (1907). Always striving for “inner perfection,” as he put it, Dokshitskii became convinced that the novel’s eponymous hero embodied his ideal: “[He is] the perfect man who you ...

read more

1. From Onegin to Bazarov: The Canon of Epoch-making Heroes

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 27-50

Although Sanin has enjoyed the reputation of a pornographic potboiler, the stir it created cannot be understood properly without taking into account two other aspects that most critics found even more unnerving: the striking timing of its publication and the literary genealogy of the eponymous hero. By “timing” I mean that the novel was published at a moment that compelled readers and critics to per-...

read more

2. Sanin: A Hero of Our Time?

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 51-75

On Sunday morning, January 9, 1905, a massive crowd of demonstrators from various parts of St. Petersburg set off in the direction of the Winter Palace with the aim of presenting the tsar with a petition. The document contained far-reaching economic and political demands, but they were formulated as a humble request in which the tsar was respectfully addressed as the “father.” To demonstrate their ...

read more

3. Counterliterature: The Search for Poetic Justice

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 76-96

Among the many reasons for which critics and readers found fault with Artsybashev, one of the most important was his decision to end the novel with the sudden departure of his hero. Sanin leaves his hometown as unexpectedly as he arrived, even deliberately avoiding a last encounter with his family. After two suicides and one rape, this denouement was perceived as highly unsatisfactory, for it implied, in the ...

read more

4. The Pornographic Roman

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 97-115

As I mentioned briefly in the introduction, Sanin has always enjoyed the dubious reputation of being one of the quintessentially pornographic works of Russian literature. It was not only labeled as such by many of Artsybashev’s embarrassed contemporaries, but less than a year after its serialization, it was banned for violating, among other things, the 1001st statute, popularly known as the “statute on ...

read more

5. Sanin and Its Readers: A Bible for an Entire Generation?

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 116-142

So far, I have restricted myself to discussing the reactions of the literary establishment and the intelligentsia at large. With the exception of a few dissenting voices, an overwhelming majority of critics were appalled by the novel and vilified Artsybashev for lionizing an immoral hero or simply expressed their apprehension over the intelligentsia’s “escapist” mood, which Sanin seemed to embody. We have ...

read more

6. Hard-core Saninism: The Case of the Free Love Leagues

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 143-169

In the summer of 1909 the town of Novokhopiorsk was up in arms. Gymnasium director Shostenko had declared the city’s only park a no-go area for his pupils. In his opinion, the presence of a booth selling alcoholic beverages and the sometimes obnoxious behavior of its clientele made the park an inappropriate location for adolescents. A group of fathers was so outraged by this decision that they sent a denuncia-...

read more

7. Muscles for Money: Sanin as Ex-student

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 170-190

As we have seen, critics speculating on the significance of Vladimir Sanin as a contemporary type stressed the importance of his former involvement in the liberation movement. Whether he had eventually betrayed the revolution or instead represented its ultimate manifestation, opinion makers considered him a “hero of our time” because of what he was and what he had been. In other words, in order to ...

read more

Conclusion

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 191-194

When I had barely started my research on the myth of Saninism, an acquaintance asked me to go see some friends of hers in Moscow and present them with a copy of her recently published PhD dissertation on Marina Tsvetaeva. Although the thesis was written in Dutch and would therefore probably remain unread, I was struck by the solemnity with which the beneficiaries, three elderly women, ac-...

Appendix

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 195-206

Notes

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 207-244

Index

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 245-255