Unattainable Bride Russia
Gendering Nation, State, and Intelligentsia in Russian Intellectual Culture
Publication Year: 2010
Published by: Northwestern University Press
If a panoramic view of twentieth- century Russian intellectual thought were possible, then its range of symbolic representations of Russia as unattainable bride would certainly strike the eye. The “bride Russia” of Nikolai Berdiaev’s philosophy, the equation of Russia with Lara in Doctor Zhivago, Vladimir Sorokin’s consummately Russian heroines: in their depiction of Russia...
In 2000 in Moscow, a new collection of poems by the poet Timur Kibirov opened with the following lines...
1. Apocalyptic Riders, World Souls, Westernized Boys, and Russian Girls: Before 1900
Recalling a trip to the countryside, in 1826 Aleksandr Griboedov describes in an autobiographical sketch being captured by the sound of melodious dancing songs, male and female voices...
2. Wooing “My Rus’! My Wife!”: (Pre-) Revolutionary Russia
In the summer of 1918, the Russian philosopher Nikolai Berdiaev expresses the following view of Russia in his Philosophy of Inequality (Filosofi ia neravenstva): In the soul of the Russian people...
3. Virgin Russia Meets Lenin and Stalin: The Soviet Years
Technically speaking, a discussion of bridal Russia representations in Soviet culture would encompass the years 1917 through 1990. This chapter focuses solely on the period between the late 1920s and the late 1960s, however. There are reasons for this perhaps unconventional categorization. In the previous chapter we saw that 1920s (and even some 1930s) renditions of the metaphor tend to be mere repetitions of moves by authors who had used the same concept earlier....
4. Russia’s Orgasm, or Marrying Putin: Late Soviet and Post- Soviet Culture
When interviewed in 1991, the writer Vladimir Sorokin wondered why he was always asked about ethical and social dimensions in his work: “I don’t understand . . . aren’t those just letters on a piece of paper?”...
When discussing the Kibirov's poems on Russia at a conference in Amsterdam in 2003, I was asked whether poetic efforts to transcend irony are not doomed to failure in today’s “post- postmodern” society. One could indeed say that the texts of a “new sincere” poet such as Kibirov are unable to avoid an all- pervading sense of irony...