Topics, Texts, Interpretations
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: University of Wisconsin Press
Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
Download PDF (76.3 KB)
Foreword: The Power of the Word and the Turn to Taboo
Download PDF (112.9 KB)
In his chapter on The Captain’s Daughter (Kapitanskaia dochka) for this volume, David Bethea asks what is surely a central question about Pushkin’s handling of the forbidden: “Taboos by definition set boundaries; how does one experiment at those boundaries without becoming...
Download PDF (78.2 KB)
This book is the end result of a genuinely collaborative effort, having been first conceptualized in the context of a three-day international conference that was held in January 2009 on the campus of the University of Notre Dame. Without the generous financial support of the...
Note on Transliteration and Translation
Download PDF (68.6 KB)
The transliterations in this book follow both the Library of Congress system and conventions used in nonspecialist publications. A few first names have been anglicized (Aleksandr has become Alexander, Mariia is Maria, and the apostrophes have been omitted from names such as...
Introduction: Beyond Pushkin as Dogma
Download PDF (337.2 KB)
Part 1: Taboos in Context
Pushkin the Titular Councilor
Download PDF (245.7 KB)
In addition to being a great writer, Pushkin also was a man of a particular time and a member of a particular estate, namely, the service nobility. As such, he participated in the Russian service hierarchy; that is, he was in imperial service and had a rank. While to us Pushkin’s service may...
Why Pushkin Did Not Become a Decembrist
Download PDF (270.2 KB)
The opinion of Decembrist and member of the United Slavs Ivan I. Gorbachevsky (1800–69) about Pushkin is perhaps the most scathing and tabooed contemporary appraisal of the personality of the poet in Pushkin studies. Contained in a letter from Gorbachevsky to another...
Lighting the Green Lamp: Unpublished and Unknown Poems
Download PDF (407.8 KB)
Pushkin’s Petersburg period (1817–20) is one of the most problematic periods of his literary biography. The Soviet Pushkin industry and, before it, prerevolutionary progressive Pushkinists, were exceedingly anxious to paint this juncture in the national poet’s biography as its...
Pushkin and Metropolitan Philaret: Rethinking the Problem
Download PDF (540.4 KB)
The topic of Pushkin’s relations with Metropolitan Philaret cannot in itself be considered taboo: during the last two decades in Russia (as well as beyond her borders) more publications have been dedicated to this subject than during the entire former history of Pushkin scholarship...
Part 2: Taboo Writings
If Only Pushkin Had Not WrittenThis Filth: The Shade of Barkov and Philological Cover-ups
Download PDF (297.9 KB)
Mikhail Gasparov (1935–2005), a great scholar and a man of wit, noticed several times that the Russians’ preference for a particular work of Pushkin’s had always been of an ideological rather than a scholarly or purely aesthetic nature. “Twenty years ago we honored Pushkin for his...
Bawdy and Soul: Pushkin’s Poetics of Obscenity
Download PDF (465.9 KB)
Despite the tomes and tomes of scholarship that have been penned about virtually every aspect of Pushkin’s writing, his poetics of the obscene remains an almost untouched and untouchable field of inquiry. True, some excellent studies can be listed that treat individual works by...
Resexing Literature: Tsar Nikita and His Forty Daughters
Download PDF (345.3 KB)
Pushkin’s Tsar Nikita and His Forty Daughters (Tsar’ Nikita i sorok ego docherei) is one of the most striking examples of the poet’s “erotic poetry.”1 Although it was unprinted in his lifetime, references to it in Pushkin’s letters make clear his authorship.2 The poem relates the story...
The Poetics of Dry Transgression in Pushkin’s Necro-Erotic Verse
Download PDF (506.7 KB)
Among Pushkin’s last love lyrics are two poems addressed to dead beloveds—“ Incantation” (“Zaklinanie” ) and “For the shores of your distant homeland” (“Dlia beregov otchizny dal’noi” ). Both poems imagine, indeed demand, an erotic reunion with the dead...
The Blasphemies of The Gabrieliad
Download PDF (297.7 KB)
Pushkin’s The Gabrieliad (Gavriiliada ) violates taboos of a social, religious, and political kind, and these interrelated transgressions against the authorities of church and state made an ostensibly witty poem into a dangerous piece. The working definition of taboo that I...
Politics and Poetry: The “Anti-Polish” Poems and “I built myself a monument not made by human hands”
Download PDF (786.6 KB)
Although surely The Shade of Barkov (Ten’ Barkova) takes the prize among poems that many readers wish Pushkin had not written, there are other works that tend to be passed over in silence rather than denied or placed under overt taboo. Pushkin’s so-called anti-Polish poems, “Before the...
Part 3: Taboo Readings
Taboo and the Family Romance in The Captain’s Daughter
Download PDF (253.4 KB)
It is a relatively easy matter to identify places in Pushkin’s early works where taboos are being challenged and broken. After all, this is the adolescent who constantly got into hot water with his mates and the authorities at the lyceum for participating in pranks...
Through the Lens of Soviet Psychoanalysis and Utopian Dreams of the 1920s: Ivan Ermakov’s Readings of Pushkin’s Poetry
Download PDF (260.6 KB)
"The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 led to the revival of several" "pproaches to literature that were previously treated as taboo subjects, ncluding psychoanalysis. One example is the legacy of Ivan Dmitrievich rmakov (1875–1942), a psychiatrist, artist, translator, and literary critic,"...
The Red Pushkin and the Writers’ Union in 1937: Prescription and Taboo
Download PDF (403.1 KB)
Amid the ideological shifts of the early and mid-1930s, Pushkin went from being a landowning member of the oppressor class to a nearrevolutionary comrade-in-arms of the Decembrists, training his art against the throne. The public unveiling of this new, quasi-Soviet Pushkin...
Krzhizhanovsky’s Pushkin in the 1930s: The Cleopatra Myth from Femme Fatale to Roman Farce
Download PDF (342.9 KB)
On 2 January 1936, as part of the upcoming Pushkin jubilee, the State Moscow Chamber Theater commissioned a stage adaptation of Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin (Evgenii Onegin) from one of its longtime lecturers in the Experimental Acting Studio, Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky...
Download PDF (90.2 KB)
Download PDF (92.0 KB)
Download PDF (350.6 KB)
Further Reading, Back Cover
Page Count: 472
Publication Year: 2012
Series Title: Wisconsin Center for Pushkin Studies
Series Editor Byline: David M. Bethea and Alexander Dolinin, General Editors