American Contributions to the 14th International Congress of Slavists. Ohrid 2008
Publication Year: 2008
Published by: Slavica Publishers
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Table of Contents
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Navigating Past/Present: Modes of Mapping Cultural Memory in Post-Modern Russian and Luso-Brazilian Fiction
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We find ourselves disoriented in similarly shadowed urban landscapes, refracted through schizophrenic urbane consciousness, in contemporary Russian and Luso- Brazilian fictions ranging from Liudmila Petrushevskaia’s Vremia noch´ (1992; The Time: Night, 1994) to Viktor Pelevin’s Chapaev i Pustota (1996; Buddha’s Little Finger, 2000), Osman Lins’s A Rainha dos Carceres da Grécia (1976; The Queen of the Prisons of Greece, 1995) to José Saramago’s O Ano da Morte de Ricardo Reis (1984; The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis, 1991) and Lobo Antunes’s As Naus (1998; The Return of the Caravels, 2002). In these fictions...
"Training for Brightness" in Hanna Krall's Sublokatorka: Polish and Jewish Identities in Post-War Poland
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In a 2006 public lecture, “A Competition in Suffering: How Poles and Jews look at the Shoah,” Polish-Jewish journalist Konstanty Gebert underscored how the uncertain status of the Shoah in Polish society emerges from the fact that Poles and Jews have not inhabited a shared horizon of experiences that would allow them to articulate a unified narrative of the Shoah.1 For Jews, the Shoah meant the violent murder of...
The Middle Way: Berberova between Bunin and Nabokov
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The aim of this essay is to characterize Nina Berberova’s unique voice in Russian émigré literature by providing a close reading of two of her short stories in comparison with corresponding works by two fellow writers, Ivan Bunin and Vladimir Nabokov. While critical attention to Berberova’s work has tended to focus on the autobiographical element (see, e.g., Kalb 2001, Peterson 2001, and Livak 2002) or...
Mother, as Forebear: How Lidiia Chukovskaia's Sof'ia Petrovna Rewrites Maksim Gor'kii's Mat
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Lidiia Chukovskaia’s novella Sof´ia Petrovna (henceforth abbreviated as SP) has gained a respectable place in the canon of primary sources used in the United States to teach about the Soviet period,1 though it may appear on history syllabi more often than in (occasional) courses on Russian women writers or (more common) surveys of Russian or Soviet literature. The tendency to...
A. K. Tolstoi's Vampires
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Aleksei Konstantinovich Tolstoi (1817–75), known best as a Russian dramatist and poet, wrote two intriguing stories that have made his name very familiar to those interested in vampire lore. Vampires appear several places in Tolstoi’s prose and poetry, but feature prominently only in these two prose narratives: “La...
Boris Akunin's Khuliganstvo: Literary Parodies of Chekhov and Shakespeare
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Boris Akunin (the pseudonym of Grigorii Shalvovich Chkartishvili) is a Russian essayist, translator, novelist, and “man of letters.” Born in 1956 in Georgia, he soon moved to Moscow, where he studied Japanese and became a specialist in Japanese language and literature. He worked as a journalist for Inostrannaia literatura...
Tolstoi's Conversion as a Test Case of Religious Maturity
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Conversion is one of the least understood and most suspect periods in Tolstoi’s life. Tolstoi scholars still often enclose the word “conversion” in quotation marks and even more frequently preface it with “so-called.” Real conversions always come under attack, and I shall begin by exploring their nature. From the early...
Textual Transformations in Fedor Sologub's Kniga prevrashchenii
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When collecting his short prose for inclusion in his Sobranie sochinenii, Fedor Sologub organized stories into volumes, which in the second edition he gave names such as Zemnye deti (Vol. 3), Dni pechali (Vol. 7), and Kniga stremlenii (Vol. 12).1 He included notes with original...
Three Gay Films from Former Yugoslavia
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Rebecca West described the Yugoslavia of the 1930s as “a country where there is very little homosexuality” (1940: 163). Bosnian nationalists echoed her claim in 2004: “we have no fags here” (Duhaček 2005). In a region where nationalism meant the performance of traditional masculinity for men, with women cast as mothers of the nation, homosexuality was seen as both a threat to military...
It's the Thought that Counts: Conceptualism and Art in Eastern Europe and Beyond
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The phenomenon of conceptual art has been relatively well studied in both the United States and Western Europe. The volume by Alberro and Stimson (1999), for example, offers a rich collection of contemporary documents from Western European and American artists, while studies like Newman and Bird (1999) and Marzona (2005) suggest the existence of both established scholarly opinion and affordable popular anthologies for the best-known conceptualists in the West. A set...
In Love with Alcohol: Russian Women's Writing and the Representation of Alcohol Abuse among Women
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The representation in fiction of social phenomena is a fascinating problematic. While the relationship is not direct and we must be aware of the “flight toward empiricism” that assumes “an unbroken continuity between ‘life’ and ‘text’” (Jacobus 1986: 108), the study of literature as a refractor and illuminator of attitudes...
Back to "Gogol's Retreat from Love": Mirgorod as a Locus of Gogolian Perversion (Part I: “Ivan Ivanovich s Ivanom Nikiforovichem”)
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This paper is dedicated to the 50th anniversary of Hugh McLean’s presentation at the Fourth International Congress of Slavists in Moscow in 1958, “Gogol’s Retreat from Love: Toward an Interpretation of Mirgorod.” In his now-classic psychoanalytic reading, McLean demonstrated that Mirgorod stands at...
Folk Elements in Contemporary Russian Life-Cycle Rituals
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It will be surprising to many specialists to examine ritual within an urban setting under the auspices of folklore. However, urban ritual practices reflect all the traditional features of folk ritual. They are passed on orally by friends and family over generations. They exhibit variation according to location, yet...
From "Underground" to "In the Basement": How Odessa Replaced St. Petersburg as Capital of the Russian Literary Imagination
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Anyone who sets out to learn about the topic of the city in Russian literature will find a great deal more written on St. Petersburg than on any other literary city. As Julie Buckler notes in Mapping St. Petersburg: St. Petersburg has been comprehensively mapped in terms of the literary...
The Katyn Massacre and the Western Myth of World War II
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In the Soviet Union under Stalin, public memory was supposed to resemble a blackboard on which the authorities could write, erase, and write again, according to their changing political agendas. In keeping with this assumption, Soviet official media in the 1930s routinely cancelled yesterday’s truths by replacing them...
Cosmopolitanism and/or Nationalism? When Contemporary Russian
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Contemporary Russian culture reflects elements of both cosmopolitanism and nationalism, a condition that has become especially evident in the recent history of Russian literature. The past 15 years have seen the growth of diverse cosmopolitanisms in Russia.1 These developments, however...
Learning to See in Armenia
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Stendhal’s visit to Florence in 1817 irrevocably changed the literary traveler’s lexicon. What Stendhal discovers in no uncertain terms is that Florence robs him of his faculties, physically incapacitates him, and that the beauty of the city leaves him on the brink of collapse. Posthumously...
Page Count: 260
Publication Year: 2008
Volume Title: Literature