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Literature > Russian and East European Literature

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Byron and the Jews Cover

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Byron and the Jews

Sheila A. Spector

A full-length critical inquiry into the complex interrelationship between the British poet and the Jews.

Challenging the Bard Cover

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Challenging the Bard

Dostoevsky and Pushkin, a Study of Literary Relationship

Chekhov for the 21st Century Cover

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Chekhov for the 21st Century

edited by

A Commentary to Pushkin’s Lyric Poetry, 1826–1836 Cover

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A Commentary to Pushkin’s Lyric Poetry, 1826–1836

Michael Wachtel

Alexander Pushkin’s lyric poetry—much of it known to Russians by heart—is the cornerstone of the Russian literary tradition, yet until now there has been no detailed commentary of it in any language.
    Michael Wachtel’s book, designed for those who can read Russian comfortably but not natively, provides the historical, biographical, and cultural context needed to appreciate the work of Russia’s greatest poet. Each entry begins with a concise summary highlighting the key information about the poem’s origin, subtexts, and poetic form (meter, stanzaic structure, and rhyme scheme). In line-by-line fashion, Wachtel then elucidates aspects most likely to challenge non-native readers: archaic language, colloquialisms, and unusual diction or syntax. Where relevant, he addresses political, religious, and folkloric issues.
    Pushkin’s verse has attracted generations of brilliant interpreters. The purpose of this commentary is not to offer a new interpretation, but to give sufficient linguistic and cultural contextualization to make informed interpretation possible.

Comparative Central European Culture  Cover

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Comparative Central European Culture

edited by Steven Totosy de Zepetnek

This volume contains selected papers of conferences organized by the editor, Steven Tötösy de Zepetnek, in 1999 and 2000 in Canada and the U.S. on various topics of culture and literature in Central and East Europe.

Cultural Origins of the Socialist Realist Aesthetic Cover

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Cultural Origins of the Socialist Realist Aesthetic

1890 1934

Gutkin, Irina

In The Cultural Origins of the Socialist Realist Aesthetic, Irina Gutkin brings together the best work written on the subject to argue that socialist realism encompassed a philosophical worldview that marked thinking in the USSR on all levels: political, social, and linguistic. Using a wealth of diverse cultural material, Gutkin traces the emergence of the central tenants of socialist realist theory from Symbolism and Futurism through the 1920s and 1930s.

Dimitry’s Shade Cover

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Dimitry’s Shade

A Reading of Alexander Pushkin's Boris Godunov

Clayton, J. Douglas

In an ambitious reinterpretation of the premier work of Russia's national poet, J. Douglas Clayton reads Boris Godunov as the expression of Alexander Pushkin's thinking about the Russian state, especially the Russian state of his own time (some two hundred years distant from the events of the play), and even his own place within that state. Here we see how the play marks a sharp break with the Decembrists and Pushkin's own youthful liberalism, signaling its author's emergence as a Russian conservative. Boris Godunov, Clayton argues, can be best understood as an ideologically conservative defense of autocracy.

Discovering Sexuality in Dostoevsky Cover

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Discovering Sexuality in Dostoevsky

Fusso, Susanne

Most discussions of sexuality in the work of Dostoevsky have been framed in Freudian terms. But Dostoevsky himself wrote about sexuality from a decidedly pre Freudian perspective. By looking at the views of human sexual development that were available in Dostoevsky's time and that he, an avid reader and observer of his own social context, absorbed and reacted to, Susanne Fusso gives us a new way of understanding a critical element in the writing of one of Russia's literary masters. Beyond discovering Dostoevsky's own views and representations of sexuality as a reflection of his culture and his time, Fusso also explores his artistic treatment of how children and adolescents discover sexuality as part of their growth.

Dostoevsky and the Catholic Underground Cover

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Dostoevsky and the Catholic Underground

While Dostoevsky’s relation to religion is well-trod ground, there exists no comprehensive study of Dostoevsky and Catholicism. Elizabeth Blake’s ambitious and learned Dostoevsky and the Catholic Underground fills this glaring omission in the scholarship. Previous commentators have traced a wide-ranging hostility in Dostoevsky’s understanding of Catholicism to his Slavophilism. Blake depicts a far more nuanced picture. Her close reading demonstrates that he is repelled and fascinated by Catholicism in all its medieval, Reformation, and modern manifestations. Dostoevsky saw in Catholicism not just an inspirational source for the Grand Inquisitor but a political force, an ideological wellspring, a unique mode of intellectual inquiry, and a source of cultural production. Blake’s insightful textual analysis is accompanied by an equally penetrating analysis of nineteenth-century European revolutionary history, from Paris to Siberia, that undoubtedly influenced the evolution of Dostoevsky’s thought.



Dostoevsky's Dialectics and the Problem of Sin Cover

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Dostoevsky's Dialectics and the Problem of Sin

Ksana

In Dostoevsky’s Dialectics and the Problem of Sin, Ksana Blank borrows from ancient Greek, Chinese, and Christian dialectical traditions to formulate a dynamic image of Dostoevsky’s dialectics—distinct from Hegelian dialectics—as a philosophy of “compatible contradictions.”

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