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The First Epoch Cover

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The First Epoch

The Eighteenth Century and Russian Cultural Imagination

From the Shadow of Empire Cover

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From the Shadow of Empire

Defining the Russian Nation through Cultural Mythology, 1855–1870

Olga Maiorova

As nationalism spread across nineteenth-century Europe, Russia’s national identity remained murky: there was no clear distinction between the Russian nation and the expanding multiethnic empire that called itself “Russian.” When Tsar Alexander II’s Great Reforms (1855–1870s) allowed some freedom for public debate, Russian nationalist intellectuals embarked on a major project—which they undertook in daily press, popular historiography, and works of fiction—of finding the Russian nation within the empire and rendering the empire in nationalistic terms.
    From the Shadow of Empire traces how these nationalist writers refashioned key historical myths—the legend of the nation’s spiritual birth, the tale of the founding of Russia, stories of Cossack independence—to portray the Russian people as the ruling nationality, whose character would define the empire. In an effort to press the government to alter its traditional imperial policies, writers from across the political spectrum made the cult of military victories into the dominant form of national myth-making: in the absence of popular political participation, wars allowed for the people’s involvement in public affairs and conjured an image of unity between ruler and nation. With their increasing reliance on the war metaphor, Reform-era thinkers prepared the ground for the brutal Russification policies of the late nineteenth century and contributed to the aggressive character of twentieth-century Russian nationalism.

Gogol’s Afterlife Cover

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Gogol’s Afterlife

The Evolution of a Classic in Imperial and Soviet Russia

Moeller Sally, Stephen

Gogol's claim to the title of national literary classic is incontestable. An exemplar of popular audiences no less than for the intelligentsia, Gogol was pressed into service under the tsarist and Soviet regimes for causes both aesthetic and political, official and unofficial. In Gogol's Afterlife, Stephen Moeller Sally explores how he achieved this peculiar brand of cultural authority and later maintained it, despite dramatic shifts in the organization of Russian literature and society.

Gombrowicz, Polish Modernism, and the Subversion of Form Cover

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Gombrowicz, Polish Modernism, and the Subversion of Form

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as well as providing a commentary on his novels, plays, and short stories, this book sets Gombrowicz's writing in the context of contemporary cultural theory. The author performs a detailed examination of Gombrowicz's major literary and theatrical work, showing how his conception of form is highly resonant with contemporary, postmodern theories of identity.

Grapevine and Rose Cover

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Grapevine and Rose

Muslim Oral Ballads from Bosnia-Hervegovina

The Great War in Russian Memory Cover

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The Great War in Russian Memory

Karen Petrone

Karen Petrone shatters the notion that World War I was a forgotten war in the Soviet Union. Although never officially commemorated, the Great War was the subject of a lively discourse about religion, heroism, violence, and patriotism during the interwar period. Using memoirs, literature, films, military histories, and archival materials, Petrone reconstructs Soviet ideas regarding the motivations for fighting, the justification for killing, the nature of the enemy, and the qualities of a hero. She reveals how some of these ideas undermined Soviet notions of military honor and patriotism while others reinforced them. As the political culture changed and war with Germany loomed during the Stalinist 1930s, internationalist voices were silenced and a nationalist view of Russian military heroism and patriotism prevailed.

Gustav Shpet's Contribution to Philosophy and Cutlural Theory  Cover

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Gustav Shpet's Contribution to Philosophy and Cutlural Theory

Edited by Galin Tihanov

This book offers original research by leading scholars from the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, and Russia, which covers the central areas of Shpet's work on phenomenology, philosophy of language, cultural theory, and aesthetics and takes forward the current state of knowledge and debates on his contribution to these fields of enquiry.

Hagiography and Modern Russian Literature Cover

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Hagiography and Modern Russian Literature

Margaret Ziolkowski

The heritage of medieval hagiography, the diverse and voluminous literature devoted to saints, was much more important in nineteenth-century Russia than is often recognized. Although scholars have treated examples of the influence of hagiographic writing on a few prominent Russian writers, Margaret Ziolkowski is the first to describe the vast extent of its impact. Some of the authors she discusses are Kondratii Ryleev, Aleksandr Bestuzhev-Marlinskii, Fedor Dostoevsky, Leo Tolstoy, Nikolai Leskov, Gleb Uspenskii, Dmitrii Merezhkovskii, and Maksimilian Voloshin. Such writers were often exposed to saints' lives at an early age, and these stories left a deep impression to be dealt with later, whether favorably or otherwise.

Professor Ziolkowski identifies and analyzes the most common usages of hagiographic material by Russian writers, as well as the variety of purposes that inspired this exploitation of their cultural past. Tolstoy, for instance, employed hagiographic sources to attack the organized church and the institution of monasticism. Individual chapters treat the influence of hagiography on the poetry of the Decembrists, reworkings of specific hagiographic legends or tales, and the application of hagiographic conventions and features to contemporary characters and situations.

Originally published in 1988.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

Herta Müller Cover

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Herta Müller

Politics and Aesthetics

Bettina Brandt

Two languages—German and Romanian—inform the novels, essays, and collage poetry of Nobel laureate Herta Müller. Describing her writing as “autofictional,” Müller depicts the effects of violence, cruelty, and terror on her characters based on her own experiences in Communist Romania under the repressive Nicolae Ceauşescu regime.

Herta Müller: Politics and Aesthetics explores Müller’s writings from different literary, cultural, and historical perspectives. Part 1 features Müller’s Nobel lecture, five new collage poems, and an interview with Ernest Wichner, a German-Romanian author who has traveled with her and sheds light on her writing. Parts 2 and 3, featuring essays by scholars from across Europe and the United States, address the political and poetical aspects of Müller’s texts. Contributors discuss life under the Romanian Communist dictatorship while also stressing key elements of Müller’s poetics, which promises both self-conscious formal experimentation and political intervention.

One of the first books in English to thoroughly examine Müller’s writing, this volume addresses audiences with an interest in dissident, exile, migration, experimental, and transnational literature.

A History of Russian Literary Theory and Criticism Cover

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A History of Russian Literary Theory and Criticism

The Soviet Age and Beyond

edited by Galin Tihanov and Evgeny Dobrenko

This edited volume assembles the work of leading international scholars in a comprehensive history of Russian literary theory and criticism from 1917 to the post-Soviet age. By examining the dynamics of literary criticism and theory in three arenas—political, intellectual, and institutional—the authors capture the progression and structure of Russian literary criticism and its changing function and discourse. The chapters follow early movements such as formalism, the Bakhtin Circle, Proletklut, futurism, the fellow-travelers, and the Russian Association of Proletarian Writers. By the cultural revolution of 1928, literary criticism became a mechanism of Soviet policies, synchronous with official ideology. The chapters follow theory and criticism into the 1930s with examinations of the Union of Soviet Writers, semantic paleontology, and socialist realism under Stalin. A more "humanized" literary criticism appeared during the ravaging years of World War II, only to be supplanted by a return to the party line, Soviet heroism, and anti-Semitism in the late Stalinist period. During Khrushchev's Thaw, there was a remarkable rise in liberal literature and criticism, that was later refuted in the nationalist movement of the "long" 1970s. The same decade saw, on the other hand, the rise to prominence of semiotics and structuralism. Postmodernism and a strong revival of academic literary studies have shared the stage since the start of the post-Soviet era. For the first time anywhere, this collection analyzes all of the important theorists and major critical movements during a tumultuous ideological period in Russian history, including developments in émigré literary theory and criticism.

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