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Gendering Nation, State, and Intelligentsia in Russian Intellectual Culture
Throughout the twentieth century and continuing today, personifications of Russia as a bride occur in a wide range of Russian texts and visual representations, from literature and political and philosophical treatises to cartoons and tattoos. Invariably, this metaphor functions in the context of a political gender allegory, which represents the relationships between Russia, the intelligentsia, and the Russian state, as a competition of two male suitors for the former’s love. In Unattainable Bride Russia, Ellen Rutten focuses on the metaphorical role the intelligentsia plays as Russia’s rejected or ineffectual suitor. Rutten finds that this metaphor, which she covers from its prehistory in folklore to present day pop culture references to Vladimir Putin, is still powerful, but has generated scarce scholarly consideration. Unattainable Bride Russia locates the cultural thread and places the political metaphor in a broad contemporary and social context, thus paying it the attention to which it is entitled as one of Russia’s modern cultural myths.
The Case for Pushkin's Original Comedy
Includes the original Russian text and, for the first time, an English translation of that version.
“Antony Wood’s translation is fluent and idiomatic; analyses by Dunning et al. are incisive; and the ‘case’ they make is skillfully argued. . . . Highly recommended.”—Choice
Henrietta Mondry’s monograph is the first interdisciplinary and cross-cultural study of the most original and controversial turn-of-the-century Russian writer and thinker, Vasily Rozanov. Once described as the Russian Freud, Rozanov developed a unique methodology for his writing, a methodology based on the interpretation of cultural history through the lens of sexuality. As such, he can be viewed as a Russian Foucault who wrote his own original history of sexuality in application to the main Russian classical writers of the nineteenth century. The book focuses on the constructs of race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality which Rozanov used to explicate the political, social, and artistic narratives of the “great five” of Russian literature: Alexander Pushkin, Nikolai Gogol, Ivan Turgenev, Fedor Dostoevsky, and Leo Tolstoy. Further, it explores how Rozanov applied the concept of “impure” blood in order to demonize writers and important cultural personalities from the democratic camp, thus setting a trend in Russian culture to fight an ideological enemy by exposing his or her often invented “racial” alterity. Forbidden for publication in the Soviet Union because of his political views, Rozanov enjoys an immense popularity in contemporary Russia, where his paradoxical and controversial statements have been incorporated into the propaganda employed by Russian nationalists of various denominations. In a rigorous and yet engaging manner, Mondry offers the most thought-provoking interpretation of this influential Russian thinker’s views and exposes the manipulation of his antisemitic and right-wing opinions by members of contemporary Russian political and cultural elites.
Dostoevsky and Punishment
East European Prison Literature, 1945–1990
Because of their visibility in society and ability to shape public opinion, prominent literary figures were among the first targets of Communist repression, torture, and incarceration. Authors such as Alexsandr Solzhenitsyn famously documented the experience of internment in Soviet gulags. Little, however, has been published in the English language on the work of writers imprisoned by other countries of the Soviet bloc. For the first time, The Walls Behind the Curtain presents a collection of works from East European novelists, poets, playwrights, and essayists who wrote during or after their captivity under communism. Harold B. Segel paints a backdrop of the political culture and prison and labor camp systems of each country, detailing the onerous conditions that writers faced. Segel then offers biographical information on each writer and presents excerpts of their writing. Notable literary figures included are Václav Havel, Eva Kantůrková, Milan Šimečka, Adam Michnik, Milovan Djilas, Paul Goma, Tibor Déry, and Visar Zhiti, as well as many other writers.This anthology recovers many of the most important yet overlooked literary voices from the era of Communist occupation. Although translated from numerous languages, and across varied cultures, there is a distinct commonality in the experiences documented by these works. The Walls Behind the Curtain serves as a testament to the perseverance of the human spirit and a quest for individual liberty for which many writers forfeited their lives.
Dostoevsky, the Jury Trial, and the Law
Gary Rosenshield offers a new interpretation of Dostoevsky's greatest novel, The Brothers Karamazov. He explores Dostoevsky's critique and exploitation of the jury trial for his own ideological agenda, both in his journalism and his fiction, contextualizing his portrayal of trials and trial participants (lawyers, jurors, defendants, judges) in the political, social, and ideological milieu of his time. Further, the author presents Dostoevsky's critique in terms of the main notions of the critical legal studies movement in the United States, showing how, over one hundred and twenty years ago, Dostoevsky explicitly dealt with the same problems that the law-and-literature movement has been confronting over the past two decades. This book should appeal to anyone with an interest in Russian literature, Russian history and culture, legal studies, law and literature, narratology, or metafiction and literary theory.