Russian Wanderer in the Post-Soviet Space

Homelessness in Ilichevsky’s Matisse

in Canadian-American Slavic Studies
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In “Russian Wanderer in the Post-Soviet Space: Homelessness in Ilichevsky’s Matisse,” Katya Jordan examines Aleksandr Ilichevsky’s conceptualization of homelessness as a state of existential not belonging that beset the author himself and others of his generation when the Soviet system collapsed in the early 1990s. The novel’s protagonist attempts to mitigate his metaphorical homelessness by choosing to embrace actual homelessness and to use it as “part of a flight to a deeper awareness” (Widmer); yet Jordan also shows that the type of homelessness that Ilichevsky depicts draws on the Russian spiritual tradition of strannichestvo, the kind of wandering that allows one to leave the secular world behind in pursuit of a spiritual destination, never to return to either the physical or the spiritual point of origin. By bringing into the discussion the writings of Dostoevsky, Berdyaev, and Ioann Lestvichnik, Jordan shows that although homelessness in Matisse has lost its religious underpinnings, it nevertheless remains primarily a spiritual concept that allows an individual to break free from the mass society one is living in.

References

3

Aleksandr Ilichevsky, Matisse (Moscow: Vremia, 2008), 104.

4

See Robert B. Ahdieh, Russia’s Constitutional Revolution: Legal Consciousness and the Transition to Democracy, 1985–1996 (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1997).

5

Kingsley Widmer, The Literary Rebel (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1965), 78.

7

Alisa Orlova, “Bezdomnye miry Aleksandra Ilichevskogo: Istoriia o russkikh bomzhakh poluchila ‘Russkogo Bukera,’ ” Zhurnal o pravoslavnoi zhizni Neskuchnyi sad 27 (March 2008), http://www.nsad.ru/articles/bezdomnye-miry-aleksandra-ilichevskogo (accessed Dec. 28, 2016).

8

Alla Latynina, “Stranniki i brodiagi,” Vzgliad: Delovaia gazeta, November 28, 2007, http://vz.ru/columns/2007/11/28/127921.html (accessed December 28, 2016).

11

John Allen, Homelessness in American Literature: Romanticism, Realism, and Testimony (New York: Routledge, 2004), 12.

14

Pål Kolstø, “ ‘For Here We Do Not Have an Enduring City’: Tolstoy and the Strannik Tradition in Russian Culture,” The Russian Review 69, no. 1 (2010): 119–134.

16

Zoltan Khainadi, “Strannik i skitalets v evropeiskoi i russkoi literature,” Wiener slavistisches Jahrbuch 39 (1993): 17–22.

18

Dostoevsky, Polnoe sobranie sochinenii, 26: 137. See Jesse V. Clardy, Betty S. Clardy, The Superfluous Man in Russian Letters (Washington, D.C.: University Press of America, 1980). Also see Frank Friedeberg Seeley, “The Heyday of the ‘Superfluous Man’ in Russia,” The Slavonic and East European Review 31, no. 76 (December 1952), 92–112.

19

Joseph Frank, Dostoevsky: The Mantle of the Prophet, 1871–1881 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2002), 521.

21

Amy Singleton, Noplace Like Home: The Literary Artist and Russia’s Search for Cultural Identity (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1997), 3.

22

Ibid., 137.

24

Khainadi, “Strannik i skitalets v evropeiskoi i russkoi literature,” 19.

27

See Marc Raeff, “Recent Perspectives on the History of the Russian Emigration (1920–1940),” Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History 6, no. 2 (Spring 2005): 319–334. Also see Greta Nachtailer Slobin and Katerina Clark, Russians Abroad: Literary and Cultural Politics of Diaspora (1919–1939) (Boston: Academic Studies Press, 2013).

28

Aleksandr Zinov’ev, Russkaia sud’ba: ispoved’ otshchepentsa (Moscow: Tsentrpoligraf, 1999), 478.

29

Ilichevsky, Matisse, 94.

31

Ibid., 96.

32

Ibid., 94.

33

Ibid., 103–104.

34

Elena Rykovtseva, “Razgovor ob adekvatnosti literaturnoi kritiki s Alloi Latyninoi i Aleksandrom Ilichevskim,” Radio Svoboda, December 14, 2007, http://www.svoboda.org/a/426188.html (accessed December 30, 2016).

36

See Ahdieh, Russia’s Constitutional Revolution, 66–68.

37

D.M. Volodikhin and Nikita Mikhalkov, Grazhdanskaia voina v Rossii: entsiklopediia katastrofy (Moscow: Sibirskii tsiriul’nik, 2010), 51.

38

Ilichevsky, Matisse, 64.

39

Ibid., 72.

40

Ibid., 6.

44

Edward Relph, Place and Placelessness (London: Pion, 1976), 38.

45

Ilichevsky, Matisse, 8–9.

46

Ibid., 9.

47

Ibid., 208.

48

Ibid., 209.

49

Ibid., 222.

50

N.A. Berdyaev, Russkaia ideia (Moscow: Azbuka-Klassika, 2008), 239.

51

Ibid., 235.

52

René Fueloep-Miller, The Mind and Face of Bolshevism (New York: Harper & Row, 1962), 1.

53

Sergei Shapovalov, “Sovetskie revoliutsionnye prazdniki v 1918–1920-e gg.,” Teoria i praktika obshchestvennogo razvitiia 1 (2010): 288–294. See also Liudmila Shumikhina, “Estetika paradov i demonstratsii kak prazdnichnykh ritualov sovetskoi kul’tury,” Teoria i praktika obshchestvennogo razvitiia 5 (2012): 205–208; Malte Rolf, Soviet Mass Festivals, 1917–1991 (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2013).

54

Fueloep-Miller, The Mind and Face of Bolshevism, 1.

55

Ilichevsky, Matisse, 232.

56

Widmer, The Literary Rebel, 78.

57

Fueloep-Miller, The Mind and Face of Bolshevism, 19.

58

T.L. Rybal’chenko, “Verbal’nyi, vizual’nyi i zvukovoi iazyki poznaniia ontologii v romane A. Ilichevskogo ‘Matiss,’ ” Vestnik Tomskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Filologiia 26, no. 4 (2012): 98–114.

59

Ilichevsky, Matisse, 61.

61

Ibid., 62.

63

Ibid., 225–226.

64

Ibid., 223.

65

Ibid., 275.

67

Ilichevsky, Matisse, 275.

68

N.A. Berdyaev, Sud’ba Rossii (St. Petersburg: Azbuka-Klassika, 2016), 25–26.

69

Ibid., 26.

73

Ilichevsky, Matisse, 438.

74

Berdyaev, Sud’ba Rossii, 26.

75

Ibid., 25.

76

Singleton, Noplace Like Home, 3.

78

Khainadi, “Strannik i skitalets v evropeiskoi i russkoi literature,” 22.

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