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The Campus Novel

Regional or Global?

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Edited by Dieter Fuchs and Wojciech Klepuszewski

The Campus Novel – Regional or Global? presents innovative scholarship in the field of academic fiction. Whereas the campus novel is traditionally considered a product of the Anglo-American world, the present study opens a new perspective: it elucidates the intercultural exchange between the well-established Western canon of British and American academic fiction and its more recent regional response outside the Anglo-American territory.
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Vladimir Nabokov’s Lectures on Literature

Portraits of the Artist as Reader and Teacher

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Edited by Ben Dhooge and Jürgen Pieters

This volume offers insight into Vladimir Nabokov as a reader and a teacher, and sheds new light on the relationship of his views on literary aesthetics to the development of his own oeuvre. The essays included focus on the lectures on European and Russian literature that Nabokov gave at a number of American universities in the years between his arrival in the United States and the publication of Lolita. Nabokov’s treatment of literary masterpieces by Austen, Cervantes, Chekhov, Dickens, Flaubert, Gogol, Kafka, Joyce, Proust and Stevenson is assessed by experts on these authors.

Contributors are: Lara Delage-Toriel, Ben Dhooge, Yannicke Chupin, Roy Groen, Luc Herman, Flora Keersmaekers, Arthur Langeveld, Geert Lernout, Vivian Liska, Ilse Logie, Jürgen Pieters, Gerard de Vries.
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Edited by Olga Tabachnikova

Russia is an enigmatic, mysterious country, situated between East and West not only spatially, but also mentally. Or so it is traditionally perceived in Western Europe and the Anglophone world at large. One of the distinctive features of Russian culture is its irrationalism, which revealed itself diversely in Russian life and thought, literature, music and visual arts, and has survived to the present day. Bridging the gap in existing scholarship, the current volume is an attempt at an integral and multifaceted approach to this phenomenon, and launches the study of Russian irrationalism in philosophy, theology, literature and the arts of the last two hundred years, together with its reflections in Russian reality.

Contributors: Tatiana Chumakova, David Gillespie, Arkadii Goldenberg, Kira Gordovich, Rainer Grübel, Elizabeth Harrison, Jeremy Howard, Aleksandr Ivashkin, Elena Kabkova, Sergei Kibalnik, Oleg Kovalov, Alexander McCabe, Barbara Olaszek, Oliver Ready, Oliver Smith, Margarita Odesskaia, Ildikó Mária Rácz, Lyudmila Safronova, Marilyn Schwinn Smith, Henrieke Stahl, Olga Stukalova, Olga Tabachnikova, Christopher John Tooke, and Natalia Vinokurova.
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Edited by Sander Brouwer

Questions of collective identity and nationhood dominate the memory debate in both the high and popular cultures of postsocialist Russia, Poland and Ukraine. Often the ‘Soviet’ and ‘Russian’ identity are reconstructed as identical; others remember the Soviet regime as an anonymous supranational ‘Empire’, in which both Russian and non-Russian national cultures were destroyed. At the heart of this ‘empire talk’ is a series of questions pivoting on the opposition between constructed ‘ethnic’ and ‘imperial’ identities. Did ethnic Russians constitute the core group who implemented the Soviet Terror, e.g. the mass murders of the Poles in Katyn and the Ukrainians in the Holodomor? Or were Russians themselves victims of a faceless totalitarianism? The papers in this volume explore the divergent and conflicting ways in which the Soviet regime is remembered and re-imagined in contemporary Russian, Polish and Ukrainian cinema and media.
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Kathryn L. Ambrose

Kathryn Ambrose offers a new approach to the Woman Question in mid- to late-nineteenth-century English, German and Russian literature. Using a methodological framework based on feminist theory and post-structuralism, she provides a re-vision of canonical texts (such as Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, Middlemarch, Effi Briest, Fathers and Children and Anna Karenina) alongside lesser-known works by Emily and Charlotte Brontë, George Eliot, Theodor Storm, Theodor Fontane, Ivan Turgenev and Leo Tolstoy. Her exploration of the semiotics of barriers – as opposed to the established approach of the semiotics of space – makes for a rewarding reading of this period of literature and establishes new cross-cultural and literary connections between the three countries.
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Kamila Pawlikowska

Anti-Portraits: Poetics of the Face in Modern English, Polish and Russian Literature (1835-1965) is a study of a-physiognomic descriptions of the face. It demonstrates that writers such as George Eliot, Leo Tolstoy, Edgar Allan Poe, Nicolay Gogol, Virginia Woolf and Witold Gombrowicz vigorously resisted the belief that facial features reflect character.

While other studies tend to focus on descriptions which affirm physiognomy, this book examines portraits which question popular face-reading systems and contravene their common premise – the surface-depth principle. Such portraits reveal that physiognomic formula is a cultural construct, invented to abridge, organise and regulate legibility of the human face. Most importantly, strange and ‘unreadable’ fictional faces frequently expose the connection between physiognomic judgement and stereotyping, prejudice and racism.
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The Life and Thought of Lev Karsavin

"Strength made perfect in weakness…"

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Dominic Rubin

“At last, Russia has begun to speak in a truly original voice.” So said Anatoly Vaneev, a Soviet dissident who became Karsavin’s disciple in the Siberian gulag where the philosopher spent his last two years. The book traces the unusual trajectory of this inspiring voice: Karsavin started his career as Russia’s brightest historian of Catholic mysticism; however, his radical methods – which were far ahead of their time – shocked his conservative colleagues. The shock continued when Karsavin turned to philosophy, writing flamboyant and dense essays in a polyphonic style, which both Marxists and religious traditionalists found provocative. There was no let-up after he was expelled by Lenin from Soviet Russia: in exile, he became a leading theorist in the Eurasian political movement, combining Orthodox theology with a left-wing political orientation. Finally, Karsavin found stability when he was invited to teach history in Lithuania: there he spent twenty years reworking his philosophy, before suffering the German and Soviet invasions of his new homeland, and then deportation and death. Clearing away misunderstandings and putting the work and life in context, this book shows how Karsavin made an original contribution to European philosophy, inter-religious dialogue, Orthodox and Catholic theology, and the understanding of history.
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Edited by Joe Andrew and Robert Reid

One of the most famous quotations in the history of Russian literature is Fedor Dostoevskii’s alleged assertion that ‘We have all come out from underneath Gogol’s Overcoat’. Even if Dostoevskii never said this, there is a great deal of truth in the comment. Gogol certainly was a profound influence on his work, as were many others. Part of this book’s project is to locate Dostoevskii in relationship to his predecessors and contemporaries. However, the primary aim is to turn the oft-quoted apocryphal comment on its head, to see the profound influence Dostoevskii had on the lives, work and thought of his contemporaries and successors. This influence extends far beyond Russia and beyond literature. Dostoevskii may be seen as the single greatest influence on the sensibilities of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. To a greater or lesser extent those concerned with the creative arts in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries have all come out from under Dostoevskii’s ‘Overcoat’.
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Aspects of Dostoevskii

Art, Ethics and Faith

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Edited by Robert Reid and Joe Andrew

Perhaps more than any other nineteenth-century Russian writer, Dostoevskii’s continuing popularity rests on his contemporary relevance. The prophetic streak in his creativity gives him the same lasting appeal as dystopian novelists such as Zamiatin and Orwell whom he influenced and whose ethical concerns he anticipated. Religious themes are prominent in his work, too, and, though he was a believer, his interest seems to lie in the tension between faith and unbelief, which was felt as keenly in the Russia of his time as in our own. The nature of Dostoevskii’s art also continues to be debated. The older tendency to disparage his literary method has given way to a recognition of the originality of his techniques, without which his ideological concerns would not have emerged with such thought-provoking clarity. The chapters which comprise this volume address these issues in a range of Dostoevskii’s works, from shorter classics, such as House of the Dead and Notes from Underground to great novels such as Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov. This work will be of use to scholars and students of Dostoevskii at all levels as well as to those with an interest in nineteenth-century literature more generally.
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Yet Another Europe after 1984

Rethinking Milan Kundera and the Idea of Central Europe

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Edited by Leonidas Donskis

Much of the debates in this book revolves around Milan Kundera and his 1984 essay “The Tragedy of Central Europe.” Kundera wrote his polemical text when the world was pregnant with imminent social and political change, yet that world was still far from realizing that we would enter the last decade of the twentieth century with the Soviet empire and its network of satellite states missing from the political map. Kundera was challenged by Joseph Brodsky and György Konrád for allegedly excluding Russia from the symbolic space of Europe, something the great author deeply believes he never did.
To what extent was Kundera right in assuming that, if to exist means to be present in the eyes of those we love, then Central Europe does not exist anymore, just as Western Europe as we knew it has stopped existing? What were the mental, cultural, and intellectual realities that lay beneath or behind his beautiful and graceful metaphors? Are we justified in rehabilitating political optimism at the beginning of the twenty-first century? Are we able to reconcile the divided memories of Eastern or Central Europe and Western Europe regarding what happened to the world in 1968? And where is Central Europe now?