In this volume, Stanisław Rosik focuses on the meaning and significance of Old Slavic religion as presented in three German chronicles (the works of Thietmar of Merseburg, Adam of Bremen, Helmold of Bosau) written during the time of the Christianization of the Western Slavs. The source analyses show the ways the chroniclers understood, explained and represented pre-Christian beliefs and cults, which were interpreted as elements of a foreign, “barbarian”, culture and were evaluated from the perspective of Church doctrine. In this study, individual features of the three authors are discussed– including the issue of the credibility of their information on Old Slavic religion– and broader conclusions on medieval thought are also presented.
The French president Charles de Gaulle spoke of a Europe “from the Atlantic to the Urals”. Europe was spatially formed with these topographic parameters from the late 10th century onwards, with the massive Christianization of its inhabitants. At that time, however, all three monotheistic religions already had a steady presence there. Could such a macro-space be thought-and-narrated from a macro-perspective, in view of its medieval past? This has already been done through common ʻdenominatorsʻ such as the
Migration Period, wars, trade, spread of Christianity. Could it also be seen through a common religious-philosophical and spiritual phenomenon – the Anticipation of the End of the world among Christians, Muslims, and Jews? This book gives a positive answer to the last question.
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.
Now available in Open Access thanks to the support of the University of Helsinki. In
Poets of Hope and Despair: The Russian Symbolists in War and Revolution (1914-1918), Ben Hellman examines the artistic responses and the philosophical and political attitudes of eight major Russian poets to the First World War and the revolutions of 1917. The historical cataclysms gave rise to apocalyptic premonitions and a thirst for a total spiritual metamorphosis. A major topic of discussion was the role of Russia in this process. Other issues raised were modern Germany, the future of a divided Poland, the occupation of Belgium, and the dilemma of the Russian Jews. In the wake of the military setbacks, hopes were mixed with feelings of fear and despair, all expressed in fictional as well as in nonfictional form.
Marika Mägi’s book considers the cultural, mercantile and political interaction of the Viking Age (9th-11th century), focusing on the eastern coasts of the Baltic Sea. The majority of research on Viking activity in the East has so far concentrated on the modern-day lands of Russia, while the archaeology and Viking Age history of today’s small nation states along the eastern coasts of the Baltic Sea is little known to a global audience.
This study looks at the area from a trans-regional perspective, combining archaeological evidence with written sources, and offering reflections on the many different factors of climate, topography, logistics, technology, politics and trade that shaped travel in this period. The work offers a nuanced vision of Eastern Viking expansion, in which the Eastern Baltic frequently acted as buffer zone between eastern and western powers.
Winner of the Early Slavic Studies Association 2018 Book Prize for most outstanding recent scholarly monograph on pre-modern Slavdom.
The work was described by the prize committee in the following terms: "The scope of this book is far broader than the title might suggest. It amounts to a substantial rethinking of the history of the eastern Baltic from the tenth to the thirteenth century, based on both archaelogical and written evidence. The author is by training an archaeologist, and she mounts a powerful criticism of historians who prioritise the written sources and then pick and choose from the archaeological evidence to suit their theories. This book foregrounds the archaeology, which is used to question and consider the written evidence. The author is also highly and rightly critical of the archaeological scholarship, for projecting back into the past the narrow concerns of the numerous nation states that now exist across the eastern and northern Baltic, or the Great Russian nationalist-materialist-imperialist interpretations of the Soviet period. The result is a detailed and fascinating account of the interactions of the worlds of Scandinavia and Rusʹ with the various peoples of the Baltic region, both Finno-Ugric and Baltic. The resulting picture of commercial, political, and cultural interaction across several cultures, and based on reading in a wide range of languages, is a tour-de-force."
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.
Riccardo Nicolosis Studie fördert ein neues, überraschendes Bild des russischen fin de siècle in seinen vielfältigen Beziehungen zum gesamteuropäischen Degenerationsdiskurs zutage. Während die literaturwissenschaftliche Forschung bislang lediglich die Verbindungen zwischen biomedizinischer Kunstkritik (vor allem Max Nordaus Entartung) und der russischen Literatur der décadence und des Symbolismus herausgestellt hat, zeigt Nicolosi das breite Panorama eines antimodernistischen Degenerationsdiskurses, der sich durch die engen Wechselwirkungen von Literatur und Psychiatrie konstituiert.
Die Studie fokussiert die narrative und rhetorische Verfasstheit der Entartung als Erzählmodell, das in Russland in Auseinandersetzung mit westeuropäischen Poetologien und Epistemologien entsteht, und zeichnet die mannigfaltigen Transformationen von Verfallserzählungen zwischen naturalistischer Poetik und psychiatrischen Fallgeschichten, Kriminalliteratur und Kriminalanthropologie, literarischem Darwinismus und Eugenik nach. Politisch konservative Psychiatrie und spätrealistische, naturalistische Literatur figurieren dabei als gleichberechtigte Akteure in einem Prozess der Gestaltung, Veränderung und Infragestellung von Degenerationsnarrativen. In dieser Perspektive offenbaren sich ungeahnte Verbindungen zwischen vergessenen und kanonischen Autoren der russischen Literatur: zwischen Dmitrij Mamin-Sibirjak und Fedor Dostoevskij, Petr Boborykin und Michail Saltykov-Šcedrin, Vladimir Giljarovskij und Lev Tolstoj, Aleksej Svirskij und Anton Cechov.
Originally published in French in 2004, Matei Cazacu’s
Dracula remains the most authoritative scholarly biography of the Wallachian prince Vlad III the Impaler (1448, 1456-1462, 1476). Its core is an exhaustively researched reconstruction of Dracula’s life and political career, using original sources in more than nine languages. In addition Cazacu traces Dracula’s metamorphosis, at the hands of contemporary propagandists, into variously a bloodthirsty tyrant, and an early modern “great sovereign.” Beyond this Cazacu explores Dracula’s transformation into “the vampire prince” in literature, film and folklore, with surprising new discoveries on Bram Stoker’s sources for his novel. In this first English translation, the text and bibliography are updated, and readers are provided with an appendix of the key sources for Dracula’s life, in fresh and accurate English translations.
Mulieres suadentes - Persuasive Women, Martin Homza scrutinises the genesis of ruler ideology among the most prominent East Central and Eastern European dynasties from the early and later Middle Ages. At the center of attention are the Přemyslids, the Piasts, the Rurikids, and the Árpáds, but also the main dynasties of the Balkans, namely the Trpimirović and the Nemanjić dynasties, as well as the House of Bogdan, and the Moldova dynasty of the Muṣatins. Unlike previous work, which has focused on narrative sources of male ruler hagiography, Homza studies texts concerning female royal figures. More broadly, this book also attempts to bridge the artificial gap between West and East in Europe.
Identity Formation and Diversity in the Early Medieval Baltic and Beyond, the Viking World in the East is made more heterogeneous. Baltic Finnic groups, Balts and Sami are integrated into the history dominated by Scandinavians and Slavs.
Interaction in the region between Eastern Middle Sweden, Finland, Estonia and North Western Russia is set against varied cultural expressions of identities. Ten scholars approach the topic from different angles, with case studies on the roots of diversity, burials with horses, Staraya Ladoga as a nodal point of long-distance routes, Rus’ warrior identities, early Eastern Christianity, interaction between the Baltic Finns and the Svear, the first phases of ar-Rus dominion, the distribution of Carolingian swords, and Dirhams in the Baltic region.
Contributors are Johan Callmer, Ingrid Gustin, Charlotte Hedenstierna-Jonson, Valter Lang, John Howard Lind, Marika Mägi, Mats Roslund, Søren Sindbaek, Anne Stalsberg, and Tuukka Talvio.