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Turgenev and Russian Culture

Essays to Honour Richard Peace

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Edited by Joe Andrew, Derek Offord and Robert Reid

The present volume has as its central aim a reassessment of the works of Ivan Turgenev for the twenty-first century. Against the background of a decline in interest in nineteenth-century literature the articles gathered here seek to argue that the period in general, and his work in particular, still have much to offer the modern sensibility. The volume also offers a great variety of approaches. Some of the contributors tackle major works by Turgenev, including Rudin and Smoke, while others address key themes that run through all his creative work. Yet others address his influence, as well as his broader relationship with Russian and other cultures. A final group of articles examines other key figures in Russian literary culture, including Belinskii, Herzen and Tolstoi. The work will therefore be of interest to students, postgraduates and specialists in the field of Russian literary culture. At the same time, they will stand as a tribute to the life and work of Professor Richard Peace, a long-standing specialist in nineteenth-century Russian literature, in whose honour the volume has been compiled.

Pushkin's Mozart and Salieri

Themes, Character, Sociology

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Robert Reid

Mozart and Salieri, probably the best known of Pushkin's `Little Tragedies', was written in 1830 during the peak of the poet's creative powers. Like the other Little Tragedies it is a `closet drama' which concentrates on the devastating effects of an all-consuming human passion, in this case envy. Mozart and Salieri typifies Pushkin's implicational technique of character construction: the salient points of a fictional psyche are highlighted sufficiently to suggest inner depth while stopping short of precise concretication; this allows full play to lectorial inference on a plurality of connotational levels - thematic, psychological and sociological. The present work, the first of its kind in English, isolates two major thematic dominants in the play - envy and music - and these form the focus for its aesthetic and psychological preoccupations respectively. A variety of psychological approaches are brought to bear on the play's protagonists including adaptations of the theories of Freud, Adler, Jung and Klages. The readiness with which these contrastive but complementary approaches yield new insights into the nature and motivations of the protagonists of Mozart and Salieri points to a work of profound cultural significance, something all the more remarkable given its modest compass. The sociological and anthropological approaches applied to the drama in this study dwell particularly on theories of social interaction and theories of alienation, anomie and suicide. Pushkin has often been regarded as an enigmatic phenomenon in the west, the compactness and economy of his works often seeming at odds with the degree of impact which they have made on subsequent generations of Russian writers. The present work seeks to lay bare what is typical for Pushkin: the intimation of great psychological and philosophical truths via a superficially unassuming medium. It is not surprising, therefore, that the influence of Pushkin's Mozart and Salieri, and of the aesthetic and ideological positions they represent, can be felt in the works of later Russian writers, notably Dostoyevsky.

Signs of Friendship: To Honour A.G.F. van Holk, Slavist, Linguist, Semiotician

‘Liber amicorum’ presented to André G.F. van Holk on the occasion of his 60th birthday, and in celebration of 20 years of Slavic studies under his direction at Groningen University

Edited by Joost van Baak

Waiting for Pushkin

Russian Fiction in the Reign of Alexander I (1801-1825)

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Alessandra Tosi

Waiting for Pushkin provides the only modern history of Russian fiction in the early nineteenth century to appear in over thirty years.
Prose fiction has a more prominent position in the literature of Russia than in that of any other great country. Although nineteenth-century fiction in particular occupies a privileged place in Russian and world literature alike, the early stages of this development have so far been overlooked.
By combining a broad historical survey with close textual analysis the book provides a unique overview of a key phase in Russian literary history. Drawing on a wide range of sources, including rare editions and literary journals, Alessandra Tosi reconstructs the literary activities occurring at the time, introduces neglected but fascinating narratives, many of which have never been studied before and demonstrates the long-term influence of this body of works on the ensuing “golden age” of the Russian novel.
Waiting for Pushkin provides an indispensable source for scholars and students of nineteenth-century Russian fiction. The volume is also relevant to those interested in women’s writing, comparative studies and Russian literature in general.

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Joe Andrew

The present volume has as its primary aim readings, from a feminist perspective, of a number of works from Russian literature published over the period in which the ‘woman question’ rose to the fore and reached its peak. All the works considered here were produced in, or hark back to, a fairly narrowly defined period of not quite 20 years (1846-1864) in which issues of gender, of male and female roles were discussed much more keenly than in perhaps any other period in Russian literature.
The overall project is summed up by the three key words of this book’s title, narrative, space and gender, and, especially, the interconnections between them. That is, what do the way these stories were told tell us about gender identities in mid-nineteenth-century Russia? Which spaces were central to these fictional worlds? Which spaces suggested which gender identities? The discussions therefore focus on issues of narrative and space, and how they acted as ‘technologies of gender’.
This volume will be of interest to all interested in nineteenth-century Russian literature, as well as students of gender, and of the semiotics of narrative space.

Turgenev

Art, Ideology and Legacy

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Edited by Robert Reid and Joe Andrew

Turgenev is in many ways the most enigmatic of the great nineteenth-century Russian writers. A realist, he was nevertheless drawn towards symbolism and the supernatural in his later career. Renowned for his authentic depictions of Russian life, he spent long periods in Europe and was more Western in outlook than many of his contemporaries. Though he stood aloof from politics, the major political issues of nineteenth-century Russia are central to his fiction. Interest in Turgenev remains strong in the twenty-first century, sustained by the amenability of his work to contemporary critical approaches and also by a recognition of the continuing relevance of his perspective on the perennial complexities of Russia’s relations with Europe. This volume provides ample evidence of this interest. The chapters which comprise it are written by specialists on the writer and cover many aspects of Turgenev’s creativity from his artistic method to such issues as the Jewish Question and Europe. It also examines his cultural legacy - in film and recent popular re-writes of his novels - as well as his influence on writers as diverse as Rozanov and Robert Dessaix. This work will be of interest to students, postgraduates and specialists in the field of Russian literary culture.

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Jan IJ. van der Meer

The present book for the first time links the thoughts of modern Western sociologists of literature with an overall description of the literary activities, attitudes, and views in late eighteenth-century Poland. Inspired by the studies of Bourdieu on literary fields and, more particular, S.J. Schmidt's study of the history of the rise and development of the social system 'literature' in Germany in the eighteenth-century (cf. Schmidt 1989), the author tries to establish whether Poland witnessed the rise of a more complex and (relatively) autonomous literary field or, as Schmidt calls it, a functionally differentiated literary system in the age of the reign of King Stanislaw August Poniatowski (1764-1795).
Functionally differentiated literary systems - systems in which an increased number of literary agents and institutions produce, sell, buy, and criticize literary works according to capitalist principles - are the literary systems of today. As most scholars believe, their origins are to be found in most European nations in the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
Did such a modern literary system, albeit with certain limitations, rise in Poland in the years of the rule of Stanislaw A. Poniatowski? - this is the question the author of the present volume will attempt to answer. This volume is of interest to theoreticians and empirical researchers approaching literature from a sociological point of view, historians, and, of course, slavists interested in eighteenth-century literary developments in Poland.

The Society Tale in Russian Literature

From Odoevskii to Tolstoi

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Edited by Neil Cornwell

This collection of essays is the first book to appear on the society tale in nineteenth-century Russian fiction. Written by a team of British and American scholars, the volume is based on a symposium on the society tale held at the University of Bristol in 1996. The essays examine the development of the society tale in Russian fiction, from its beginnings in the 1820s until its subsumption into the realist novel, later in the century. The contributions presented vary in approach from the text or author based study to the generic or the sociological. Power, gender and discourse theory all feature strongly and the volume should be of considerable interest to students and scholars of nineteenth-century Russian literature. There are essays covering Pushkin, Lermontov, Odoevsky and Tolstoi, as well as more minor writers, and more general and theoretical approaches.

Estonia

Identity and Independence

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Edited by Jean-Jacques Subrenat

In the span of only seventy years, Estonia first proclaimed its independence, was occupied and deprived of its sovereignty, saw many of its citizens deported, and yet managed to recover its independence. How did this small nation keep its language and traditions alive during half a century of occupation, and how did it maintain such a vivid sense of identity? For the first time in English, this book gives a comprehensive view of the events which shaped the destiny of contemporary Estonia. The Editor, Jean-Jacques Subrenat, has called upon an unusually broad spectrum of the best experts (in history, archeology, political science, genetics, literature), but also on some of the leaders who took part in the rebuilding of Estonia, to offer more than a history, rather a unique testimony on a nation reborn.
Estonia: Identity and Independence provides rare insight into the many aspects of a country whose location in Northern Europe, within the European Union, and as a NATO ally, but also as a close neighbour of Russia, deserves the attention of scholars, journalists, and informed readers today. This volume includes a thorough chronology of Estonia (from prehistory to accession to the European Union), and a brief c.v. of each co-author. Estonia: Identity and Independence is also available in three other languages (Estonian, Russian, French).

The Conscience of Humankind

Literature and Traumatic Experiences

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Edited by Elrud Ibsch, Douwe Fokkema and Joachim von der Thüsen

The traumatic experiences of persecution and genocide have changed traditional views of literature. The discussion of historical truth versus aesthetic autonomy takes an unexpected turn when confronted with the experiences of the victims of the Holocaust, the Gulag Archipelago, the Cultural Revolution, Apartheid and other crimes against humanity. The question is whether - and, if so, to what extent - literary imagination may depart from historical truth. In general, the first reactions to traumatic historical experiences are autobiographical statements, written by witnesses of the events. However, the second and third generations, the sons and daughters of the victims as well as of the victimizers, tend to free themselves from this generic restriction and claim their own way of remembering the history of their parents and grandparents. They explore their own limits of representation, and feel free to use a variety of genres; they turn to either realist or postmodernist, ironic or grotesque modes of writing.