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  • Author or Editor: Henrietta Mondry x
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Pure, Strong and Sexless explores the representation of gender and sexuality of peasant women in turn of the century Russian culture through the writings of populist writer Gleb Uspensky. Uspensky’s numerous works address a range of issues related to sexuality, including infanticide, abortion, prostitution, adultery and venereal disease. This is the first comprehensive study of populist’s fantasies in regard to the peasant woman’s body as a non-sexed utopian body within Russian fin-de-siecle sexual discourse. Included in this book is the first English translation of the diary of Uspensky’s psychiatrist, Dr Boris Sinani. This frank account portrays the tragic decline of a sensitive observer and writer into the psychotic and delusionary world of schizophrenia. This work is an invaluable source for students of Russian literature, gender studies, and history of psychiatry.


Tolstoi was far from alone in Russia at the end of the nineteenth century in examining issues of sexuality, particularly in relation to marriage. Vasilii Rozanov was equally active in publishing his views on the subject. He was particularly exercised by what he saw as the disintegration of the contemporary Russian family and became convinced that Tolstoi was an ideal interlocutor in his discussion of the issue. Rozanov blamed Russian literature for helping to undermine traditional family values, even Evgenii Onegin suffering censure for consigning its heroine to the role of a childless wife. Tolstoi, by contrast, offers wholesome portraits of family life. Realizing the advantages of Tolstoi’s authoritative support, Rozanov approached him in the wake of a new law of 1902 concerning the status of illegitimate children which allowed them to be legitimized on birth certificates, or retrospectively if their parents later married. Rozanov wished to go further, promoting a form of common-law marriage which would abolish the difference between officially sanctioned marriage and cohabitation. Rozanov discussed the proposal with Tolstoi but appears to have received something less than full-throated support for it. Above all, this incident illustrates the extraordinary status that Tolstoi had acquired in his final years.

In: Tolstoi: Art and Influence
In: Turgenev
In: Turgenev
This book is the first interdisciplinary study of the representation of dogs in Russian discourse since the nineteenth century. Focusing on the correlation between humans and dogs in traditional belief systems, in literature, film and other cultural productions, it shows that the dog as a political construct incorporates various contradictions, with different representations investing the dog with multiple, often-paradoxical meanings – moral, social and philosophical. From the peasantry’s dislike of the gentry’s hunting dogs and children’s cruelty to dogs in Pushkin and Dostoevsky to the establishment of the Soviet dynasties of border guard and police dogs, from Pavlov’s laboratory dogs to the monuments to the cosmic dog Laika and the subversive dog impersonations by the contemporary performance artist Oleg Kulik, the book explores the intersections of species-class-gender-sexuality-race-disability and, paradoxically, of Arcadian and Utopian dreams and scientific deeds. This study contributes to the unfolding cultural history of human-animal relations across cultures.
In: Two Hundred Years of Pushkin, Volume I
In: Pure, Strong and Sexless
In: Pure, Strong and Sexless