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Libertinage in Russian Culture and Literature

A Bio-History of Sexualities at the Threshold of Modernity


Alexei Lalo

Much of the previous scholarship on Russia's literary discourses of sexuality and eroticism in the Silver Age was built on applying European theoretical models (from psychoanalysis to feminist theory) to Russia's modernization. This book argues that, at the turn into the twentieth century, Russian popular culture for the first time found itself in direct confrontation with the traditional high cultures of the upper classes and intelligentsia, producing modernized representations of sexuality. This Russian tradition of conflicted representations, heretofore misassessed by literary history, emerges as what Foucault would call a full-blown “bio-history” of Russian culture: a history of indigenous representations of sexuality and the eroticized body capable of innovation on its own terms, not just those derivative from Europe.


Arthur Langeveld

’s death at the beginning of the book. As a matter of fact all biographical information on Gogol, complete with such hilarious facts as Gogol’s mother’s belief that her son had invented the steam engine, is purloined, quite often almost verbatim, from Veresayev’s standard work. The same goes for all


Roy Groen

attention to anything but the text of the novel itself. He is interested in the intricate details of the very special worlds of the novels themselves, in their personal style and original methods of craftsmanship, an approach that is rooted in his unshakeable belief in the self-sufficiency of literary

Irene Zohrab

extracts from Belinsky’s works are cited. The misquotation totally negates the meaning of what Belinsky actually wrote and aligns itself with the interpretation of Belinsky’s beliefs that Dostoevsky gave these a couple of weeks earlier in his Writer’s Diary. 4 Pogodin could not have been aware of


Dirk de Geest

disastrous traps. There is even a subgenre which concentrates on the many mistakes a writer should not make: How not to write a novel , for instance. It is intriguing how writers of these handbooks oscillate between two oppositional views on writing. Emphatically, there is the ultimate belief in individual


Justyna Fruzińska

are many more levels on which they should be studied as well. What is more, he states that there seem to be no real self-proclaimed narratologists in the sense of advocating the belief that games can be reduced only to narratives; most scholars associated with the narratological approach, in fact


Lara Delage-Toriel

light, evolved partly for financial reasons, but it also evidences the novel’s ever-present appeal and the urgency Nabokov therefore felt in giving it full justice in the English-speaking world. This appeal stems from a number of shared beliefs, among which a common endeavour to give precedence to the


Gerard de Vries

orientation that he misreads several of Brooke’s poems and badly misrepresents what we know of Brooke’s beliefs.’ 43 To be sure, although Nabokov’s lecture fails to be a helpful introduction to Stevenson’s story, there is hardly anything in the present lecture that detracts from the merits of Jekyll and Hyde


Ilse Logie

, precisely because his belief in a ‘true’ meaning is so absolute, he nevertheless succeeds in foregrounding interesting aspects of the work. He tries to scrape off the layers of varnish, free the book from the long shadow cast by that ‘afterlife’ and return to the source. But inevitably he is guilty of


Ferdinand Feldbrugge

on a great variety of subjects, such as the organization of the state of Muscovy, the mores of the Russian court, the relationship with the Russian Church, religious and moral beliefs, the situation in the provinces, education, family life, non-Russian ethnic groups, and law and courts as well. His