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.
Perspectives from Eastern and Western Europe
On the Fringes of Literature and Digital Media Culture offers a polyphonic account of mutual interpenetrations of literature and new media. Shifting its focus from the personal to the communal and back again, the volume addresses such individual experiences as immersion and emotional reading, offers insights into collective processes of commercialisation and consumption of new media products and explores the experience and mechanisms of interactivity, convergence culture and participatory culture. Crucially, the volume also shows convincingly that, though without doubt global, digital culture and new media have their varied, specifically local facets and manifestations shaped by national contingencies. The interplay of the common subtext and local colour is discussed by the contributors from Eastern Europe and the Western world. Contributors are: Justyna Fruzińska, Dirk de Geest, Maciej Jakubowiak, Michael Joyce, Kinga Kasperek, Barbara Kaszowska-Wandor, Aleksandra Małecka, Piotr Marecki, Łukasz Mirocha, Aleksandra Mochocka, Emilya Ohar, Mariusz Pisarski, Anna Ślósarz, Dawn Stobbart, Jean Webb, Indrė Žakevičienė, Agata Zarzycka.
A Pragmatic Approach
This study is devoted to a corpus of Old Russian letters, written on pieces of birchbark. These unique texts from Novgorod and surroundings give us an exceptional impression of everyday life in medieval Russian society. In this study, the birchbark letters are addressed from a pragmatic angle. Linguistic parameters are identified that shed light on the degree to which literacy had gained ground in communicative processes. It is demonstrated that the birchbark letters occupy an intermediate position between orality and literacy. On the one hand, oral habits of communication persisted, as reflected in how the birchbark letters are phrased; on the other hand, literate modes of expression emerged, as seen in the development of normative conventions and literate formulae.
Portraits of the Artist as Reader and Teacher
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.
In Another Place: Identity, Space, and Transcultural Signification in Goli Taraqqi's Fiction, Goulia Ghardashkhani examines the narrative process of the struggle for identification in the short stories of one of the well-established figures of Iranian contemporary prose literature. Goli Taraqqi's narratives of displacement and emigration are approached through a theoretical lens that foregrounds the significance of space and the role of retrospective self-narration in acts of cultural representation. Ghardashkhani studies Taraqqi's autobiographical narratives with an emphasis on the unstable meanings of homeland and Farang (a culturally constructed term signifying the West) and, thereby, accounts for Taraqqi's ironical style of narration in her memories of homeland recollected in exile.
Ferdinand J.M. Feldbrugge
The beginnings of Russian law are documented by the Russo-Byzantine treaties of the 10th century and the oldest Russian law, the Russkaia Pravda. The tempestuous developments of the following centuries (the incessant wars among the princes, the Mongol invasion, the rise of the Novgorod republic) all left their marks on the legal system until the princes of Muscovy succeeded in reuniting the country. This resulted in the creation of major legislative monuments, such as the Codes of Ivan the Great of 1497 and of Ivan the Terrible of 1550. After the Time of Troubles the Council Code of the second Romanov Tsar, Aleksei, of 1649 became the starting point for the comprehensive Russian codification of the 19th century.