‘Russian Gothic’ as a
term has only recently begun to enjoy any real currency in critical
studies of Russianliterature. The word ‘Gothic’ is
commonly used in connection with, for instance, certain early works by
Dostoevsky or, to a lesser extent, his later and more famous novels,
which may be recognized as including Gothic elements or traces.
Otherwise, what might have
The Gothic-Fantastic in Soviet Socialist Realist Literature
The European Gothic novel was an enormous influence on nineteenth-century Russian fiction, as shown by the works of Pushkin, Dostoievskii and many other major novelists. However, both Russian and Western critics have ignored the survival of Gothic-fantastic themes and motifs in Russian literature of the Soviet period, not only in fiction by dissident writers but also within the officially promoted genre of Socialist Realism. The Gothic-fantastic mode continued to function as a resource for satire, speculation, and ideological re-evaluation throughout the Soviet period and up to the present day. This article identifies and analyses three Gothic texts selected from mainstream Soviet literature between 1920 and 1940 and discusses their interaction with ideological trends.
The gothic and death is the first ever published study to investigate how the multifarious strands of the Gothic and the concepts of death, dying, mourning, and memorialization – what the Editor broadly refers to as "the Death Question" – have intersected and been configured cross-culturally to diverse ends from the mid-eighteenth century to the present day. Drawing on recent scholarship in Gothic Studies, film theory, Women’s and Gender Studies, and Thanatology Studies, to which fields it seeks to make a valuable contribution, this interdisciplinary collection of fifteen essays by international scholars considers the Gothic’s engagement, by way of its unique necropolitics and necropoetics, with death’s challenges to all systems of meaning, and its relationship to the culturally contingent concepts of memento mori, subjectivity, spectrality, and corporeal transcendence. Attentive to our defamiliarization with death since the advent of enlightened modernity and the death-related anxieties engendered by that transition, The gothic and death combines detailed attention to socio-historical and cultural contexts with rigorous close readings of artistic, literary, televisual, and cinematic works. This surprisingly underexplored area of enquiry is considered by way of such popular and uncanny figures as corpses, ghosts, zombies, and vampires, and across various cultural and literary forms as Graveyard Poetry, Romantic poetry, Victorian literature, nineteenth-century Italian and Russian literature, Anglo-American film and television, contemporary Young Adult fiction, Bollywood film noir, and new media technologies that complicate our ideas of mourning, haunting, and the "afterlife" of the self.
The essays in this book demonstrate the importance of translation and European writing in the development of the Gothic novel. Cross-cultural exchanges occurred with the translation of novels by English writers into French. The book first situates works by British writers and American writers within a European context and legacy. Next, it offers readings of less-known works by Gothic authors. The book introduces the reader to a range of neglected, albeit influential, European Gothic texts which originated in Russian, Spanish, French and German. It argues that the level of ideological manipulation, which occurred as texts were translated, mistranslated, appropriated, misappropriated, altered and adapted from one language to another, was so considerable and so systematic that generic mutations were occasioned. The book suggests that Matthew Lewis's The Monk offers a few models of femininity, all deriving from and intended to disrupt, previous literary representations. It focuses on the automatic and the systematic in Charles Maturin's work in relation to Denis Diderot's contemporary philosophical conceptualizations of consciousness and identity. Gothic treacheries are dealt with through Samuel Coleridge's analysis of misappropriation of Friedrich Schiller's Die Rauber. The book also discusses the representations of ritual violence, as sanctioned by the Catholic Church, in English and Spanish pictorial and literary texts between 1796 and 1834. It talks about the Arabesque narrative technique of embedding tales within tales to create a maze in which even the storyteller becomes lost, reflecting the Eastern notion that the created is more important than the creator.
By the first decade of the twentieth century, Russia was experiencing a decadent period of cultural degeneration. Simultaneous with this artistic response, science was developing ways to identify medical conditions that supposedly reflected the health of the entire nation. Leonid Andreev (1871–1919), the leading literary figure of his time, stepped into the breech of this scientific discourse with literary works about degenerates. The spirited social debates on mental illness, morality and sexual deviance which resulted from these works became part of the ongoing battle over the definition and depiction of the irrational, complicated by Andreev’s own publicized bouts with neurasthenia. Specific to the study is the way in which Andreev readily accepted and incorporated scientific conjecture into his cultural production and how these works were in turn cited by medical authorities as confirmation of their theories, creating a circular argument. This book demonstrates the implications of scientific discourse on Russian concepts of mental illness and national health. It examines the concept of pathology in Russia, the influence of European medical discourse, the development of Russian psychiatry, and the role that it had on popular culture by investigating the life and works of Andreev. Although widely discussed in its European context, degeneration theory has not been afforded the same scholarly attention in Russian cultural studies. As a result, this study extends and challenges scholarship on the Russian fin de siècle, the emergence of psychiatry as a new medical science, and the role that art played in the development of this objective science.
. Terry Hale, London: Penguin, 2001, p. 6.
6 See on this Ann Komaromi, ‘Unknown Force: Gothic Realism in Chekhov’s The Black Monk ’, in Neil Cornwell, ed., The Gothic-Fantastic in Nineteenth-Century RussianLiterature , Amsterdam and Atlanta, GA: Rodopi, 1999, pp. 257–75; and, summarising the Odoevsky angle, Claire Whitehead, ‘Anton Chekhov’s The Black Monk : An Example of the Fantastic?’, The Slavonic and East European Review , 85, 4, Oct. 2007, pp. 601–28.
7 Thomas Mann, Doctor Faustus , trans. H.T. Lowe
Europeanisation and Russia
The process of Europeanisation is a familiar theme in Russia. It has long
been a substantial component of Russian political and economic life.
However, current Europeanisation – or rather EU-isation (Wallace, 2000)
– is drastically different from past experience and, therefore, presents a
challenge for Russia.
This chapter first summarises Russianliterature on Europeanisation/EUisation. It then turns to the past Europeanisation of Russia and contrasts
it to the present processes of EU-isation. A distinction is
Venedikt Yerofeev, Moscow–Petushki
(1970): self and others
My spirit was refreshed, while my parts went all to hell.
‘Venichka’ –Venedikt Yerofeev’s alter ego in Moscow–Petushki – sets
off on an increasingly surreal, drunken train journey from the capital of
the Soviet Union to the suburban town Petushki, with the intention of
seeing his lover and their child. Over 125 km, two hours fifteen minutes,
and 130 pages, Yerofeev simultaneously gives the reader a history of
Russianliterature and a vivid account of the state of the Soviet Union
homogenised into one radical, Islamic and bandit enemy that posed a domestic
threat to the idea of a resurgent Russia.
Culture and the imagination of empire
One only has to read the short stories of Russian literary greats such as Tolstoy
to recognise the complex range of ethnic groups in the Caucasus which have
often caused problems for the Russian political elite based in Moscow. Thus
the Russianliterature of empire and writings of the likes of Pushkin identify
that ‘territorial boundaries and political allegiances were marked by deeper
Transpositions, translations and transformations of authority and authorship
Sharon Lubkemann Allen
Literature (CHRL) (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992) and Victor
Terras, A History of RussianLiterature (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1994).
45 Cf. ‘Rio, Brazil’s Threshold’ on similar debates/divides about Western/colonial and
indigenist national ideals.
46 On Petersburg in relation to south and interior, see Daniel Brower and Edward
Lazzerini (eds), Russia’s Orient: Imperial Borderlands and Peoples, 1700-1917
(Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1997); Judith Deutsch Kornblatt, The Cossack
Hero in RussianLiterature: A Study in Cultural