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A History Of Russian Literature

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A History Of Russian Literature

Russia possesses one of the richest and most admired literatures of Europe, reaching back to the eleventh century. A History of Russian Literature provides a comprehensive account of Russian writing from its earliest origins in the monastic works of Kiev up to the present day, still rife with the creative experiments of post-Soviet literary life. The volume proceeds chronologically in five parts, extending from Kievan Rus' in the 11th century to the present day.The coverage strikes a balance between extensive overview and in-depth thematic focus. Parts are organized thematically in chapters, which a number of keywords that are important literary concepts that can serve as connecting motifs and 'case studies', in-depth discussions of writers, institutions, and texts that take the reader up close and. Visual material also underscores the interrelation of the word and image at a number of points, particularly significant in the medieval period and twentieth century.The History addresses major continuities and discontinuities in the history of Russian literature across all periods, and in particular bring out trans-historical features that contribute to the notion of a national literature. The volume's time-range has the merit of identifying from the early modern period a vital set of national stereotypes and popular folklore about boundaries, space, Holy Russia, and the charismatic king that offers culturally relevant material to later writers. This volume delivers a fresh view on a series of key questions about Russia's literary history, by providing new mappings of literary history and a narrative that pursues key concepts (rather more than individual authorial careers). This holistic narrative underscores the ways in which context and text are densely woven in Russian literature, and demonstrates that the most exciting way to understand the canon and the development of tradition is through a discussion of the interrelation of major and minor figures, historical events and literary politics, literary theory and literary innovation.

Andrew Kahn is Professor of Russian Literature at the University of Oxford. He has published widely on Russian Enlightenment literature and on Russian poetry, including Pushkin's Lyric Intelligence (OUP, 2008, pbk. 2012). His studies often focus on the interplay between the history of ideas and how writers think with literature.

Mark Lipovetsky is Professor of Russian Studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder (USA). He is the author of seven books on Russian literature and culture including Russian Postmodernist Fiction: Dialogue with Chaos (1999), Paralogies: Transformations of the (Post)Modernist Discourse in Russian Culture of the 1920s-2000s (2008), and Performing Violence: Literary and Theatrical Experiments of New Russian Drama (with Birgit Beumers). He has co-edited the volume of Dictionary of Literary Biography: Russian Writers Since 1980 (Gale Group in 2003), an anthology of Russian and Soviet wondertales, Politicizing Magic (2005), Veselye chelovechki: Cult Heroes of Soviet Childhood (2008) , and A Non-Canonical Classic: D. A. Prigov (2010), Charms of Cynical Reason: the Trickster's Transformations in Soviet and post-Soviet Culture (2011), and edited (with Evgeny Dobrenko) Russian Literature since 1991 (CUP, 2015).

Irina Reyfman is professor of Russian Language and Literature at Columbia University. In her studies, Reyfman focuses on the interaction of literature and culture, examining both how literature reacts to cultural phenomena and how it contributes to the formation of cultural biases and forms of behavior. Reyfman is the author of How Russia Learned to Write: Literature and the Imperial Table of Rannks (Madison, Wisconsin, 2016), Vasilii Trediakovsky: The Fool of the `New' Russian Literature (Stanford, 1990), and Ritualized Violence Russian Style: The Duel in Russian Culture and Literature (Stanford, 1999); the latter book also appeared in Russian (Moscow: Novoe Literaturnoe obozrenie, 2002). She is also a co-editor (with Catherine T. Nepomnyashchy and Hilde Hoogenboom) of Mapping the Feminine: Russian Women and Cultural Difference (Bloomington, IN: Slavica, 2008).

Stephanie Sandler is the Ernest E. Monrad Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Harvard University. She has written on Pushkin and later myths about him, including Distant Pleasures: Alexander Pushkin and the Writing of Exile (1989) and Commemorating Pushkin: Russia's Myth of a National Poet (2004). Other interests include ideas of selfhood and identity in Russian literature and film, which led to a co-edited volume, Self and Story in Russian History (2000, with Laura Engelstein); and questions of sex and gender, subject of another edited volume, Sexuality and the Body in Russian Culture (1993, 1998, with Jane Costlow and Judith Vowles). She has co-edited a pioneering collection of essays on the contemporary poet Olga Sedakova, published in Russia in 2017 and due out in English with University of Wisconsin Press.

"This exhaustive volume represents a very significant contribution to the bibliography of Russian literary history from the medieval to the modern period. In its scope, conception and engagement with scholarship, this is the kind of account which comes along only once every generation, a work informed by the lifelong study of four preeminent scholars of Russian literature from both sides of the Atlantic. ...The authors have been extraordinarily thorough throughout in their generous engagement with the scholarship and secondary literature in both Russian and English. ...It will inevitably feature in the comprehensive exam lists of all graduate students of Russian literature." - Kate Holland, Slavic Review

"This new history of Russian literature written by four Slavists is an interesting and useful book. It is a very timely book... It is informative, the material, nonetheless, fits compactly in one volume. It covers the familiar and also offers an abundance of unusual solutions/positions. It is addressed to the Anglophone readers but holds just as much interest for the Russian. The sociological approach that the authors maintain is realized in the special attention to institutions and conditions in which literature functions (from Ancient Russia to post-perestroika Russia); to the evolution of subjectivity, manifested in literary forms that also give evidence of the self-awareness of man in different periods; to the narratives that, on the one hand, can be extracted from texts and, on the other, form national identity. Literature both mirrors societal life and defines it." - Translated from New Literary Observer (Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie)

"Of particular importance to nonspecialists will be inclusion throughout of detailed definitions of key literary and historical terms. A section of color plates, along with black-and-white illustrations, afford welcome visual perspective. The bibliography and endnotes are exhaustive and have already served this reviewer's further investigations. This comprehensive, articulate history should prove invaluable to a broad readership. ... Summing up: Essential."" - CHOICE 59ce067264


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