Russian Writers and the Fin de Siècle: The Twilight of Realism by Katherine Bowers (Editor); Ani Kokobobo (Editor)Russian literature has a reputation for gloomy texts, especially during the late nineteenth century. This volume argues that a 'fin-de-siècle' mood informed Russian literature long before the chronological end of the nineteenth century, in ways that had significant impact on the development of Russian realism. Some chapters consider ideas more readily associated with fin-de-siècle Europe such as degeneration theory, biodeterminism, Freudian psychoanalysis or apocalypticism, alongside earlier Russian realist texts by writers such as Turgenev, Dostoevsky or Tolstoy. Other chapters explore the changes that realism underwent as modernism emerged, examining later nineteenth-century or early twentieth-century texts in the context of the earlier realist tradition or their own cultural moment. Overall, a team of emerging and established scholars of Russian literature and culture present a wide range of creative and insightful readings that shed new light on later realism in all its manifestations.
Publication Date: 2015
Russia in the Age of Alexander II, Tolstoy and Dostoevsky by Walter Gerald Moss'Russia in the Age of Alexander II, Tolstoy and Dostoevsky' is both history and story, incorporating in its analysis of Alexander II's turbulent reign the lives and ideas of the period's great writers, thinkers and revolutionaries who made this the Golden Age of Russian literature and thought. In his combination of considerable biographical material with the presentation of the main ideas of the era's chief writers and thinkers, Walter G. Moss has written a history that is of interest not only to scholars and students of the period, but also to more general readers.
Publication Date: 2002
Russia in the Nineteenth Century: Autocracy, Reform, and Social Change, 1814-1914 by Alexander Polunov; Marshall S. Shatz (Translator); Thomas C. Owen; L. G. ZakharovaThis is a comprehensive interpretive history of Russia from the defeat of Napoleon to the eve of World War I. It is the first such work by a post-Soviet Russian scholar to appear in English. Drawing on the latest Russian and Western historical scholarship, Alexander Polunov examines the decay of the two central institutions of tsarist Russia: serfdom and autocracy. Polunov explains how the major social groups - the gentry, merchants, petty townspeople, peasants, and ethnic minorities - reacted to the Great Reforms, and why, despite the emergence of a civil society and capitalist institutions, a reformist, evolutionary path did not become an alternative to the Revolution of 1917. He provides detailed portraits of many tsarist bureaucrats and political reformers, complete with quotations from their writings, to explain how the principle of autocracy, although significantly weakened by the Great Reforms in mid-century, reasserted itself under the last two emperors. Polunov stresses the relevance, for Russians in the post-Soviet period, of issues that remained unresolved in the pre-Revolutionary period, such as the question of private property in land and the relationship between state regulation and private initiative in the economy.
Publication Date: 2005
Liberals under Autocracy: Modernization and Civil Society in Russia, 1866-1904 by Anton A. FedyashinWith its rocky transition to democracy, post-Soviet Russia has made observers wonder whether a moderating liberalism could ever succeed in such a land of extremes. But in Liberals under Autocracy, Anton A. Fedyashin looks back at the vibrant Russian liberalism that flourished in the country's late imperial era, chronicling its contributions to the evolution of Russia's rich literary culture, socioeconomic thinking, and civil society. For five decades prior to the revolutions of 1917, The Herald of Europe (Vestnik Evropy) was the flagship journal of Russian liberalism, garnering a large readership. The journal articulated a distinctively Russian liberal agenda, one that encouraged social and economic modernization and civic participation through local self-government units (zemstvos) that defended individual rights and interests--especially those of the peasantry--in the face of increasing industrialization. Through the efforts of four men who turned The Herald into a cultural nexus in the imperial capital of St. Petersburg, the publication catalyzed the growing influence of journal culture and its formative effects on Russian politics and society. Challenging deep-seated assumptions about Russia's intellectual history, Fedyashin's work casts the country's nascent liberalism as a distinctly Russian blend of self-governance, populism, and other national, cultural traditions. As such, the book stands as a contribution to the growing literature on imperial Russia's nonrevolutionary, intellectual movements that emphasized the role of local politics in both successful modernization and the evolution of civil society in an extraparliamentary environment.