Febris Erotica: Lovesickness in the Russian Literary Imagination

Paperback | September 3, 2009

byValeria Sobol

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The destructive power of obsessive love was a defining subject of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Russian literature. In Febris Erotica, Sobol argues that Russian writers were deeply preoccupied with the nature of romantic relationships and were persistent in their use of lovesickness not simply as a traditional theme but as a way to address pressing philosophical, ethical, and ideological concerns through a recognizable literary trope. Sobol examines stereotypes about the damaging effects of romantic love and offers a short history of the topos of lovesickness in Western literature and medicine.

Read an interview with the author at http://www.rorotoko.com/index.php/article/valeria_sobol_interview_febris_erotica_lovesickness_russian_literary_imagin/

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The destructive power of obsessive love was a defining subject of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Russian literature. In Febris Erotica, Sobol argues that Russian writers were deeply preoccupied with the nature of romantic relationships and were persistent in their use of lovesickness not simply as a traditional theme but as a way ...

Valeria Sobol is associate professor of Slavic languages and literatures at the University of Illinois.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 8.95 × 5.95 × 0.75 inPublished:September 3, 2009Publisher:University Of Washington PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0295988967

ISBN - 13:9780295988962

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Table of Contents

PrefaceAcknowledgmentsNote on Translation, Transliteration, and Abbreviations Introduction: Cases in History

PART I / ANATOMY1. The Anatomy of Feeling and the Mind-Body Problem in Russian Sentimentalism

PART II / DIAGNOSTICS2. Diagnosing Love: Tradition3. " Febris Erotica" in Herzen's Who Is to Blame? 4. An Ordinary Story: Goncharov's Romantic Patients

PART III / THERAPY5. The "Question of the Soul" in the Age of Positivism6. What Is to Be Done about a Lovesick Woman? Chernyshevsky's Treatment 7. From Lovesickness to Shamesickness: Tolstoy's Solution

AfterwordNotes Works Cited Index

Editorial Reviews

The destructive power of obsessive love was a defining subject of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Russian literature. In Febris Erotica, Sobol argues that Russian writers were deeply preoccupied with the nature of romantic relationships and were persistent in their use of lovesickness not simply as a traditional theme but as a way to address pressing philosophical, ethical, and ideological concerns through a recognizable literary trope. Sobol examines stereotypes about the damaging effects of romantic love and offers a short history of the topos of lovesickness in Western literature and medicine.Read an interview with the author at http://www.rorotoko.com/index.php/article/valeria_sobol_interview_febris_erotica_lovesickness_russian_literary_imagin/Deftly weaving together literary, intellectual, cultural, and medical history, Sobol makes a convincing case that the 'lovesickness' topos is an important and exceptionally productive prism for exploring a whole constellation of thorny issues and debates that were played out in fascinating detail in Russian literature and culture from the late eighteenth century through the nineteenth century. - Thomas Newlin, Oberlin College