Heart-pine Russia: Walking And Writing The Nineteenth-century Forest by Jane T. CostlowHeart-pine Russia: Walking And Writing The Nineteenth-century Forest by Jane T. Costlow

Heart-pine Russia: Walking And Writing The Nineteenth-century Forest

byJane T. Costlow

Hardcover | November 20, 2012

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Russia has more woodlands than any other country in the world, and its forests have loomed large in Russian culture and history. Historical site of protection from invaders but also from state authority, by the nineteenth century Russia's forests became the focus of both scientific scrutiny and poetic imaginations. The forest was imagined as alternately endless and eternal or alarmingly vulnerable in a rapidly modernizing Russia. For some the forest constituted an imaginary geography of religious homeland; for others it was the locus of peasant culture and local knowledge; for all Russians it was the provider of both material and symbolic resources. In Heart-Pine Russia, Jane T. Costlow explores the central place the forest came to hold in a century of intense seeking for articulations of national and spiritual identity.

Costlow focuses on writers, painters, and scientists who went to Russia's European forests to observe, to listen, and to create; increasingly aware of the extent to which woodlands were threatened, much of their work was imbued with a sense of impending loss. Costlow's sweep includes canonic literary figures and blockbuster writers whose romances of epic woodlands nourished fin-de-siècle opera and painting.

Considering the work of Turgenev, Tolstoy, and Korolenko in the company of scientific foresters and visual artists from Shishkin and Repin to Nesterov, Costlow uncovers a rich and nuanced cultural landscape in which the forest is a natural and national resource, both material and spiritual. A chapter on the essays and aesthetic of Dmitrii Kaigorodov, a forester and natural historian who wrote for a broad public at the very end of the imperial era, suggests a distinctive Russian environmental ethic nurtured by the rich array of texts and images that Costlow explores. The relationship between humankind and the natural world that these works portray is complex and shifting. Visionary and skeptic, optimist and pessimist: all turn to the northern forest as they plumb what it means to be Russian.

Jane T. Costlow is Clark Griffith Professor of Environmental Studies at Bates College. She is the author of Worlds within Worlds: The Novels of Ivan Turgenev and coeditor of The Other Animals: Situating the Non-Human in Russian Culture and History and Representations of the Body and Sexuality in Russian Culture.
Title:Heart-pine Russia: Walking And Writing The Nineteenth-century ForestFormat:HardcoverDimensions:288 pages, 9.25 × 6.13 × 0.39 inPublished:November 20, 2012Publisher:Cornell University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0801450594

ISBN - 13:9780801450594

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Table of Contents


1. Walking into the Woodland with Turgenev

2. Heart-Pine Russia: Mel'nikov-Pechersky and the Sacred Geographies of the Woods

3. Geographies of Loss: The "Forest Question" in Nineteenth-Century Russia

4. Jumping In: Vladimir Korolenko and the Civic/Environmental Imagination

5. Beyond the Shattered Image: Mikhail Nesterov's Epiphanic Woodlands

6. Measurement, Poetry, and the Pedagogy of Place: Dmitrii Kaigorodov and the Russian Forest



Editorial Reviews

"Through this loving rediscovery of Russia's 'nineteenth-century forests'—as they presented themselves to the imagination and understanding of nineteenth-century writers—Jane T. Costlow helps us perceive the particularities of our own relationships to nature. She guides us into a symbolic landscape where even the most pristine woodlands are not 'wild,' but inhabited by layers of memory and meaning. The struggle to really see and hear the life of Russia's forests—both omnipresent and embattled, as contemporaries were beginning to perceive—infuses Costlow's story with many lyrical moments, where through the eyes of a searching author we can walk through 'Heart-Pine Russia,' and contemplate its mysteries, joys and sorrows. Costlow's expert reading of this tradition―and careful reconstruction of it―presents a model for future environmental readings of Russia's literary 'Golden Age.'"—John Randolph, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, author of The House in the Garden: The Bakunin Family and the Romance of Russian Idealism