Self and Story in Russian History by Laura EngelsteinSelf and Story in Russian History by Laura Engelstein

Self and Story in Russian History

EditorLaura Engelstein, Stephanie Sandler

Paperback | October 10, 2000

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Russians have often been characterized as people with souls rather than selves. Self and Story in Russian History challenges the portrayal of the Russian character as selfless, self-effacing, or self-torturing by exploring the texts through which Russians have defined themselves as private persons and shaped their relation to the cultural community. The stories of self under consideration here reflect the perspectives of men and women from the last two hundred years, ranging from westernized nobles to simple peasants, from such famous people as Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, Akhmatova, and Nicholas II to lowly religious sectarians. Fifteen distinguished historians and literary scholars situate the narratives of self in their historical context and show how, since the eighteenth century, Russians have used expressive genres—including diaries, novels, medical case studies, films, letters, and theater—to make political and moral statements. The first book to examine the narration of self as idea and ideal in Russia, this vital work contemplates the shifting historical manifestations of identity, the strategies of self-creation, and the diversity of narrative forms. Its authors establish that there is a history of the individual in Russian culture roughly analogous to the one associated with the West.

Laura Engelstein is Henry S. McNeil Professor of Russian History at Yale University. She is the author of Castration and the Heavenly Kingdom: A Russian Folktale, The Keys to Happiness: Sex and the Search for Modernity in Fin-de-Siécle Russia, both from Cornell, and Moscow, 1905: Working-Class Organization and Political Conflict. She i...
Title:Self and Story in Russian HistoryFormat:PaperbackDimensions:384 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.84 inPublished:October 10, 2000Publisher:Cornell University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0801486688

ISBN - 13:9780801486685

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Editorial Reviews

"This volume is a fine and timely intervention in the changing field of Russian cultural history. The editors join their expertise in history, literature, and gender studies to pose a question that recent research on Russian and Soviet social and intellectual history has rendered unavoidable: what was the status of the self in pre- and postrevolutionary Russia, and, equally important, how was the sense of individual identity constructed and produced?" - GalinTihanov, Lancaster University - The Russian Review