Taboo Pushkin: Topics, Texts, Interpretations

Paperback | July 24, 2012

EditorAlyssa Dinega Gillespie

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Since his death in 1837, Alexander Pushkin—often called the “father of Russian literature”—has become a timeless embodiment of Russian national identity, adopted for diverse ideological purposes and reinvented anew as a cultural icon in each historical era (tsarist, Soviet, and post-Soviet). His elevation to mythic status, however, has led to the celebration of some of his writings and the shunning of others. Throughout the history of Pushkin studies, certain topics, texts, and interpretations have remained officially off-limits in Russia—taboos as prevalent in today’s Russia as ever before.
    The essays in this bold and authoritative volume use new approaches, overlooked archival materials, and fresh interpretations to investigate aspects of Pushkin’s biography and artistic legacy that have previously been suppressed or neglected. Taken together, the contributors strive to create a more fully realized Pushkin and demonstrate how potent a challenge the unofficial, taboo, alternative Pushkin has proven to be across the centuries for the Russian literary and political establishments.

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From the Publisher

Since his death in 1837, Alexander Pushkin—often called the “father of Russian literature”—has become a timeless embodiment of Russian national identity, adopted for diverse ideological purposes and reinvented anew as a cultural icon in each historical era (tsarist, Soviet, and post-Soviet). His elevation to mythic status, however, has...

Alyssa Dinega Gillespie is associate professor of Russian at the University of Notre Dame. She is author of A Russian Psyche: The Poetic Mind of Marina Tsvetaeva, also published by the University of Wisconsin Press, and editor of Russian Literature in the Age of Realism.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:506 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.3 inPublished:July 24, 2012Publisher:University of Wisconsin PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0299287041

ISBN - 13:9780299287047

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Table of Contents

Foreword: The Power of the Word and the Turn to Taboo

    Caryl Emerson

Acknowledgments

Introduction: Beyond Pushkin as Dogma

    Alyssa Dinega Gillespie

Part 1: Taboos in Context

Pushkin the Titular Councilor

    Irina Reyfman

Why Pushkin Did Not Become a Decembrist

    Igor Nemirovsky

Lighting The Green Lamp: Unpublished and Unknown Poems

    Joe Peschio

Pushkin and Metropolitan Philaret: Rethinking the Problem

    Oleg Proskurin

Part 2: Taboo Writings

If Only Pushkin Had Not Written This Filth: The Shade of Barkov and Philological Coverups

    Igor Pilshchikov

Bawdy and Soul: Pushkin's Poetics of Obscenity

    Alyssa Dinega Gillespie

Resexing Literature: Tsar Nikita and His Forty Daughters

    J. Douglas Clayton and Natalia Vesselova

The Poetics of Dry Transgression in Pushkin's Necro-Erotic Verse

    Jonathan Brooks Platt

The Blasphemies of The Gabrieliad

    Andrew Kahn

The Anti-Polish Poems and "I Built Myself a Monument . . .": Politics and Poetry

    Katya Hokanson

Part 3: Taboo Readings

Taboo and the Family Romance in The Captain's Daughter

    David M. Bethea

Through the Lens of Soviet Psychoanalysis and Utopian Dreams of the 1920s: Ivan Ermakov's Readings of Pushkin's Poetry

    Alexandra Smith

The Red Pushkin and the Writers' Union in 1937: Prescription and Taboo

    Carol Any

Krzizhanovsky's Pushkin in the 1930s: The Cleopatra Myth from Femme Fatale to Roman Farce

    Caryl Emerson

Selected Bibliography

Contributors

Index

Editorial Reviews

“An important contribution to our understanding of Pushkin’s life, personality, and work, as well as to the ongoing uses and abuses of these topics in contemporary Russia. . . . [An] almost gargantuan feast.”—Slavonic and East European Review