Gender in Russian History and Culture

Gender in Russian History and Culture

Linda Edmondson

Language: English

Pages: 242


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

This book charts the changing aspects of gender in Russia's cultural and social history from the late 17th century to the collapse of the Soviet Union. The essays, while focusing on women as a primary subject, highlight the construction of both femininity and masculinity in a culture that has undergone major transformation and disruptions over the period of three centuries.

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femininity. The problem with Vernadskaya’s New Woman lies in its ambiguity. It is a simultaneous enactment of desire and repression through which the split is closed within a utopian vision of an economically and rationally controlled consciousness. The process of ‘deterritorialization’, Arja Rosenholm 77 an opening up of new spaces and opportunities for women, seems also to entail ‘reterritorialization’, including new mechanisms for disciplining and controlling, which derive from the very

a period of drastic change in attitudes towards this particular issue in Russian intellectual life. The quest for sexual liberalization that Sanin shared with its immediate contemporaries – works by modernists like Kuzmin, Zinov’evaAnnibal and Sologub – would have been unthinkable in 1889. 1 An opportunity to gain insight into the array of views on ‘the sexual question’ between these two moments – before the abolition of censorship, but after the arrival of Symbolism – is offered by the

might be, he explained that they were ‘almost the same as the one published by Sof’ya Andreevna in Novoe Vremya’, and that he had tried his best to refute 104 Gender in Russian History and Culture them. Tolstoi replied, in open defiance of his wife: ‘Now that was a very worthwhile thing to do. Andreev, or someone else, would in any case have had to focus on this early lechery and on the disgusting outlet that it finds for itself. Andreev has done it somewhat coarsely, but very well on the

Kreutzer Sonata, was the large number of ‘letters to the editor’ that appeared in print. While testifying to the broad interest aroused by Andreev’s stories, it is also a clear indication of the growing readership of newspapers. Sof’ya Tolstaya’s contribution, itself a letter to the editor, seems to have released a torrent of letters, some of which were to appear in the metropolitan or provincial press.35 In St Petersburg, Novosti i birzhevaya gazeta printed 14 selected letters over the period

worried that she had done nothing with her life apart from cooking, shopping and rearing children. Her stakhanovite husband had won prizes, including seaside Lynne Attwood 165 holidays, and appeared in the newspaper. The only honour she had received was a message of thanks for her volunteer work improving the factory settlement. Suddenly a letter arrived from the Factory Enterprise Committee, thanking her for the indirect help she had given them over the years and telling her that her

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