Libertinage in Russian Culture and Literature by Alexei Lalo

By Alexei Lalo

A lot of the former scholarship on Russia's literary discourses of sexuality and eroticism within the Silver Age was once equipped on utilizing eu theoretical versions (from psychoanalysis to feminist thought) to Russia's modernization. This publication argues that, on the become the 20 th century, Russian pop culture for the 1st time came across itself in direct war of words with the conventional excessive cultures of the higher sessions and intelligentsia, generating modernized representations of sexuality. This Russian culture of conflicted representations, heretofore misassessed through literary background, emerges as what Foucault might name a full-blown bio-history of Russian tradition: a background of indigenous representations of sexuality and the eroticized physique in a position to innovation by itself phrases, not only these spinoff from Europe

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Carnality and eroticism in russian literature 37 patriarchs is the excommunication and anathematization of Leo Tolstoy in 1901. a. Abram Tertz) cccccccc c cccccccc / Strolls with Pushkin (1975). 15 Predictably enough, Tertz was widely hated and misunderstood both inside the Soviet Union and in Russian emigration circles (perhaps most notably denounced by the wrathful Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn in 1984). Even the most oft-quoted passage from the essay was quite meaningfully misinterpreted: Pushkin ran into great poetry on thin erotic legs (cc ccccccccc ccccccccccc cccccc) and created a commotion.

The focus of these analyses—and the basis for my passage choice—will be the themes present in the psychology of the day as defijining of the social self, and how they are transferred into literary representations. In discussing these authors, I draw heavily on the existent secondary literature—especially the work of Simon Karlinsky on Gogol, Susanne Fusso on Dostoevsky, and Donald Rayfijield on Chekhov (see the bibliography for full references). A critical assessment of Nikolai Leskov is central to the chapter, as he arguably was one of the few contemporaries of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky who dared to disagree with them in their respective takes on carnal love, family, procreation, femininity and masculinity, and gender roles in society.

Before Aleksandr Pushkin (1799–1837) Russian literature had not managed, or even attempted, to create discourses of eroticism and sexuality. The Europeanized upper classes did of course employ a welldeveloped language of sex but this language was not Russian—these discussions were conducted in French, Latin or even sometimes Greek. 12 12 This study is not focused on Russian popular culture, which went in decidedly different directions. There were, for example, a lot of often obscene and anticlerical oral folk tales collected by Aleksandr Afanasiev (fijirst published anonymously in Geneva in 1872 under the title Russian Secret Tales / ccccccc cccccccc cccccc).

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