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Reading Russian Fortunes: Print Culture, Gender and Divination in Russia from 1765

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Overview

This is the first full-length study of the huge popularity and cultural impact of fortune telling in Russia from the eighteenth century to the present. It examines the ways in which popular fortune telling books found acceptance among urban and literate Russians, the role of women in fortune telling, and the function of fortune telling in their culture. It goes on to consider the relationship between urban fortune telling and traditional oral culture, and discusses why fortune telling continues as a powerful force in modern Russian society.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Fortune-telling and divination have a prominent place in the popular imagination nearly everywhere in the world, and Faith Wigzell has produced a captivating and sophisticated study of this subject in Russia." Slavic Review

"...Wigzell provides us with an extensively researched and easily readable work that illuminates an important area in the lives of eighteenth- and nineteenth- century Russians." Russian Review

"...there is a great deal of intersting information in this book and we can hope that Wigzell will expand her explorations in this level of culture." Speculum: A Journal of Medieval Studies

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Product Details

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements; Introduction; 1. Dreambooks and other fortune-telling guides; 2. Divination in Russian traditional culture; 3. Readers and detractors; 4. Printers and publishers; 5. Women, men and domestic fortune-telling; 6. Fortune-tellers and their clientele; 7. Sages and prophets; 8. Disappearance and revival; Conclusion; Notes; Bibliography; Index.

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