Russian Literature and Empire: Conquest of the Caucasus from Pushkin to Tolstoy

Russian Literature and Empire: Conquest of the Caucasus from Pushkin to Tolstoy

by Susan Layton
     
 

ISBN-10: 0521020018

ISBN-13: 9780521020015

Pub. Date: 07/31/2005

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

This is the first book to provide a synthesizing study of Russian writing about the Caucasus during the nineteenth-century age of empire-building. From Pushkin's ambivalent portrayal of an alpine Circassia to Tolstoy's condemnation of tsarist aggression against Muslim tribes in Hadji Murat, the literary analysis is firmly set in its historical context, and the…  See more details below

Overview

This is the first book to provide a synthesizing study of Russian writing about the Caucasus during the nineteenth-century age of empire-building. From Pushkin's ambivalent portrayal of an alpine Circassia to Tolstoy's condemnation of tsarist aggression against Muslim tribes in Hadji Murat, the literary analysis is firmly set in its historical context, and the responses of the Russian readership to receive extensive attention. As well as exploring literature as such, Susan Layton introduces material from travelogues, oriental studies, ethnography, memoirs, and the utterances of tsarist officials and military commanders. While showing how literature often underwrote imperialism, the book carefully explores the tensions between the Russian state's ideology of a European mission to civilize the Muslim mountain peoples, and romantic perceptions of those tribes as noble primitives whose extermination was no cause for celebration. By dealing with imperialism in Georgia as well, the study shows how the varied treatment of the Caucasus in literature helped Russians construct a satisfying identity for themselves as a semi-European, semi-Asian people.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521020015
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
07/31/2005
Series:
Cambridge Studies in Russian Literature Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
372
Product dimensions:
5.43(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.83(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Map
1Introduction1
2The poet and terra incognita15
3Imaginative geography36
4Sentimental pilgrims54
5The national stake in Asia71
6The Pushkinian mountaineer89
7Bestuzhev-Marlinsky's interchange with the tribesman110
8Early Lermontov and oriental machismo133
9Little orientalizers156
10Feminizing the Caucasus175
11Georgia as an oriental woman192
12The anguished poet in uniform212
13Tolstoy's revolt against romanticism233
14Post-war appropriation of romanticism252
15Tolstoy's confessional indictment263
16Concluding observations288
Notes295
Bibliography339
Index348

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >