For Humanity's Sake: The Bildungsroman in Russian Culture

For Humanity's Sake: The Bildungsroman in Russian Culture

by Lina Steiner

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For Humanity's Sake is the first study in English to trace the genealogy of the classic Russian novel, from Pushkin to Tolstoy to Dostoevsky. Lina Steiner demonstrates how these writers' shared concern for individual and national education played a major role in forging a Russian cultural identity.

For Humanity's Sake highlights the role of the critic Apollon Grigor'ev, who was first to formulate the difference between West European and Russian conceptions of national education or Bildung — which he attributed to Russia's special sociopolitical conditions, geographic breadth, and cultural heterogeneity. Steiner also shows how Grigor'ev's cultural vision served as the catalyst for the creative explosion that produced Russia's most famous novels of the 1860s and 1870s.

Positing the classic Russian novel as an inheritor of the Enlightenment's key values — including humanity, self-perfection, and cross-cultural communication — For Humanity's Sake offers a unique view of Russian intellectual history and literature.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781442696099
Publisher: University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division
Publication date: 11/19/2011
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 280
File size: 4 MB

About the Author

Lina Steiner is an assistant professor in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Chicago.

Table of Contents



Part I: Culture (Obrazovanie, Bildung) and the Bildungsroman on Russian Soil

  1. Russian Literature from the National Awakening of the 1800s to the1850s
  2. Apollon Grigor'ev's Theory of Russian Culture
  3. Yurii Lotman's Idea of the Semiosphere
  4. The Semiospheric Novel: Toward a New Theory of the Bildungsroman

Part II: Nineteenth-Century Russian Novels of Emergence

  1. Pushkin's Quest for National Culture: The Captain's Daughter as a Russian Bildungsroman
  2. Educating the Nation, Building Humanity: Tolstoy's War and Peace
  3. Dostoevsky on Individual Reform and National Reconciliation: The Adolescent


Appendix: The Russian Texts




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