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The Romani People In The European Cultural Imagination: Alexander Pushkin, Prosper Mérimée And Virginia Woolf, Nadya Siyam 2024 American University in Cairo

The Romani People In The European Cultural Imagination: Alexander Pushkin, Prosper Mérimée And Virginia Woolf, Nadya Siyam

Theses and Dissertations

Scholarly literature on Roma is scarce compared to other racial groups as a lack of academic interest, financial limitations, and other social and political factors has constrained it. This resulted in a cross-cultural circulation of misinformation about Romani people and the reproduction of Romani myths and stereotypes in fiction. This project aims to analyze selected literary works on Gypsies from three Eastern and Western European countries and two periods to unpack the cultural and political roots of Romani literary misrepresentation. This research employs a range of theoretical frameworks chosen to put the Gypsy protagonists under maximum spotlight without unnecessary repetition, …


Rider Of The Black Horse, Theodore Schenck 2024 Oberlin College

Rider Of The Black Horse, Theodore Schenck

Swarthmore Undergraduate History Journal

This article explores the actions and ideology of the Russian revolutionary and terrorist Boris Savinkov through his final novel, The Black Horse. I argue that the book represents its author's attempt to come to terms with a world in which he feels politically homeless with the victory of his enemy, the Bolsheviks. Savinkov reckons with his fate through the liberal use of Biblical allusions and apocalyptic imagery.


Russian Civic Criticism And The Idyllic Dream In Ivan Goncharov’S “Oblomov”, Cassio de Oliveira 2023 Portland State University

Russian Civic Criticism And The Idyllic Dream In Ivan Goncharov’S “Oblomov”, Cassio De Oliveira

World Languages and Literatures Faculty Publications and Presentations

Nikolai Dobroliubov’s and Dmitrii Pisarev’s reviews of Ivan Goncharov’s novel Oblomov have gone into history as exemplars of Russian civic criticism. Their main argument centers on the eponymous protagonist’s seeming inability to exit his lethargic condition, which they interpret as a symptom of the Russian status quo at the time of the Great Reforms. In the present article, I argue that the case of Oblomov demonstrates the limits of the civics’ mimetic criticism. The dominant chronotope of the novel, namely the idyll, indicates that Oblomov is not in essence a novel about the hero’s inability to change (which would presuppose …


The Search For Existential Meaning: Tracing Leo Tolstoy’S Nihilism Through His Later Works, Elisabeth Koyfman 2023 CUNY Bernard M Baruch College

The Search For Existential Meaning: Tracing Leo Tolstoy’S Nihilism Through His Later Works, Elisabeth Koyfman

Student Theses and Dissertations

In this senior thesis, I explore the writings of acclaimed 19th-century author Leo Tolstoy through the lens of existential and ethical nihilism: a philosophical ideology espousing an assertion of a meaningless existence shaped by similarly meaningless governing social, political, and religious conventions. Prior to the author’s religious conversion at the age of 50, Tolstoy’s writings reflected a nihilistic worldview that opposed any socially accepted definition of a meaningful existence. Although within the span of 1800s Russia nihilism was strongly associated with atheism and terrorism, Tolstoy distanced himself from any accepted cultural value or label—including the negative political associations and other …


Echoes Of Eternity: The (Meta)Physics Of Time And Space In Eugene Vodolazkin's Laurus, Samuel Jayasi 2023 College of the Holy Cross

Echoes Of Eternity: The (Meta)Physics Of Time And Space In Eugene Vodolazkin's Laurus, Samuel Jayasi

World Languages, Literatures and Cultures Departmental Honors Theses

This study will consider ways in which Eugene Vodolazkin demonstrates his aesthetic and cultural understanding of what he calls “Christian reenchantment” in his novel Laurus. While “national medievalism” and “Christian reenchantment” share concerns about postmodernism, Vodolazkin’s novel investigates not so much issues of Russian national identity, but the consciousness of the age itself. Leaving aside any possibility of representing some kind of new utopia to counter the problems of postmodernism as too historically traumatic, Vodolazkin recreates the “medieval mindset” as a way to introduce “Christian reenchantment” of the (fictional) world. In the novel, the return to the medieval way …


В Поисках Снарка, Victor Fet 2023 Marshall University

В Поисках Снарка, Victor Fet

Books Published by MU Libraries in MDS

Фет, В. В поисках Снарка. Библиотека Университета Маршалла, Хантингтон. 2023. 434 с.

Этот том содержит статьи и рецензии Виктора Фета (1955 г.р.), написанные и опубликованные в 1995-2022 гг на различные темы, от истории науки до рецензий на театральные спектакли. Автор, биолог по профессии, который провёл первую половину жизни (1955-1988) в СССР, соединяет глубоко личный опыт, воспоминания и наблюдения, преследуя одну основную тему: уникальность творчества во всех аспектах гуманитарных и естественных наук. Интересы автора прежде всего фокусиртуются на двух очень разных, но не независимых фигурах Льюиса Кэрролла и Владимира Набокова. В наши дни, при быстром распаде и трансформации русской культуры, …


Raising The Iron Curtain: Healing Collective Oppression Through Literature, Alisa Chirkova-Holland 2023 Lipscomb University

Raising The Iron Curtain: Healing Collective Oppression Through Literature, Alisa Chirkova-Holland

Student Works

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, by former gulag prisoner Alexander Solzhenitsyn, is a short novel that entails an ordinary day for a prisoner, Shukhov, in a Siberian gulag. Although the work is a typical skaz, a traditional Russian narrative form, the novel was well-received by Russians at the time of publishing in 1962. This paper will explore the reason for such acclamation, understanding how Solzhenitsyn’s innovations to the skaz allowed readers to connect with their past. The paper also mentions theories such as Traumatic Realism to comprehend how such a bleak novel positively impacted post-Stalinist readers. …


Samozvanets (The Pretender), Matthew Garrell, Alikzandr Malakov 2023 Dartmouth College

Samozvanets (The Pretender), Matthew Garrell, Alikzandr Malakov

Dartmouth College Master’s Theses

he Russian word Samozvanets most directly translates to Imposter in English. However, for this thesis, I have selected the alternative interpretation of Pretender. Imposter implies the taking or assuming of another’s position. Pretender, more personally, carries the meaning of presenting self as something one is not. It is through the lens of the Pretender that I examine the idea of what it means to be a member of a particular ethnicity, and to engage with one’s cultural heritage. I do this through a collection of fictional stories, investigating various lives within the Russian diaspora following the dissolution of the Soviet …


The Illustrated Ivan: Ivan Iv In The Illustrated Chronicle Compilation, Charles J. Halperin, Ann M. Kleimola 2023 Bloomington, IN

The Illustrated Ivan: Ivan Iv In The Illustrated Chronicle Compilation, Charles J. Halperin, Ann M. Kleimola

Russian Language and Literature Papers

The surviving segments of the incomplete Illustrated Chronicle Compilation (LLS), in both text and miniatures, present a consistently positive image of Ivan IV as pious, just and competent, although the portrayal of individual events could vary. Nevertheless they also sometimes portray him as not in control of his elite, his subjects or events. If Ivan had to restore order by punishing those who had acted unjustly without his permission, then he had obviously failed to prevent such misdeeds. The miniatures in LLS present a cohesive image of the Public Ivan, despite the various stages of completion of individual segments, efforts …


Ruslan And Lolita: Nabokov's Pursuit Of Pushkin's Monsters, Maidens, And Morals, Ludmila Lavine 2023 Bucknell University

Ruslan And Lolita: Nabokov's Pursuit Of Pushkin's Monsters, Maidens, And Morals, Ludmila Lavine

Faculty Journal Articles

This article discusses the Russian precursor to Humbert’s explicit “kingdom by the sea”: Pushkin’s mock-epic Ruslan and Liudmila (RL). An amalgam of Slavic and Western folklore that scandalized the reading public in its day, Pushkin’s work underpins Nabokov’s own transnational position as a writer whose splash onto the Anglophone scene was accompanied by similar outcries of smut and pornography. In addition to a multitude of fairy-tale sources already documented in the scholarship, Lolita’s cluster of mermaids, sleeping beauties, dark magic, invisibility, pursuit and captivity, physical topography, and “brothers”-rivals finds in Pushkin’s RL a synthesizing subtext. Moreover, Pushkin’s play …


Baba Yaga: An Ecofeminist Analysis Of The Witch Of The Woods, Maya Lozinsky 2023 Scripps College

Baba Yaga: An Ecofeminist Analysis Of The Witch Of The Woods, Maya Lozinsky

Scripps Senior Theses

In this thesis, I will argue that Baba Yaga’s prevalence in Russia’s culture and media provide a unique opportunity to gain insight into the junctures between the climate crisis and gender inequality in Russia. Despite the persistent gender inequities present in current Russian society, ecofeminist frameworks and ideologies are already deeply embedded in Russian culture. Women, as a group, have always been politically active in Russia, from resisting the introduction of Christianity in the 9th century, to the feminist resistance group Pussy Riot founded in 2011. I will examine Baba Yaga’s history, her role in the Russian folktale, and her …


Gamblers And The Game Of Life: A Literary Examination Of The Professional And The Addict, Annika Ozizmir 2023 Claremont Colleges

Gamblers And The Game Of Life: A Literary Examination Of The Professional And The Addict, Annika Ozizmir

CMC Senior Theses

The gambler is a mysterious persona in life and in literature. Who is the gambler? While we can envision the gambler as many different kinds of people, this thesis seeks to answer this question by focusing on certain literary figures who gamble. Its author analyzes two archetypes in particular, that of the professional gambler and that of the addict. To illustrate these types, the author looks to four protagonists from a mix of four novels and short stories: Casino Royale by Ian Fleming, “A Gentleman’s Game” by Jonathan Lethem, “Queen of Spades” by Alexander Pushkin, and The Gambler by Fyodor …


To Whom Did Pushkin Write? The Narrator-Reader Friendship In Eugene Onegin, Tatum Grace Hall 2023 Claremont Colleges

To Whom Did Pushkin Write? The Narrator-Reader Friendship In Eugene Onegin, Tatum Grace Hall

CMC Senior Theses

In this thesis, I argue that in his novel in verse, Eugene Onegin, Alexander Pushkin transcends the traditional narrator-reader hierarchy to foster a sense of friendship between himself and his reader. I suggest that Pushkin’s desire for friendship with his reader necessitates a keen awareness of his and his reader’s collective engagement within the novel. If Pushkin seeks friendship with his readers, he must treat them as friends. Consequently, the reader’s role in Eugene Onegin is elevated to that of Pushkin’s intimate. In my analysis, I identify three methods by which Pushkin successfully fosters a sense of overlapping experience …


Death By Delusion: Representations Of Mental Illness In Gogol, Dostoevsky, And Nabokov, Bryan Reed 2023 Bard College

Death By Delusion: Representations Of Mental Illness In Gogol, Dostoevsky, And Nabokov, Bryan Reed

Senior Projects Spring 2023

This paper is dedicated to an analysis of representation of mental illness in 19th-20th century works of Russian writers: Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Double), Nikolai Gogol (“Nevsky Prospect”, “The Overcoat”, and “The Diary of a Madman”), and Vladimir Nabokov (Despair). My analysis is primarily focused on the approaches these authors employ to represent mental illness. When I began my research, I also set out to trace the evolution of portrayals of mental illness in Russian literature, from one of its founders, Alexander Pushkin, to Nabokov as an émigré writer living in Germany during the 1930s and representing the literary tradition in …


A Mongoose In Moscow: Adapting 'Rikki-Tikki-Tavi' To Soviet Animation, Willard L. Schorer 2023 Bard College

A Mongoose In Moscow: Adapting 'Rikki-Tikki-Tavi' To Soviet Animation, Willard L. Schorer

Senior Projects Spring 2023

Through following the journey of Rudyard Kipling's Rikki-Tikki-Tavi in its literary translation from English to Russian and from the page to the screen, this project will attempt to take an interdisciplinary approach in examining the process of adapting stories from beyond the socialist sphere into animated fairy-tales for the Soviet Union’s children; a process that is further complicated when the original author held beliefs completely antithetical to those promoted by the state. Historical contexts, as well as the limitations imposed by state censorship, will be taken into consideration alongside close readings of the original English texts, its Russian language iterations …


Playing The Fool: Analyzing The Phenomena Of Iurodstvo In Contemporary Russian Cinema And Civil Society., Colby Silva Santana 2023 Bowdoin College

Playing The Fool: Analyzing The Phenomena Of Iurodstvo In Contemporary Russian Cinema And Civil Society., Colby Silva Santana

Honors Projects

Of Russia's cultural and religious icons, the holy fool (iurodivy) is quite possibly the most significant one of contemporary times. The holy fool – a historical and cultural character that feigns insanity to produce moral and spiritual reflections and hide the purity of their souls – has left its traces over a significant portion of Russia's literary history, postmodern tradition, and socio-political thought. In its uniquely positioned role as a powerful form of institutional critique, today taking shape in modern-day political protest performance culture, the holy fool has often been utilized to interrogate the intertwined relationship of the Russian state …


A Russian Gil Blas, Or The Adventures Of Prince Gavrilo Simonovich Chistyakov, Vasily Trofimovich Narezhny, Ronald D. LeBlanc (Translator) 2023 University of New Hampshire

A Russian Gil Blas, Or The Adventures Of Prince Gavrilo Simonovich Chistyakov, Vasily Trofimovich Narezhny, Ronald D. Leblanc (Translator)

Faculty Publications

Although Vasily Trofimovich Narezhny (1780-1825) is generally considered to be one of the pioneers of the modern novel in Russia, his works have yet to be sufficiently recognized for their many artistic merits. He receives little critical attention in most histories of the rise of the novel in early nineteenth-century Russia. Born in Ukraine, but educated in Moscow, Narezhny wrote lengthy satirical novels imbued with a sardonic tone and an earthy brand of realism that tended to offend the refined aesthetic sensibilities of many contemporary followers of Nikolai Karamzin and his dominant school of literary Sentimentalism during the early years …


Making The Old New: The Recontextualization And Traditionalization Of Tree Spirits In Video Games, Alexandria Ziegler 2022 Utah State University

Making The Old New: The Recontextualization And Traditionalization Of Tree Spirits In Video Games, Alexandria Ziegler

All Graduate Plan B and other Reports, Spring 1920 to Spring 2023

Folklorists study the active rituals between humans and deities, as well as the inactive participation between them in narrative. However, they do not study the active participation that comes in the form of video games between them, though with shifts in society, this new way of engaging through digital forms is widespread and accessible. In my research, I studied Russian and Japanese tree spirits in a variety of video games to understand this new form of engagement with ancient deities. These video games are Okami, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Black Book, and The Witcher 3: The …


Writing Dystopia: Zamyatin’S Writing Philosophy, Genre, And The Protagonist Of We, Kelly A. Gallagher 2022 College of the Holy Cross

Writing Dystopia: Zamyatin’S Writing Philosophy, Genre, And The Protagonist Of We, Kelly A. Gallagher

College Honors Program

This thesis examines how Russian author Yevgeny Zamyatin (1884-1937) came to write one of the first literary dystopias. I argue that he designed dystopia in his novel We as a place that threatens the creation of what he considered “true literature,” in order to show why his conception of true literature is essential to the survival of the human spirit. The first chapter synthesizes Zamyatin’s critical essays and biographical details to reveal his writing philosophy, which I characterize as his belief that “creative revolution” sustains literature’s movement forward into the future. The second chapter explores why Zamyatin’s philosophy may have …


I Return My Ticket, Caroline Caldwell 2022 Belmont University

I Return My Ticket, Caroline Caldwell

Honors Scholars Collaborative Projects

This project serves to open up an accessible way to introduce people to Fyodor Dostoevsky’s masterpiece novel, The Brothers Karamazov. Questions around human nature and the problem of evil are enduring and I have found more peace in the works of Dostoevsky than anywhere else. I know, however, that Russian literature and long novels in general are incredibly intimidating, so I chose to follow in the footsteps of Dave Malloy and his work Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 to create an approachable and engaging avenue to consume Dostoevsky in a more palatable fashion. Knowledge of other cultures …


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