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Erotic Nihilism in Late Imperial Russia: The Case of Mikhail Artsybashev's Sanin

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Erotic Nihilism in Late Imperial Russia: The Case of Mikhail Artsybashev's Sanin Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Banned shortly after its publication in 1907, the Russian novel Sanin scandalized readers with the sexual exploits of its eponymous hero. Wreaking havoc on the fictional town he visits in Mikhail Artsybashev’s story, the character Sanin left an even deeper imprint on the psyche of the real-life Russian public. Soon “Saninism” became the buzzword for the perceived faults of the nation. Seen as promoting a wave of hedonistic, decadent behavior, the novel was suppressed for decades, leaving behind only the rumor of its supposedly epidemic effect on a vulnerable generation of youth.

Who were the Saninists, and what was their “teaching” all about? Delving into police reports, newspaper clippings, and amateur plays, Otto Boele finds that Russian youth were not at all swept away by the self-indulgent lifestyle of the novel’s hero. In fact, Saninism was more smoke than fire—a figment of the public imagination triggered by anxieties about the revolution of 1905 and the twilight of the Russian empire. The reception of the novel, Boele shows, reflected much deeper worries caused by economic reforms, an increase in social mobility, and changing attitudes toward sexuality.

Showing how literary criticism interacts with the age-old medium of rumor, Erotic Nihilism in Late Imperial Russia offers a meticulous analysis of the scandal’s coverage in the provincial press and the reactions of young people who appealed to their peers to resist the novel’s nihilistic message. By examining the complex dialogue between readers and writers, children and parents, this study provides fascinating insights into Russian culture on the eve of World War I.

Synopsis:

Otto Boele is assistant professor of Russian literature at the University of Leiden, the Netherlands.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Acknowledgments

A Note on Transliteration, Translation, and Dates

Introduction

1 The Canon of Epoch-making Heroes

2 Sanin: A Hero of Our Time?

3 Counterliterature

4 The Pornographic Roman

Product Details

ISBN:
9780299232733
Subtitle:
The Case of Mikhail Artsybashev's Sanin
Publisher:
University of Wisconsin Press
Creator:
Otto Boele
Author:
Boele, Otto
Author:
Otto Boele
Subject:
Nihilism in literature.
Subject:
Decadence in literature
Subject:
Europe - Russia & the Former Soviet Union
Subject:
Russian & Former Soviet Union
Subject:
Pornography
Subject:
Russia (pre & post Soviet Union)
Subject:
Russia-General Russian History
Subject:
main_subject
Subject:
all_subjects
Publication Date:
20091124
Binding:
ELECTRONIC
Language:
English
Pages:
255

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » Gender Studies » Pornography
History and Social Science » Russia » General Russian History
History and Social Science » World History » General
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General

Erotic Nihilism in Late Imperial Russia: The Case of Mikhail Artsybashev's Sanin
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Product details 255 pages University of Wisconsin Press - English 9780299232733 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Otto Boele is assistant professor of Russian literature at the University of Leiden, the Netherlands.
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