Commemorating Pushkin: Russia's Myth of a National Poet

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Stanford University Press, 2004 - Literary Criticism - 416 pages
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Two hundred years after his birth, Alexander Pushkin still issues a dynamic, liberating challenge to Russia's cultural identity. His story has promised national coherence and meant artistic integrity in its seemingly purest form. Irreverent and polemical responses to Pushkin abound, but Russians retain a deep investment in Pushkin's image.

Commemorating Pushkin argues that the emotional complexity of Russia's relationship with Pushkin has informed both large-scale cultural institutions and the writings of talented individuals. It assesses twentieth-century museums, anniversary rituals, and films that keep the poet alive. It shows how Pushkin's self-fashioning was exemplary for Anna Akhmatova, Marina Tsvetaeva, Andrei Bitov, and Andrei Sinyavsky. And it goes beyond well-known figures to give names and histories to poets, novelists, actors, filmmakers, scholars, and museum workers who have sustained Russia's myth of a national poet.

 

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Contents

The Elegies of Mikhail Lermontov Vasily
26
The Poets Spirit
47
Anniversary Commemorations
85
Document Fidelity and the Cinematic Image
136
Allegories Ethics Grieving
175
Marina Tsvetaevas Pushkin and the Poets Identities
214
Andrei Bitov and the Mystifications of Self and Story
266
Abram Tertz
301
Index
407
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

Stephanie Sandler is Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Harvard University. She is the author of a number of books, including Distant Pleasures: Alexander Pushkin and the Writing of Exile (Stanford, 1989).

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