Volume 57 Number 1 Abstracts

Pushkin's Novelistic Prose: A Dead End?

Richard Gregg

Aleksandr Pushkin's contribution to Russian belletristic prose was not that he invented the "naked" sentence, but that he practiced it with more perseverance and grace than any of his predecessors. The aim of this article is to show that prose of this kind is in its essence nonnovelistic prose and that, as such, this prose doomed Pushkin's own efforts in that genre to incompletion and insignificance. Strangely Pushkin himself knew that a degree of loquacity was an essential ingredient of the novel. But as the numerous examples cited make clear, Pushkin's aborted novelistic forays are singularly unloquacious and are couched in a prose so devoid of specificity, color, and complexity as to seem barren. True, Pushkin did eventually complete one novel, The Captain's Daughter. But the failure of that work to merit any more than a footnote in the history of the Russian novel suggests the nonviability of the principles on which it is built.

The Family Model of Society and Russian National Identity in Sergei N. Glinka's Russian Messenger (1808-1812)

Alexander M. Martin

Sergei N. Glinka forms a link between the Enlightenment and Slavophilism. He received a French-oriented education in the Infantry Noble Cadet Corps, whose directors, Ivan Betskoi and Count Friedrich August von Anhalt, promoted moral sensitivity and noblesse oblige. Instead of a harsh paternalism of fathers, nobles, or monarchs, they idealized a loving family relationship inspired by Jean-Jacques Rousseau and other western writers. In France and America, according to Lynn Hunt and Gordon Wood, such ideas encouraged revolution, and Glinka himself underwent a personal crisis when these ideas collided with his increasingly monarchistic, anti-Napoleonic nationalism. He resolved this dilemma by claiming that Russian politics and social relations had traditionally corresponded to Rousseau's ideal and that oppression and injustice were a consequence of the recent westernization of the nobility. He thus anticipated Slavophilism by depicting pre-Petrine Russia as the true locus of French Enlightenment ideals, and the modern west--especially France after 1789--as the negation of those ideals.

The Secularization of the Search for Salvation: The Self-Fashioning of Orthodox Clergymen's Sons in Late Imperial Russia

Laurie Manchester

The contributions of Orthodox clergymen's sons to the Russian intelligentsia are the focus of this article. Contrary to historiographical assumptions, clergymen's sons tended not to reject their clerical heritage when they entered intelligentsia professions in the postreform period. Manchester proves this by examining clergymen's sons' autobiographical depictions of their fathers as pastors, their justifications for their decisions to forsake the clerical estate, and their explanations for their particular choice of secular professions. In an era of clerical activism, clergymen's sons saw themselves as entering secular professions to impose clerical models on secular spheres. The differences in their political and professional affiliations are explored through a discussion of the multiplicity of clerical models that they employed to fashion themselves. Manchester's article thus illuminates common intelligentsia ways of thinking that transcend political categorizations and sheds light on broader issues such as cultural continuity and the secularization of religious values.

Can a Christian Be a Nationalist: Vladimir Solov'ev's Critique of Nationalism

Greg Gaut

Generally remembered as a philosopher, a mystic, or a literary figure, Vladimir Solov'ev was well known during the reign of Alexander III as a liberal "publicist." In fierce polemics with Russian conservative nationalists, he developed a moral critique of nationalism in the 1880s and 1890s. Employing a brilliant polemical style, he exposed the dangers of national sentiment while praising its positive contributions in history. He succeeded in articulating an affirmative view of patriotism that avoided nationalist extremes, while rejecting a cosmopolitanism that eschewed nationality and national distinctiveness. He demonstrated that a politics rooted in Orthodox belief need not be conservative and nationalist. His ideas on nationalism were primarily grounded in his own social Christian theology, but they were also influenced by his Eurocentric liberalism, as well as lingering aspects of his earlier Slavophile romanticism. As a result, his thought was somewhat conflicted, and he was unable to envision a practical solution to the Russian empire's "national question."

Democracy' in the Political Consciousness of the February Revolution

Boris Ivanovich Kolonitskii

This analysis of the many uses of the term democracy in the vocabulary of the February 1917 Russian revolution reveals a wide range of political understandings on the part of supporters of the revolution. "Democracy" became a required term for all participants in revolutionary discussions, but the study of contemporary dictionaries of revolutionary language illustrates the ambiguity of the term. Russia was the "most democratic" country in the world, claimed revolutionary supporters, but "democratic" was also used to identify the unprivileged, the opposite of bourgeoisie. All popular figures in the revolutionary movement, from V. I. Lenin to A. F. Kerenskii to L. G. Kornilov, sought to clothe themselves in the identity of democracy. Yet common soldiers could claim to support "democracy" and the cult of a leader such as Kerenskii, to support a democratic republic headed by a tsar. The very fact that several different political languages were functioning, all employing different meanings of the term democracy, objectively impeded the country's democratic development.

'Dear Comrade, You Ask What We Need': Socialist Paternalism and Soviet Rural 'Notables' in the Mid-1930s

Lewis H. Siegelbaum

On 1 September 1935, instructors from the Union of Cattle and Dairy Sovkhoz Workers of the Center and South wrote to the winners of a contest concluded several months earlier to elicit information about their family situation, material conditions, degree of literacy, state of health, and, most intriguingly, their needs. Based on replies received from 145 of the 193 notables contacted, the union sent letters to the sovkhoz administrations requesting improvements, followed them up with inquiries of the prizewinners, and responded to their subsequent correspondence. This article is about how Soviet socialist paternalism worked on identity. It represents a kind of rural ethnography not at the point of production, but at the point where materials and values were being distributed and discussed. The discussion in correspondence was a means for furthering the making of rural notables, which was one dimension of, to borrow a phrase, making peasants Soviet.

All Stalin's Women: Gender and Power in Soviet Art of the 1930s

Susan E. Reid

Focusing on three exhibitions of the late 1930s--Industry of Socialism, Food Industry (both from 1939), and the 1938 Exhibition of Women Artists--this article examines how the representation of gender in Soviet art in the mid-1930s articulated relationships of domination and subordination in Stalinist society. Many of the most acclaimed paintings and sculptures of the period, especially those promoting the Stalin cult, used female characters as "typical" representatives of "the people" as a whole. Like the 1936 Constitution, they asserted the new public roles available to women only to circumscribe them within the reconfirmed patriarchal order. At the same time, drawing on conventional gender codes, they naturalized the subordination of Soviet society to the Stalinist state. The article asks how women artists were to operate within the new socially and aesthetically conservative climate. While women artists manifested an acute consciousness of their interests as women, their very survival as artists depended on proving their capacity to conform to masculine norms.