0845 474 4572
info@eurospanbookstore.com

In stock: Usually despatched within 24hrs

How Russia Learned to Write

Literature and the Imperial Table of Ranks

Irina Reyfman (author)

ISBN: 9780299308346

Publication Date: Jun 2020

Format: Paperback

Also available as: Hardback  

Unique to Russia was the Table of Ranks, introduced by Emperor Peter the Great in 1722. Irina Reyfman illuminates the surprisingly diverse effects of the Table of Ranks on writers, their work, and literary culture in Russia.
£20.50

In stock: ships within 24hrs

  • Full Description
  • More Information
  • Table of Contents
  • Author Biography
  • Customer Reviews
In the eighteenth century, as modern forms of literature began to emerge in Russia, most of the writers producing it were members of the nobility. But their literary pursuits competed with strictly enforced obligations to imperial state service. Unique to Russia was the Table of Ranks, introduced by Emperor Peter the Great in 1722. Noblesse oblige was not just a lofty principle; aristocrats were expected to serve in the military, civil service, or the court, and their status among peers depended on advancement in ranks.

Irina Reyfman illuminates the surprisingly diverse effects of the Table of Ranks on writers, their work, and literary culture in Russia. From Sumarokov and Derzhavin in the eighteenth century through Pushkin, Gogol, Dostoevsky, and poets serving in the military in the nineteenth, state service affected the self-images of writers and the themes of their creative output. Reyfman also notes its effects on Russia's atypical course in the professionalization and social status of literary work.

Reviews

Compelling, clever, and persuasive. Examining many Russian writers' self-fashioning as members of the nobility and their careers in public service, Reyfman admirably shows that the understanding of rank should inflect all our arguments and histories of the writing profession in Russia." - Luba Golburt, University of California, Berkeley

"Indispensable reading for all who study Russian literature of the Imperial period. Reyfman adds nuance and necessary reevaluation to our understanding of how literary careers and literary biography evolved in Russia in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries." - Andrew Kahn, University of Oxford

"Reyfman's prose is clear and readable throughout, and How Russia Learned to Write adds an intriguing new reading on canonical texts of the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It is one of those rare books you never knew you needed, but answers questions you have always had." - Slavic Review

"Can be read profitably by a range of readers, from undergraduates to specialists. . . . Reyfman's informed analysis forces us to rethink received ideas." - Slavic and East European Journal
Illustrations 1 black & white illustration
Pages 256
Dimensions 229 x 152 x 20
Date Published 30 Jun 2020
Publisher University of Wisconsin Press
Series Publications of the Wisconsin Center for Pushkin Studies
Subject/s Literary studies: general   European history   Literary companions  
  • Acknowledgments
  • Note on Transliteration and Translation
  • Introduction: Russian Writers and State Service, 1750s-1850s
  • 1 To Serve or to Write? Noble Writers in the Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries
  • 2 Pushkin as Bureaucrat, Courtier, and Writer
  • 3 Hierarchy of Ranks according to Gogol
  • 4 Poets in the Military: Denis Davydov, Aleksandr Polezhaev, and Mikhail Lermontov
  • 5 Service Ranks in Dostoevsky's Life and Fiction
  • Conclusion: Beyond Rank
  • Appendix: The Table of Ranks
  • Notes
  • Index
Irina Reyfman is a professor of Russian literature at Columbia University. She is the author and editor of several books, including Ritualized Violence Russian Style: The Duel in Russian Culture and Rank and Style: Russians in State Service, Life, and Literature.

Write Your Own Review

Only registered users can write reviews. Please, log in or register

Post your comment

Eurospan Bookstore