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Author Wieda, Nina Anatolievna
Title How the Russian soul is made: Secular kenosis in Russian literature
book jacket
Descript 270 p
Note Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 71-05, Section: A, page: 1651
Adviser: Andrew B. Wachtel
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Northwestern University, 2010
A close look at Russian culture reveals that the aesthetic and ethical preference is characteristic of a Russian Weltanschauung vis-a-vis resources, and not only narrowly-defined economic resources such as money and material possessions, but all of life's resources including time, effort, health, and prestige. An investigation of Russian literary tropes reveals that a surprisingly large number of Russian fictional characters are depicted as considering it more attractive and ethical to spend, waste, and lose, rather than save, keep, and retain
By tracing the development of these concepts in the long duree, this dissertation shows how willful self-emptying became part of Russian national self-identity. Extrapolating the term kenosis from theology, it introduces the concept of secular kenosis, i.e., ethical predilection for the daily practices of giving and spending rather than receiving and saving. Superimposing the method of close reading onto intellectual history, it explores the genealogy of secular kenosis through the works of Fyodor Dostoevsky, Anton Chekhov, post-WWII Socialist Realist writers and Eduard Limonov. It draws an arc of intellectual thought, starting from Dostoevsky's utopian vision of secular kenosis as a path to harmony and Russia's ticket to salvation, to Chekhov's mistrust of kenosis as an all-encompassing ideology, to socialist realist attempts to enlist kenosis for the service to Communist ideology, concluding with Limonov's twentieth-century flashback to Dostoevskian indiscriminate acceptance
School code: 0163
Host Item Dissertation Abstracts International 71-05A
Subject Literature, Slavic and East European
Slavic Studies
Alt Author Northwestern University. Slavic Languages and Literatures
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