in the UK
A study of the Virgin Mary and the "saintly harlots" - Mary of Egypt and Mary Magdalene - as a cultural paradigm encoded in Chekhov's prose. The author establishes the authority of the Marian paradigm in 19th-century Russian culture with an overview of salient religious and literary texts, then offers critical readings of more than 15 Chekhov stories, including key works such as "Peasants", "Peasant Women", and "My Life". De Sherbinin argues that Chekhov inverts and displaces the Christian meanings of Marian texts in order to reveal a vast array of problematized relationships to the canonized figures. This semiotic reading of Chekhov explores questions of female identity as it probes the mindset of Russian Orthodox popular culture.
Northwestern University Press