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Early Modern Russian Letters: Texts and Contexts - Studies in Russian and Slavic Literatures, Cultures, and History (Hardback)
  • Early Modern Russian Letters: Texts and Contexts - Studies in Russian and Slavic Literatures, Cultures, and History (Hardback)
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Early Modern Russian Letters: Texts and Contexts - Studies in Russian and Slavic Literatures, Cultures, and History (Hardback)

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£114.00
Hardback 440 Pages / Published: 30/10/2009
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Early Modern Russian Letters: Texts and Contexts brings together twenty essays by Marcus C. Levitt, a leading scholar of eighteenth-century Russian literature. The essays address a spectrum of works and issues that shaped the development of modern Russian literature, from authorship and philosophy to gender and religion in Russian Enlightenment culture. The first part of the collection explores the career and works of Alexander Sumarokov, who played a formative role in literary life of his day. In the essays of the second part Levitt argues that the EnlightenmentaEURO ™s privileging of vision played an especially important role in eighteenth-century Russian self-image, and that its aEURO occularcentrismaEURO was profoundly shaped by Orthodox religious views. Early Modern Russian Letters offers a series of original and provocative explorations of a vital but little studied period.

Publisher: Academic Studies Press
ISBN: 9781934843680
Number of pages: 440
Weight: 785 g
Dimensions: 234 x 156 x 25 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"In these essays, which include 18 previously published but here expanded and updated, Levitt (USC) brings into focus the letters, expository writings, and plays of Alexander Petrovich Sumarokov and his slanderous polemicist Vasily Trediakovsky. Supported by an immense body of quotations and passages, all well translated from the Russian originals, the essays offer Levitt's novel ideas on traditional and progressive trends in mid- to late-18th-century Russian culture. Marked by the author's sometimes - sarcastic commentaries on the literary epoch and its concerns, the book reflects Levitt's meticulous scholarship. The essays provide a wealth of information on topics, texts, and contexts -- e.g., Mikhail Lomonosov's odes, Czarina Catherine the Great's writings, Princess Dashkova's memoirs, Sumarokov's view on Russian orthography, Aleksandr Radishchev's dialectic observations in A Journey from St. Petersburg to Moscow. Fascinating arguments on the sources of Sumarokov's transposition of Shakespeare's Hamlet shed new light on the intellectual tenets of Russian classicism as Levitt ponders the possibility of Sumarokov's Lockean sensualism and the 18th-century Russian reception of Locke's writings. A valuable resource for students of Russian and comparative literature of this epoch. Summing up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty."--D. Hutchins, Buena Vista University "CHOICE (June 2010) "
"This volume will become indispensable to scholars specializing in eighteenth-century Russia. Further afield, specialists in the European Enlightenment will discover a wealth of scholarship about the Russian side of that story, much of it available for the first time in English. Levitt's collection weaves a rich tale about eighteenth-century Russia's linguistic development, the rise of its literary institution, and the complex interplay of Orthodoxy, westernizing secularization, and the heretofore overlooked dominance of the visual. Levitt writes lucidly and without jargon, making his ideas accessible and engaging for specialists and newcomers alike."--Amanda Ewington, Davidson College "The Russian Review "
"Professor Marcus Levitt, a leading scholar of eighteenth-century Russian literature, crowns years spent studying poet and playwright Alexander Sumarokov with a new collection of articles, some now made available in English for the first time. Containing a series of engaging essays on various aspects of Sumarokov's oeuvre together with a variety of other studies concerning Russian culture, literature, history and philosophy, this volume will serve as an indispensable guide to all those studying eighteenth-century Russia for many years to come."--Mark Altshuller, Professor Emeritus of Slavic Languages & Literatures, University of Pittsburgh
"The volume of articles by Marcus Levitt, a well-known expert of early modern Russian literature, embodies his pioneering work in this field. Levitt closes a glaring gap in the history of eighteenth-century Russian literature by providing a wealth of material and ideas about playwright and poet Alexander Sumarkov. Levitt goes on to offer an innovative approach to some of the most important questions of Russian eighteenth-century literature and culture. It is a pleasure to see the works by an admired colleague so handsomely presented in this thoroughly put together collection."--Irina Reyfman, Columbia University
''In this essay collection, Levitt (Slavic Languages and Literatures, University of Southern California) addresses works and issues that shaped the development of modern Russian literature, ranging from authorship and philosophy to gender and religion in Russian Enlightenment culture. Essays in the first part of the book explore the career and works of Alexander Sumarokov, who played a formative role in establishing 18th century Russian literature. In the second part, the author argues that the Enlightenment's privileging of vision as the principal means of understanding the world played an especially important role in the development of early modern Russian culture, and that eighteenth-century Russian "occularcentrism" was profoundly shaped by Orthodox religious views."--Annotation (c)2010 Book News Inc. Portland, OR

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