Solovyovo: The Story of Memory in a Russian Village (Paperback)Margaret Paxson (author)
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In a small village beside a reed-lined lake in the Russian north, a cluster of farmers has lived for centuries-in the time of tsars and feudal landlords; Bolsheviks and civil wars; collectivization and socialism; perestroika and open markets. Solovyovo is about the place and power of social memory. Based on extensive anthropological fieldwork in that single village, it shows how villagers configure, transmit, and enact social memory through narrative genres, religious practice, social organization, commemoration, and the symbolism of space. Margaret Paxson relates present-day beliefs, rituals, and practices to the remembered traditions articulated by her informants. She brings to life the everyday social and agricultural routines of the villagers as well as holiday observances, religious practices, cosmology, beliefs and practices surrounding health and illness, the melding of Orthodox and communist traditions and their post-Soviet evolution, and the role of the yearly calendar in regulating village lives. The result is a compelling ethnography of a Russian village, the first of its kind in modern, North American anthropology.
Publisher: Indiana University Press
Number of pages: 304
Weight: 603 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 30 mm
. . . a remarkable achievement. . . . the best ethnographic study of Russian country people available today. -- Caroline Humphrey * TLS *
The book, based on in-depth participant-observation and interviews in the mid-1990s, presents in arresting imagery the everyday life of a northwestern Russian village the author calls Solovyovo. It paints the kind of memorable tableaux that one might expect from a talented novelist, and in this sense it indeed weaves a kind of story . . . .
Engaged readers. . . will find a great deal of value and subtlety in Paxson's story.Vol. 36.3 August 2009 -- Jennifer Patico * Georgia State University *
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