Advanced

Europe in Post-Soviet Autobiographical Writing

Sarsenov, Karin LU (2009) In Europa - Stier und Sternenkranz. Von der Union mit Zeus zum Staatenverbund p.521-536
Abstract
In modern Russian history, the concept of Europe has served as a main reference point in the formation of Russian national identity. This has given rise to a series of dichotomies, such as European individualism versus Russian collectivism, materialism versus spirituality and rationality versus emotion. In Russia, the genre of autobiography, with its focus on personal experience and the individual’s entitlement to public space, has therefore been perceived as a quintessentially European genre. As a result, other terms, such as “memoir” and “reminiscences” are often preferred. Thanks to the strength of the Hegelian-Soviet legacy and its historicization of personality, autobiographical writing has become a vehicle to describe the... (More)
In modern Russian history, the concept of Europe has served as a main reference point in the formation of Russian national identity. This has given rise to a series of dichotomies, such as European individualism versus Russian collectivism, materialism versus spirituality and rationality versus emotion. In Russia, the genre of autobiography, with its focus on personal experience and the individual’s entitlement to public space, has therefore been perceived as a quintessentially European genre. As a result, other terms, such as “memoir” and “reminiscences” are often preferred. Thanks to the strength of the Hegelian-Soviet legacy and its historicization of personality, autobiographical writing has become a vehicle to describe the individual’s relation to the nation, rendering this type of writing ideal for investigations of national identity. This article examines post-Soviet works whose authors have specifically identified them as “autobiography,” thereby signalling an engagement with the European cultural heritage upon which that genre is founded. Among these works, the poet Novella Matveeva’s autobiography is singled out for close reading. Drawing on Boris Uspensky’s notion of Russia as a metaphorical Europe, Matveeva’s text is interpreted as an attempt to subvert the dichotomical division between Europe and Russia. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Novella Matveeva, national identity, autobiography, Russian literature
in
Europa - Stier und Sternenkranz. Von der Union mit Zeus zum Staatenverbund
editor
Renger, Almut-Barbara and Issler 978-3-89971-566-8, Roland Alexander
pages
521 - 536
publisher
V&R unipress
ISBN
978-3-89971-566-8
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
8e0c8bbd-3e98-4ac2-a3ee-e86277bb5b4c (old id 1516544)
date added to LUP
2010-01-21 10:45:41
date last changed
2016-04-16 09:16:33
@misc{8e0c8bbd-3e98-4ac2-a3ee-e86277bb5b4c,
  abstract     = {In modern Russian history, the concept of Europe has served as a main reference point in the formation of Russian national identity. This has given rise to a series of dichotomies, such as European individualism versus Russian collectivism, materialism versus spirituality and rationality versus emotion. In Russia, the genre of autobiography, with its focus on personal experience and the individual’s entitlement to public space, has therefore been perceived as a quintessentially European genre. As a result, other terms, such as “memoir” and “reminiscences” are often preferred. Thanks to the strength of the Hegelian-Soviet legacy and its historicization of personality, autobiographical writing has become a vehicle to describe the individual’s relation to the nation, rendering this type of writing ideal for investigations of national identity. This article examines post-Soviet works whose authors have specifically identified them as “autobiography,” thereby signalling an engagement with the European cultural heritage upon which that genre is founded. Among these works, the poet Novella Matveeva’s autobiography is singled out for close reading. Drawing on Boris Uspensky’s notion of Russia as a metaphorical Europe, Matveeva’s text is interpreted as an attempt to subvert the dichotomical division between Europe and Russia.},
  author       = {Sarsenov, Karin},
  editor       = {Renger, Almut-Barbara and Issler                             978-3-89971-566-8, Roland Alexander},
  isbn         = {978-3-89971-566-8},
  keyword      = {Novella Matveeva,national identity,autobiography,Russian literature},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {521--536},
  publisher    = {ARRAY(0x8802c00)},
  series       = {Europa - Stier und Sternenkranz. Von der Union mit Zeus zum Staatenverbund},
  title        = {Europe in Post-Soviet Autobiographical Writing},
  year         = {2009},
}