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Passion Embracing Death : A reading of Nina Sadur's novel 'The Garden'

Sarsenov, Karin LU (2001) In Lund Slavonic Monographs 3.
Abstract (Swedish)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Avhandlingen analyserar romanen "Lustgården" av den ryska författaren Nina Sadur (på ryska 1997, på svenska 2001). Feministisk litteraturteori används för att problematisera receptionen av Sadurs verk samt för att motivera valet av verk för analys. Avhandlingen är indelad i två delar:



Del ett presenterar en linjär läsning av romanen, där den läses som ”avikande diskurs”, vilket i det här fallet betyder diskurs som antyder att berättaren uppvisar tecken på schizofreni eller berusning. Sådan diskurs är med nödvändighet svårtolkad, vilket har föranlett en mycket detaljerad genomgång av texten, ända ner på ordnivå. Här undersöks romanens användning av ledmotiv, dess komplicerade... (More)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Avhandlingen analyserar romanen "Lustgården" av den ryska författaren Nina Sadur (på ryska 1997, på svenska 2001). Feministisk litteraturteori används för att problematisera receptionen av Sadurs verk samt för att motivera valet av verk för analys. Avhandlingen är indelad i två delar:



Del ett presenterar en linjär läsning av romanen, där den läses som ”avikande diskurs”, vilket i det här fallet betyder diskurs som antyder att berättaren uppvisar tecken på schizofreni eller berusning. Sådan diskurs är med nödvändighet svårtolkad, vilket har föranlett en mycket detaljerad genomgång av texten, ända ner på ordnivå. Här undersöks romanens användning av ledmotiv, dess komplicerade behandling av tid- och rumsaspekter samt den ymniga förekomsten av motiv från folklore, speciellt kärleksbesvärjelser.



Del två behandlar romanen som helhet. Den är indelad i kapitel som diskuterar tid, rum, genus, berättarperspektiv och symboler. Romanens modernistiska drag illustreras med en jämförelse med Andrej Belyj, särskilt hans roman "Petersburg" (1913). Romanen läses också med utgångspunkt i poststrukturalistiskt tänkande, men detta teoretiska ramverk visar sig till viss del vara kontraproduktivt för en djupare förståelse av texten. Istället ses romanen som en skådeplats för kampen mellan två rivaliserande verkligheter: en vardaglig, och en mytisk. I denna tolkning framstår den mytiska verkligheten som en inverterad form av den myt som skapades av socialistisk realism: bokens myt är destruktiv och kroppslig i motsats till den sovjetiska mytens tro på tekniska framsteg och dess pryda förhållningssätt till sexualitet. Trots att iscensättningen av genus i romanen knappast motsvarar traditionella uppfattningar, ses inte detta som en subversiv operation riktad mot patriarkal diskursiv makt. Snarare kopplas normöverskridande företeelser i romanen till de omvända förhållanden som råder i den mytiska underjorden: här är allting upp och ner och ut och in. Sådan beskrivs också världen i ryska kärleksbesvärjelser, som i denna tolkning framstår som romanens viktigaste subtext. I dessa besvärjelser, liksom i boken, förstås kärlekslidelsen som en ond kraft som för den drabbade till ett tillstånd nära döden. (Less)
Abstract
This doctoral dissertation is an analysis of the novel 'The Garden' (1997), by the Russian author Nina Sadur. Drawing on feminist literary criticism, it aims at providing a woman-authored text with the in-depth study the novel’s literary sophistication calls for. The dissertation is divided into two parts:



Part One presents a linear reading of the novel in which it is read as ‘aberrant discourse’, i.e. as a literary text that suggests schizophrenia and/or alcoholic intoxication. Such discourse is by its very nature difficult to construe, which has prompted a reading that focuses on and discusses the text in great detail. In Part One, the novel’s prolific use of leitmotifs is noted, and relationships of similarity are... (More)
This doctoral dissertation is an analysis of the novel 'The Garden' (1997), by the Russian author Nina Sadur. Drawing on feminist literary criticism, it aims at providing a woman-authored text with the in-depth study the novel’s literary sophistication calls for. The dissertation is divided into two parts:



Part One presents a linear reading of the novel in which it is read as ‘aberrant discourse’, i.e. as a literary text that suggests schizophrenia and/or alcoholic intoxication. Such discourse is by its very nature difficult to construe, which has prompted a reading that focuses on and discusses the text in great detail. In Part One, the novel’s prolific use of leitmotifs is noted, and relationships of similarity are found to be more important than questions of plot and character. The aberrant discourse abounds in allusions to myth and folklore, in which Russian love incantations emerge as a particularly important subtext.



Part Two involves a discussion of the novel as a whole. It is broken down into chapters that discuss aspects of time, space, gender, narrative perspective and symbols. The novel’s affinity to modernist aesthetics is illustrated by comparing it to the works of Andrej Belyj, and 'Petersburg' in particular. An attempt is made to draw in this reading on post-structuralist theory, but although such a framework proves somewhat useful, the novel’s preoccupation with magic in the end distances it substantially from post-structuralist theory. The novel is understood as dealing with two competing realities: the quotidian versus one with apparently mythical qualities. The latter appears as an inverted version of the ‘myth’ of Soviet ideology, a fictional myth that is unpleasantly corporeal in contrast to prudish Soviet ideals. Although gender relationships in the novel do not conform to traditionally patriarchal notions, it is nevertheless argued that this should not be understood as a strategy aimed at subverting patriarchal discursive power. Instead, the gender confusion in the novel is seen as a sign of the presence of underworld forces, which turn everything upside down and inside out. Finally, the influence of Russian love incantations’ portrayal of passion on the novel is shown: in both the incantations and the novel, passion is understood as an evil force that disintegrates a person’s integrity and brings him or her close to death. (Less)
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author
opponent
  • Prof. Marsh, Rosalind, University of Bath
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Ryska (språk och litteratur), Russian language and literature, gendered subjectivity, love incantations, socialist realism, chthonic forces, leitmotif, alcoholic discourse, schizoid discourse, aberrant discourse, Russian women's literature, General and comparative literature, literature criticism, literary theory, Allmän och jämförande litteratur, litteraturkritik, litteraturteori
in
Lund Slavonic Monographs
volume
3
pages
252 pages
publisher
Central and Eastern European Studies
defense location
Plenary hall
defense date
2001-12-08 10:15
ISSN
0280-0284
ISBN
91-628-4977-8
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
a69eb184-fa80-4c3a-81c1-a00e024ad020 (old id 20292)
date added to LUP
2007-05-28 10:49:02
date last changed
2018-05-29 11:05:38
@phdthesis{a69eb184-fa80-4c3a-81c1-a00e024ad020,
  abstract     = {This doctoral dissertation is an analysis of the novel 'The Garden' (1997), by the Russian author Nina Sadur. Drawing on feminist literary criticism, it aims at providing a woman-authored text with the in-depth study the novel’s literary sophistication calls for. The dissertation is divided into two parts:<br/><br>
<br/><br>
Part One presents a linear reading of the novel in which it is read as ‘aberrant discourse’, i.e. as a literary text that suggests schizophrenia and/or alcoholic intoxication. Such discourse is by its very nature difficult to construe, which has prompted a reading that focuses on and discusses the text in great detail. In Part One, the novel’s prolific use of leitmotifs is noted, and relationships of similarity are found to be more important than questions of plot and character. The aberrant discourse abounds in allusions to myth and folklore, in which Russian love incantations emerge as a particularly important subtext.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
Part Two involves a discussion of the novel as a whole. It is broken down into chapters that discuss aspects of time, space, gender, narrative perspective and symbols. The novel’s affinity to modernist aesthetics is illustrated by comparing it to the works of Andrej Belyj, and 'Petersburg' in particular. An attempt is made to draw in this reading on post-structuralist theory, but although such a framework proves somewhat useful, the novel’s preoccupation with magic in the end distances it substantially from post-structuralist theory. The novel is understood as dealing with two competing realities: the quotidian versus one with apparently mythical qualities. The latter appears as an inverted version of the ‘myth’ of Soviet ideology, a fictional myth that is unpleasantly corporeal in contrast to prudish Soviet ideals. Although gender relationships in the novel do not conform to traditionally patriarchal notions, it is nevertheless argued that this should not be understood as a strategy aimed at subverting patriarchal discursive power. Instead, the gender confusion in the novel is seen as a sign of the presence of underworld forces, which turn everything upside down and inside out. Finally, the influence of Russian love incantations’ portrayal of passion on the novel is shown: in both the incantations and the novel, passion is understood as an evil force that disintegrates a person’s integrity and brings him or her close to death.},
  author       = {Sarsenov, Karin},
  isbn         = {91-628-4977-8},
  issn         = {0280-0284},
  keyword      = {Ryska (språk och litteratur),Russian language and literature,gendered subjectivity,love incantations,socialist realism,chthonic forces,leitmotif,alcoholic discourse,schizoid discourse,aberrant discourse,Russian women's literature,General and comparative literature,literature criticism,literary theory,Allmän och jämförande litteratur,litteraturkritik,litteraturteori},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {252},
  publisher    = {Central and Eastern European Studies},
  school       = {Lund University},
  series       = {Lund Slavonic Monographs},
  title        = {Passion Embracing Death : A reading of Nina Sadur's novel 'The Garden'},
  volume       = {3},
  year         = {2001},
}