• Cutting the Umbilical Cord: Patriarchy and the Family Metaphor in Turgenev's Virgin Soil

    Author(s):
    Katya Jordan (see profile)
    Date:
    2019
    Group(s):
    Russian/Eurasian Literature
    Subject(s):
    19th-century Russian literature, Russian culture
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    Turgenev, patriarchy, family metaphor, intelligentsia, Narodnichestvo
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/9m81-4n03
    Abstract:
    In his final novel, Virgin Soil (1877), Turgenev takes up the theme of the particular kind of populism (Narodnichestvo) that swept across the European part of Russia in the 1860s and 70s. Critics on both ends of the political spectrum believed that Virgin Soil failed to truthfully depict the populist movement; however, the novel provides an important cultural commentary that heretofore has been overlooked. Turgenev explores the theme of fractured father-son relationships and masterfully exposes the nature of political dissent in Russia. He conceptualises Russian radical intelligentsia as a natural son of an enlightened patriarch, thus questioning the long-standing tradition of viewing the Russian tsar as a father to his people. While drawing on the scholarship of Stephen Lovell and other social historians who explore the problem of genealogical and generational self-identification, this study of Turgenev's work provides new legibilities of the family metaphor that lies at the core of Russian political discourse. KEYWORDS: Turgenev, the family metaphor, Narodnichestvo, patriarchy, fatherlessness, intelligentsia
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Scheduled
    Last Updated:
    1 year ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved

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