Cover of Commemorating Pushkin by Stephanie Sandler
Commemorating Pushkin
Russia's Myth of a National Poet
Stephanie Sandler

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2003
432 pages.
$77.50

Cloth ISBN: 9780804734486

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Two hundred years after his birth, Alexander Pushkin still issues a dynamic, liberating challenge to Russia's cultural identity. His story has promised national coherence and meant artistic integrity in its seemingly purest form. Irreverent and polemical responses to Pushkin abound, but Russians retain a deep investment in Pushkin's image.

Commemorating Pushkin argues that the emotional complexity of Russia's relationship with Pushkin has informed both large-scale cultural institutions and the writings of talented individuals. It assesses twentieth-century museums, anniversary rituals, and films that keep the poet alive. It shows how Pushkin's self-fashioning was exemplary for Anna Akhmatova, Marina Tsvetaeva, Andrei Bitov, and Andrei Sinyavsky. And it goes beyond well-known figures to give names and histories to poets, novelists, actors, filmmakers, scholars, and museum workers who have sustained Russia's myth of a national poet.

About the author

Stephanie Sandler is Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Harvard University. She is the author of a number of books, including Distant Pleasures: Alexander Pushkin and the Writing of Exile (Stanford, 1989).

"Stephanie Sandler's long-awaited book, Commemorating Pushkin: Russia's Myth of a National Poet, offers us a thorough and erudite look at the Pushkin phenomenon in Russia....Her comments and discussions are at all times perceptive and immensely well-informed, and her readings are nuanced and imaginative."--Slavic and East European Journal

"This book will be of interest to a wide range of Russian cultural scholars, offering both a valuable introduction to the subject of Pushkin's legacy and also detailed insights in specific areas, particularly with regard to visual culture."

Modern Language Review