A female contemporary of Alexander Pushkin, Liubov Krichevskaya makes her Anglophone debut in an excellent translation of her fiction, drama, and poetry, which deftly capture women's estate in the early nineteenth century. Krichevskaya intriguingly combines Sentimentalist preoccupations—sensibility, virtue, and men's moral reformation through confrontation with exemplary women's passive piety—with the uncontrollable passions and volatile hero popularized by the Byronic strain of Romanticism. Her gynocentric texts poignantly convey the stringent limitations imposed upon women's agency by a society that paradoxically credited them with the seemingly limitless capacity to exert a civilizing influence as icons of probity. Readers acquainted with Rousseau, Richardson, and Goethe will discover familiar feminized turf, but cultivated in a Russian vein.
Chair and Professor of Slavic, The Ohio State University
This volume presents in English the selected works of Liubov Krichevskaya (1800-1841?), arguably the first professional woman of letters in Ukraine. The oldest of five girls, Krichevskaya spent much of her life helping to raise her younger sisters and support the household following her father’s untimely death. At times hopeful, at other times despairing, her literary works, written in Russian, explore the theme of woman’s agency in contemporary society and include dramas, novellas, lyric poetry and an epistolary novel. Referencing the great women authors of her time, Krichevskaya’s oeuvre offers critical reflection on the opportunities and limitations presented to women by the philosophy of Sentimentalism—from someone who experienced those opportunities and limitations first hand.
BRIAN JAMES BAER is Professor of Russian and Translation Studies at Kent State University, where he teaches in the master's and doctoral programs in translation. He is co-editor of Volume XII of the ATA Scholarly Monograph Series, Beyond the Ivory Tower: Re-thinking Translation Pedagogy (2003), and editor of the volume Contexts, Subtexts and Pretexts: Literary Translation in Eastern Europe and Russia (2011). He is the founding editor of the journal Translation and Interpreting Studies and the general editor of the Kent State Monograph Series in Translation Studies. He has published widely on issues of gender and sexuality in Russian culture and has translated literary and scholarly works from Russian by such authors as Sergei Dovlatov, Mikhail Zhvanetsky, and Yuri Lotman.
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