Russian Women Poets of the Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries is a bold, pioneering achievement. Not only does it bring to light a poetic tradition that has been totally forgotten for over two centuries, even in its country of origin, but it does so in a broadly inclusive fashion. It offers both the Russian texts (verified against their original publications) as well as accurate English translations, accompanied by short illuminating biographical and critical introductions. It thus makes this intriguing material accessible to a broad spectrum of readers, from the curious generalist to the scholar. This corpus of texts sheds significant light on the genesis and formation of modern Russian verse and on the ways in which this new cohort of poets strove to find their voice during a complex era of shifting literary, cultural and gender values, navigating between the male-oriented high genres of Neoclassicism and the “feminized” modes of Sentimentalism.
Marcus C. Levitt
Professor, Department of Slavic Languages, University of Southern California
In the wake of Peter the Great’s westernizing reforms, Russians raced to build the kind of modern literary culture that Europeans had achieved centuries earlier. Until recently, women’s contribution to this fascinating period of rapid assimilation and creation has been ignored. This volume challenges us to reimagine the early Russian literary canon, by considering a broad range of pioneering women poets who remain largely unknown, even in their homeland. Readers of Russian and English alike will appreciate this unprecedented bilingual collection of fully annotated texts, with critical introductions for each poet.
AMANDA EWINGTON is Associate Professor and Chair of the Russian Studies Department at Davidson College. She is author of A Voltaire for Russia: A. P. Sumarokov’s Journey from Poet-Critic to Russian Philosophe (Northwestern University Press, 2010). A past president and active member of the Eighteenth-Century Russian Studies Association (ECRSA), she has presented numerous papers on Russian women writers. She is currently pursuing a project on women and the stage in eighteenth-century Russia.
The Other Voice in Early Modern Europe: The Toronto Series 30
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