A History of Women's Writing in Russia by Adele Marie Barker, Jehanne M. Gheith

By Adele Marie Barker, Jehanne M. Gheith

A heritage of Women's Writing in Russia lines comprehensively the lives and works of Russia's ladies writers from the center a while to the current. members have addressed the usually mind-blowing contexts in which women's writing has been produced. Chapters exhibit a flourishing literary culture the place none used to be notion to exist, how Russia's ladies writers articulated their very own event, and re-assesing their dating to the dominant male culture. the amount is supported via large reference beneficial properties together with a bibliography and consultant to writers and their works.

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Likhachev and I. P. 1 Furthermore, the absence of women writers in the medieval period and a preponderance of ecclesiastical female stereotypes have encouraged primarily historically based analysis, to the detriment of the literary portrait. No work of literature written by a woman has come down to us; indeed, it was very rare for women to be literate as access to education was denied to them. In the cases where aristocratic ladies were taught to read, this was solely for devotional purposes such as reading of the Holy Scriptures and life-stories of the Orthodox saints.

It was certainly politically astute for the relatively young Orthodox Church to make the most of such a popular and strong figure as Ol’ga, protector of the Kievan lands, who chose conversion: her example, correctly used, could well have helped to shore up the Church’s efforts to instill Orthodoxy in Rus’. 8 A similar early exception to the silently pious female character, and one who shares Ol’ga’s dichotomous roots in ecclesiastical literature and folkloric tradition, is the mother of Feodosii of the Kievan Caves.

The final and inevitably distorted impression cannot be considered an accurate reflection of reality, but rather the product of imagination, fear, fantasy, discrimination, and desire on the part of the male clergy. This distortion was possibly further promoted by some secular social structures such as the terem, loosely defined as the part of elite households where female members of the family lived and entertained their lady friends. Commonly blamed for the introduction of the terem tradition into medieval Russia are either Byzantine cultural influences or else the invading Tatar Hordes; and it is often assumed that the terem simply dealt women yet another misogynistic blow in the form of enforced control, “banishment” from the public arena, thus effectively depriving them of opportunity to become actively involved within a wider social context.

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