Russian & Slavic Studies / Cultural Studies / Literature & Criticism


Times of Trouble
Violence in Russian Literature and Culture
Edited by Marcus C. Levitt and Tatyana Novikov

"The first book of its kind to address head-on the problem of violence in Russian culture."–Angela Brintlinger, Ohio State University

Looking at the country that has added to our vocabulary such colorful terms as "purges," "pogroms," and "gulag," this collection investigates the conspicuous marks of violence in Russian history and culture.

Russians and non-Russians alike have long debated the reasons for this endemic violence. Some have cited Russia's huge size, unforgiving climate, and exposed geographical position as formative in its national character, making invasion easy and order difficult. Others have fixed the blame on cultural and religious traditions that spurred internecine violence or on despotic rulers or unfortunate episodes in the nation's history, such as the Mongol invasion, the rule of Ivan the Terrible, or the "Red Terror" of the revolution. Even in contemporary Russia, the specter of violence continues, from widespread mistreatment of women to racial antagonism, the product of a frustrated nationalism that manifests itself in such phenomena as the wars in Chechnya.

Times of Trouble is the first book in English to explore the problem of violence in Russia. From a variety of perspectives, essays investigate Russian history as well as depictions of violence in the visual arts and in literature, including the works of Fyodor Dostoevsky, Isaac Babel, Mikhail Lermontov, and Nina Sadur. From the Mongol invasion to the present day, topics include the gulag, genocide, violence against women, anti-Semitism, and terrorism as a tool of revolution.

Marcus C. Levitt is associate professor of Slavic languages at the University of Southern California.

Tatyana Novikov is associate professor of Russian at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Anna Brodsky, Daniel Brower, Nina Efimov, Anna Geifman, J. Arch Getty, Frank J. Goodwin, Charles J. Halperin, Brian Horowitz, Natasha Kolchevska,
Elena Krasnostchekova, Boris Lanin, Ronald LeBlanc, Marcus Levitt,
Mark Lipovetsky, Julian D. Moss, Harriet Murav, Tatyana Novikov, Victor Peppard, Maureen Perrie, Nadya L. Peterson, Kevin M. F. Platt,
Teresa Polowy, David Powelstock, Elizabeth Skomp, Ludmilla A. Trigos, Elena Vassileva, Ilya Vinitsky

Of Related Interest
Epic Revisionism
Russian History and Literature as Stalinist Propaganda
Edited by Kevin M. F. Platt and David Brandenberger

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Times of Trouble is black with an illustration from an old painting. A man with an intensive face clutches a man lying on the floor bleeding from the forehead. One is reminded of the story of the Czar who kiled his son in a fit of rage..

December 2007

312 pp. 6 x 9 7 b/w illus.
ISBN-13: 978-0-299-22430-1
Cloth $60.00 s
(ISBN-10: 0-299-22430-9)

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