Reading, Writing, and Realism in 19th-century Russia.
Irina Reyfman, How Russia Learned to Write: Literature and the Imperial Table of Ranks. 256 pp. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2016. ISBN-13 978-0299308308. $65.00.
Tat'iana Venediktova, Literatura kak opyt: "Burzhuaznyi chitatel"' kak kul 'turnyigeroi (Literature as Experience: The "Bourgeois Reader" as Cultural Hero). 360 pp. Moscow: Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie, 2018. ISBN-13 978-5444806883.
For perceptive observers of modernity, from Sigmund Freud to Marshall McLuhan, communications technology and media have served as "marvelous extensions of man," enabling the acquisition of knowledge, capacities, and experiences by ordinary individuals transformed, in Freud's unforgettable words, into a "kind of prosthetic God." (1) Even as we have not yet fully processed the implications of the industrial revolution in print and electronic media (radio, cinema, television), we are overwhelmed by a tsunami of digital media that is fundamentally inundating every facet of our experience, from community to cognition. In light of the current upheaval, the media landscape of the past seems delightfully quaint, despite the fact that the explosion of the printed word and the media infrastructure of the 19th century was comparable in the magnitude of its revolutionary effects. While none of the three scholarly studies under review explicitly conceives of itself as media studies, which is still nascent in Russian studies, this is where they intersect: in their approach to literature and the visual arts as media that extend our perceptions and experience of life, or alternatively, that offer deceptive copies that are accepted as real, emblematizing Baudrillard's concept of the hyperreal. (2)
Tat'iana Venediktova's Literatura kak opyt: "Burzhuaznyi chitatel"' kak kul 'turnyi geroi constructs an elegant and compelling model of "bourgeois" writing and reading that can be fruitfully drawn into dialogue with Irina Reyfman's How Russia Learned to Read and Molly Brunson's Russian Realisms: Painting and Literature, 1830-1890. Venediktova's study stands apart because it is concerned with the Western (Anglophone and Francophone) "bourgeois reader" and hence has little to say directly about the Russian reader, bourgeois or otherwise, except for an extensive footnote, which I will address shortly. The first 90 pages of Venediktova's study is a tour de force that draws extensively on Western literary and cultural criticism and is perhaps most discernibly influenced by Franco Moretti's seminal works on the novel and the bourgeoisie in literature and history. (3) She impressively synthesizes cultural studies, reception theory, the sociology of literature, and pragmatics to model the image of the bourgeois reader and even more ambitiously, to model the relationship between the bourgeois reader and writer as one of collaborative co-creation. (4)
For Venediktova, as for Moretti, "bourgeois" as a designation encompasses widely divergent qualities, both positive and negative, and corresponds more to a structure of feeling or type of subjectivity that made the "bourgeois reader" the ideal reader/collaborator for an author who was also very likely bourgeois. Venediktova's key concept in the context of capitalist modernity is "exchange," both economic and emotional, material and immaterial. Market relations determined the role of professional writers as producers and the reading public as users/consumers, while publishers and booksellers acted as intermediaries who played an ambivalent but critical role in influencing the commercial and critical fate of a given work. In the case of literary production, the medium of exchange is without question material (currency, books, words) but ultimately immaterial--symbols, experience. (5) For Venediktova, Adam Smith's theory of economic exchange (the "invisible hand" of the free market) and of sympathy as the moral/emotional foundation of social relations provides a one-stop shop in conceptualizing the mechanism of literary exchange under the conditions of print capitalism: "Sympathy is the mechanism by which the subject makes others' experience one's own and relates to one's own experience through another perspective" (40). (6) With the erosion of traditional social structures and belief systems and the rise of unprecedented opportunities, there was a premium on experience that the writer/ author could claim to possess and impart to entrepreneurial readers seeking to navigate a rapidly evolving social landscape. As partners in the exchange, bourgeois readers bring their own life experience, imagination, and activity as readers to the co-creation of meaning in the text.
In the lucidly presented case studies that compose the rest of Literatura kak opyt Venediktova seeks to "observe the figure of the reader and the forms of his participation in the composition as an artistic event" (90). She does not confine herself to a single genre or national literature, ranging from poetry--William Wordsworth's lyrical ballads, Edgar Allen Poe's The Raven, Walt Whitman's Song of Myself--to hybrid forms (Baudelaire's "Poems in Prose") and ultimately to the great Realist novels: Flaubert's Madame Bovary, George Elliot's Middlemarch, and others. Through close readings that apply formalist and Bakhtinian analysis to texts within their socio-historical context, Venediktova explores the way in which the bourgeois reader engages with the author's language use (oxymorons, meter, puns, etc.) and the author's reader construction to create the "bourgeois reader's" experience. As the implied reader, Venediktova's bourgeois reader never completely coincides with the actual reader as "a real agent of the book market ... Therefore from the side of the writer (also bourgeois, by the way!) he is the subject of a difficult relationship: skepticism and trust, hate and love, polemical distancing and hope for an assumed solidarity." (33) Despite her model's considerable nuance and socio-historical grounding, she is therefore concerned with a literary construct immanent in the text rather than with actual readerships or a sociology of reading.
Nevertheless, Venediktova's larger question concerns the historical trajectory of the bourgeois reader, and she hypothesizes that the conditions for truly mass and global manifestation of the bourgeois reader as a type of subjectivity exist only now, in the 21st century. The question then remains how and whether the bourgeois reader as posited by Venediktova is dependent specifically on a print media ecosystem that facilitates a particular type of reading (private, silent) and a robust autonomous literary sphere or whether the bourgeois reader as implied reader in fact succumbs in the swell of digital and visual media--or is foreclosed on a textual level by postmodern literary forms themselves. (7)
It is this historical long view, as well as a detailed footnote in her chapter "Literature as an Institution," that opens a crack to consider the Russian case, as well as the provocative questions that Venediktova's engaging study sidelines. Specifically, the development of modern Russian literature and of the Russian novel in particular has always been held to depart from the West European tradition, even as a late-blooming Russian literary culture absorbed its influences and adopted/adapted its formal innovations. Foundational studies of the sociology of reading and Russian literature as an institution (Jeffrey Brooks's When Russia Learned to Read, William Mills Todd's "The Ruse of the Russian Novel") have underscored the absence of the socio historical conditions that--according to Ian Watt's seminal study--gave rise to the modern novel, specifically a broad reading public and the bourgeois reader/writer as a sociological type. (8)
Studies such as Victoria SomofFs The Imperative of Reliability, Jillian Porter's Economies of Feeling, and Irina Reyfman's When Russia Learned to Write have reiterated this alternative development or rise. Somoff makes a particularly cogent case for privileging formal literary concerns in the evolution of the Russian novel, and such an approach suggests that the "bourgeois reader" as an ideal type might exist even in the absence of the requisite socio-historical conditions. (9) In Fiction and Society in the Age of Pushkin, Todd identified "polite society," with distinct affinities to a bourgeois readership, as integral to the literary works of Aleksandr Pushkin, Mikhail Lermontov, and Nikolai Gogol' through the early 1840s. Melissa Frazier has teased out the contours of the "overdetermined," "created and manipulated" Romantic reader of Osip Senkovskii's Biblioteka dlia chiteniia (Library for Reading). (10)
Polite society, however, differs from the highly individualistic bourgeois reader in its collective nature, with reader reception as a collective experience dictated by decorous social norms and language use. Such a "society," Todd points out, could not withstand the divisive and fractiously polemical nature of postreform literary culture in which the implied reader has usually been broadly identified with an intelligentsia that was by definition engage. (11) Russian writers on both sides of the Slavophile/Westerner divide notably rejected bourgeois modes of being and "structures of feeling" that would, according to Venediktova's model, conduce to such a reader. Yet even an "intelligentsia reader" requires parsing to reveal the diverse implied readers and narratees, among them the much-maligned critic-reader, with whom the narrator is embroiled in an aesthetic or ideological (or more likely, both) polemic, or Nikolai Chernyshevskii's ironic hierarchy of readers in What Is to Be Done? Then there are, of course, the real readers who wielded power over the text: editors, censors, and ultimately, the tsar. (12)
Irina Reyfman's study alludes to yet another reader--the writer-servitor as reader--one quick to take offense (as per Gogol "s narrator in "The Overcoat") at the literary representation of civil servants. In How Russia Learned to Write Reyfman concerns herself in the first place with the writer as a member of the service nobility (civil or military), and her study therefore presents Russia as a striking alternative scenario to Venediktova's, for the institution that exercised influence on the Russian literary culture was the imperial bureaucracy and noblemen writers' participation in it. Russian writers and their readers did not emanate from an entrepreneurial class of bourgeois writers but from the service nobility imbued with their own sense of dignity and honor. (13) Reyfman therefore analyzes the way in which Russian writers reconciled their service obligations with their authorial vocation and their cherished noble identity with the reality of peddling their wares in the literary marketplace. In conjunction with this, she turns to the representation of state service-particularly the Table of Ranks and individual ranks--in the literary works of 19th-century writers: Pushkin, Gogol', Lermontov, Denis Davydov, and Fedor Dostoevskii, among others.
Reyfman's approach is primarily biographical, and she offers a thorough resume of the writer's service career, often filling in important gaps in the scholarship or providing correctives to contemporaries' misconceptions or to writers' own self-serving distortions. In relation to Venediktova's study, the question then becomes: in the absence of the bourgeois writer and presence of the writer-servitor, how is the reader differently imagined by the text? And what is the nature of the "experience" exchanged, and the experience of this exchange itself? The piece de resistance of Reyfman's study, her lengthy chapter on Pushkin, is deeply suggestive with regard to these questions. Reyfman casts into relief Pushkin's struggle to reconcile literature as the inspired improvisation of the nobleman dilettante with his uncomfortable navigation of the literary marketplace in the roles of journalist, editor, and merchant of his literary wares. In this regard, Reyfmans discussion of Pushkin offers an illuminating glimpse of the watershed years of 1828-35, when the model of aristocratic literature was challenged by the rise of popular literature in conjunction with a popular press (pioneered by Senkovskii and Faddei Bulgarin) and a broader readership that, while not exactly "bourgeois," was certainly more inclusive of other social strata. (14)
Pushkin's ambivalence vis-a-vis the market and its demands was just as intense as his ambivalence toward the autocracy. Regarding the former, Reyfman quotes Pushkin's poem "My Genealogy" and its repeated phrase "I am a tradesman/bourgeois" (la meshchanin) as a stark contrast to his assertion in a letter to his wife, "To write books for money, as God is my witness, I cannot" (85). Even more galling as a personal humiliation was the rank that Nicholas I saw fit to bestow on Pushkin--that of Kammerjunker, a rank that Pushkin may have perceived to be beneath the dignity of his years, rather than that of Kammerherr. Reyfman deftly draws contemporaries' reactions to Pushkin's unenviable status into her incisive analysis of how Pushkin represented rank--and the conflict between a service career and poetic vocation-into some of his later and most famous prose works, and she persuasively argues that even those writers (most notably Senkovskii in Fantastic Travels of Baron Brambeus and Gogol' in Diary of a Madman) well disposed toward Pushkin took gleefully satirical swipes at Pushkin and his plight.
As Reyfman shows, service and rank conditioned the existence of Russian writers, readers, and Russian literature's most memorable characters in a way that was unknown in Western Europe--or Western literature. If capitalist modernity and the dynamism of market relations provided an open field for the self-made man, in the Russia of Catherine and Nicholas, rank made the man, and superiors (or the tsar) made the rank. Yet as the importance of service receded into the background, eclipsed by the author's vocation as a professional writer, state service and the Table of Ranks became an important literary theme, especially in the works of Gogol' and Dostoevskii. The question that Reyfman never satisfactorily answers is why. If 18th-century writers such as Aleksandr Sumarokov, Ippolit Bogdanovich, Nikolai L'vov, and Gavrila Derzhavin experienced service as tightly woven into the fabric of their noble lives, why was that experience and the identity that rank conferred virtually absent from their literary writing? Derzhavin, for example, elided his service career in his self-congratulatory retrospective of his literary accomplishments and restored it only later to his autobiographical notes (38-39). And why, in contrast, did it occupy center stage in the literary fiction of Gogol' and Dostoevskii, who had desultory service careers? What thematic function does the representation of civil servants and state service fulfill as it occupies such sweeping imaginative territory?
Reyfman meticulously analyzes the accuracy of the depiction of rank and the Table of Ranks in these fictions (for example, given his modest skill set, the rank of titular councilor is too high for Akakii Akakievich), but she does not offer a theoretical frame that addresses what seems to be core issues around the sociology of power and hierarchy, and the conflict/disjunction between these external and arbitrary markers of identity and the subjectively experienced sense of self that was fostered--among other things--by "bourgeois" models of writing and reading. Such a framework would help crystallize the insights that Reyfman's study richly offers and address the way in which state service and the Table of Ranks operated as a means to discipline, reward, punish, and indelibly stamp individuals with a status and identity that conditioned their existence and that they themselves were powerless to alter. "Why am I a titular councilor and for what am I a titular councilor ... I would like to know why I am titular councilor. Why specifically a titular councilor?" is Poprishchin's existential cri de coeur as he descends into madness rooted in his inability, under the conditions of Peter's Imperial Table of Ranks, to meaningfully say why he is what he is (107). In this context, Reyfman's conclusion that Gogol' produces an incorrect but deceptively real or "hyperreal" copy of state service and rank in his fiction might be interpreted as a literary usurpation of the arbitrary power of rank to make the man.
Such an approach would also account for the centrality of rank in Dostoevskii's fiction, which drew almost entirely on Gogol "s literary representations of service rather than his own personal experience. Reyfman argues persuasively--though perhaps obviously--that Dostoevskii added depth and complexity to Gogol "s one-dimensionally pathetic titular councilors or ridiculous "majors," but she passes over the way in which rank and the service are battlegrounds (one of many) for the assertion of power and domination--drives that almost universally inform interpersonal relationships in Dostoevskii's fiction. Reyfman concludes her study with a brief foray into literary modernism, where rank and service play a marginal role in writers' lives but have instead become literary tropes inherited from the Petersburg tale. Especially in Andrei Belyi's Petersburg, rank as a trope underscores the disjunction between the rank and the man (the puny Apollon Ableukhov is an Actual Privy Councilor), and the lethal circulars that emanate from the senator's office figure as a medial extension of the state's annihilating power.
The distinctive socio-historical matrix in which Russian literature arose also forms the indispensable background for Molly Brunson's study of the sister arts, literature and painting, during the age of realism. Painting was not the same elevated pastime as the literary arts for the noble servitor, and therefore painting in Russia was the undervalued stepchild of the arts. In 19th-century Russia, visual artists issued from the lower classes, the merchant class or even the peasantry, and there was no "painting capitalism" akin to print capitalism, even as visual media such as lithography and photography developed within market conditions during the latter half of the century. Brunson seeks to restore the visual arts to their rightful place in establishing realism(s) as the dominant period concept by isolating and analyzing what she refers to as "interart encounters," places where the verbal arts seek to render visual scenes and the visual arts aspire to narrative. For Brunson these moments maximize the representational possibilities of each medium while exposing their limits.
Brunson approaches the term "realism" with the same care and nuance as Venediktova does "bourgeois": there is no single realism but multiple realism(s); and her study vividly illustrates how each great artist, exploiting the particular capabilities of visual and verbal media, created their own realist "paragone." Brunson's study captures the thirst for life and immersion in experience of artists and consumers of art and, with her exceptionally discerning eye, analyzes the aesthetic means with which artists conjured lifelike illusions while using these same means to call attention to the mimesis. In considering realism as a transhistorical representational mode Brunson emphasizes realism's eternal predicament in representing life without collapsing the boundary between it and art. Yet she does not explicitly address the specificity of radical realism (and real criticism) in 1860s Russia, which advocated more aggressive artistic interventions into life, or the fact that Russian readers themselves "assumed a relationship between literature and life virtually unmediated by literary conventions or the writer's imagination." (15)
In her initial chapters, Brunson pairs a writer with a visual artist who employs an analogous (or even the same) artistic device to achieve reality effects that serve roughly similar aesthetic and ideological purposes. The introduction, in contrast, pairs and pits Lev Tolstoi and II 'ia Repin against one another to set the stage for a more antagonistic representational conflict between the visual and verbal arts that is fully fleshed out in two later chapters. The final chapter devoted to Dostoevskii departs from this model and encompasses in its ambit great works of visual art that Dostoevskii saw on his European tours (Edouard Manet's Nymph Surprised and Hans Holbein the Younger's The Body of the Dead Christ in the Tomb, among others), as well as other visual media, including spirit photography and Dostoevskii's own notebook sketches. In fact, although Brunson privileges painting as the sister art to literature, other visual media (maps, portrait photography, wood engraving illustrations, and magic lanterns) make cameo appearances as stiff competitors to novelistic narrative and possibly to painting as well. The trajectory that Brunson traces from the advent of the Natural School to the eclipse of realism by modernism is one in which interart encounters become increasingly intense and fraught. If, for example, Vissarion Belinskii's Natural School, with its emphasis on critically observed physiological sketches and democratic material, shared the same aesthetic and ideological principles--and even the window as "a dominant organizing mechanism"--as Pavel Fedotov's genre paintings, then by the postreform era the ideological imperative to represent the truth exacerbated interart competition.
In the early 1860s, literature and painting evolve in harmony, with Ivan Turgenev and Vasilii Perov both employing the road as trope and chronotope to pictorially elaborate a narrative that emotionally engages its audience with its pathetic and socially critical subject matter. But with Tolstoi things are different, as the adversarial scene between Tolstoi and Repin that Brunson uses to launch her book signals. Brunson convincingly argues that in War and Peace, Tolstoi employs a number of pictorial means and metaphors (Pierre's panoramic experience of the Battle of Borodino; the metaphor of the magic lantern to represent Prince Andrei's false perception of his life) to disillusion his protagonists and readers and to assert novelistic narrative as the preferable artistic illusion. Tolstoi "moves his heroes ... through the visual toward a supposedly more truthful representation of life in all its dimensions ... Tolstoy posits novelistic narrative as the better, if still necessarily imperfect (as any representation must be), illusion" (104). It is this movement that allows Pierre to descend from his panoramic hilltop view to not only see but "experience [italics mine] the Battle of Borodino" (125), to obtain what he has been thirsting for--unmediated life--through an empathetic connection or merging of feeling that leads to a spiritual revelation or epiphany.
This is the peak experience for Tolstois characters; and the peak artistic achievement of "good art," according to Tolstoi in What Is Art?, is the infection of the reader with the writer's feeling as a means of transmitting (in Venediktova's terms, "exchanging") experience. Brunson does not resolve the tension between Tolstoi's preferred use of novelistic narrative to build to the epiphanic experience versus his frequent figuration of these epiphanies in visual terms. There is also the question of whether Tolstoi indeed singles out visual representation as uniquely lacking, and whether Brunson puts the case too strongly when she argues that Tolstoi "annihilates the visual sphere for the sake of novelistic illusion" (168). Arguably, even the "better" illusion of novelistic narrative is not allowed to stand in War and Peace but must be pierced by Tolstoi's philosophical digressions.
Like Tolstoi, Il'ia Repin does not shrink from the competition of the sister arts, but Brunson hones in on the way that Repin fashioned his own realism by exploiting the tensions between "painterly form and narrative content, in order to reinforce the phenomenological energy and ideological tendentiousness of his pictures" (155). Like Tolstoi's Pierre, Repin's desire for immersion in life leads him to abandon the confines of the studio "to plunge headfirst into the very depths of people's lives" (142), but then to devise and deploy artistic strategies to reassert the boundaries between the viewer and the represented subject. Repin spatially captures evocative moments of drama and pathos which imaginatively spool out into historical narratives or national vistas, and Brunson masterfully conveys how Repin's use of color (the "punches" or "bleeding" of the revolutionary color red ), the material qualities of the paint, and pictorial manipulation of space all serve to enhance the visual illusion of the painting while simultaneously calling attention to it and reinforcing the boundary between reality and representation. However, as the case of Ivan the Terrible and His Son Ivan demonstrates, viewers' strong visceral reactions suggest that this boundary was not strongly drawn enough. While Brunson vividly recounts Repin's out-of-studio adventures, the historical and institutional context that both fostered interart collaboration and exacerbated interart competition, especially in the intriguing and well-documented case of Repin and Vsevolod Garshin, is rather lightly sketched. Garshin's 1884 novella Nadezhda Nikolaevna thematizes the interart encounter that is at the heart of Brunson's study, but she devotes only a paragraph to it, without exploring the Pygmalion themes that figure prominently in it as well as in her final case study, that of Dostoevskii's The Idiot (1868).
Brunson underscores the audacity of Dostoevskii's fantastic realism, which in seeking to "transcend interart divisions ... attempts to transcend the very divide between reality and its representation. In the process he seeks to erase the final barrier to realism, to create an artistic image that ceases to be art, and instead comes to life" (170). Unlike the other writers and artists in her study, Dostoevskii floats strangely free of his literary-historical context, and this impedes an understanding of Dostoevskii's audacity as belonging to radical realism, but in service to theological ends. Preliminary notebook drawings and verbal descriptions of Prince Myshkin fell short of bringing his beatific image to life; and Dostoevskii, like Tolstoi, soon grasped that this transcendent image could only be realized "on the field of action" (168), which novelistic narrative offers. Yet the powerful visuality of Nastasia Filippovna, which Brunson argues by demonstrating her "Medusa effect" on male beholders as well as her resemblance to Konstantin Makovskii's spectrally seductive Rusalkas (1879) is at loggerheads with the narrative of salvation that Myshkin attempts to enact. Brunson ends by analyzing the tableau of death in which Rogozhin and Prince Myshkin, both complicit in Nastasia Filippovna's murder, absorb the visual characteristics (pallor, sculptural stasis) of her corpse, creating an ambiguity that offers the possibility of her resurrection. In conclusion, Brunson suggests that Dostoevskii's fantastic project to merge the visual and narrative arts to realize his metaphysical ideal in life failed--or succeeded only in creating death. (16)
The epilogue to Brunson's Russian Realism(s) underscores a principal difference in Russian and Western literary and media culture: the Western presumes a private, solitary, and supremely individualistic "bourgeois" consumption (or in Venediktova's terms, a co-creation of the work), whereas the Russian experience was public, collective, and revolved around "serious, fundamental idea[s]" that engaged social questions. (17) This distinction only intensified in the early Soviet and Stalinist periods. Although dismissed by early 20th-century Russian modernists and Western art historians alike, Repin's national-historical and populist paintings were canonized and appropriated by the Soviet regime as the model and precursor of Socialist Realism, just as Tolstoi was likewise appropriated on the occasion of the 100th jubilee of his birth in 1928 (202). In "The Ruse of the Russian Novel," Todd gestures to the collective and social nature of the 19th-century Russian realist novel, noting that Tolstoi's Anna Karenina (arguably, his most "bourgeois" novel) was written, serialized, and polemically reviewed simultaneously in Mikhail Katkov's Russkii vestnik. This conjures a contentiously dialogic media space bearing distinct similarities to 21st-century digital ones (where the Twitter storm is just the latest form of serialization), rather than the autonomous literary sphere inhabited by the "bourgeois reader."
Dept. of Russian
Hanover, NH 03755 USA
Lynn. E. Patyk@dartmouth.edu
(1) Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1994), 3-4; Sigmund Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents (New York: W. W. Norton, 2005), 76.
(2) Marshall McLuhan is indisputably the progenitor of Anglo-American media studies, and Friedrich Kittler dominated the second wave of German media studies with his controversial Aufichreibesysteme 1800/1900 (Munich: Fink, 1985) and Gramophon Film Typewriter (Berlin: Brinkmann & Bose, 1986). Other important recent works of historical and material media studies include Lisa Gitelman, Paper Knowledge: Towards a Media History of Documents (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2014); Leah Price, How to Do Things with Books in Victorian Britain (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2012); Andrew Piper, Dreaming in Books: The Making of the Bibliographic Imagination in the Romantic Age (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009); and Petra McGillen, The Fontane Workshop: Manufacturing Realism in the Industrial Age of Print (London: Bloomsbury, forthcoming in 2019).
(3) Franco Moretti, The Bourgeois: Between History and Literature (New York: Verso, 2013); and Moretti, ed., The Novel, 2 vols. (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2006).
(4) The idea of the relationship between reader and writer being one of co-creation or exchange among equals has its roots in literary Romanticism, specifically in the essays of Friedrich Schlegel's Athenaeum. See Melissa Frazier, Romantic Encounters: Writers, Readers, and the Library for Reading (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2007). Frazier's excellent study, which certainly verges on media studies, intersects with Venediktova's in many ways, although she is more narrowly concerned with Senkovskii's readers. Venediktova, for her part, interprets this "exchange" in accordance with her foundational premise that the bourgeois is the dominant figure of capitalist modernity.
(5) Venediktova draws her conception of art as "experience" that expands the individual's own experience while occupying an autonomous sphere uniquely insulated from external pressures from John Dewey, Art as Experience (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1987). More recent works such as Mario Caracciolo's The Experientiality of Narrative: An Enactivist Approach (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2014) also take Dewey and Donald W. Winnicott as their points of departure, both of whom are regarded as forerunners of enactivism.
(6) Print capitalism refers to the coincidence of mechanical means of reproduction (the printing press) with capitalist modes of production and consumption beginning in the late 1600s. In Benedict Anderson's seminal analysis, this was the basis for the expansion of a vernacular press and broad reading publics that were critical to the creation of modern national consciousness. See Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism (London: Verso, 1983).
(7) Lev Manovich, The Language of New Media (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2001). Manovich argues that users of new media engage in different practices of reading, which are less linear and determined, both more targeted (e.g., by keyword search) and diffuse (scrolling).
(8) Jeffrey Brooks, When Russia Learned to Read: Literacy and Popular Literature, 1861-1917 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1985); Gary Marker, Publishing, Printing, and the Origins of Intellectual Life in Russia, 1700-1800 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1985); William Mills Todd III, Fiction and Society in the Age of Pushkin: Ideology, Institutions, and Narrative (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1986); Todd, "The Ruse of the Russian Novel," in The Novel, 1:401-23; Ian Watt, The Rise of the Novel: Studies in Defoe, Richardson, and Fielding (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1957).
(9) Victoria Somoff, The Imperative of Reliability: Russian Prose on the Eve of the Novel, 1820s-1850s (Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 2015); Jillian Porter, Economies of Feeling: Russian Literature under Nicholas I (Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 2017).
(10) Frazier, Romantic Encounters, 121-23.
(11) Todd, Fiction and Society in the Age of Pushkin, 4-5.
(12) Susanne Fusso's Editing Turgenev, Dostoevsky, and Tolstoy: Mikhail Katkov and the Great Russian Novel (DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press, 2017) sheds valuable light on the most influential editor/publisher in the formation of the 19th-century Russian literary canon.
(13) For an in-depth study of the roles played by the concepts of personal dignity and honor among the 18th- and 19th-century nobility, as well as the semiotics of the duel, see Irina Reyfman, Ritualized Violence Russian Style: The Duel in Russian Culture and Literature (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1999). For early modern concepts of honor among the Muscovite aristocracy, see Nancy Shields Kollmann, By Honor Bound: State and Society in Early Modern Russia (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1999).
(14) In 1828, the Russian government instituted copyright laws giving Russian writers the rights to their own works and thus the ability to sustain themselves as professional writers, thereby laying the groundwork for a more robust print capitalism. However, professional authorship was never the path to financial independence and stability that it was in other European countries. See Todd, "Ruse of the Russian Novel," 409-10.
(15) Ibid., 409.
(16) Like Brunson, I emphasize the audacity and aesthetic radicalism of Dostoevskii's fantastic realism but argue that Dostoevskii aspired to the instantaneously transformative word-deed that was structurally akin to the symbolic deed of revolutionary terrorism. See my Written in Blood: Revolutionary Terrorism and Russian Literary Culture, 1861-1881 (Madison: University ofWisconsin Press, 2017).
(17) This was Tolstoi's withering critique of an early study for Zaporozhian Cossacks upon his visit to Repin's studio (Brunson, Russian Realisms, 2).
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|Title Annotation:||Russian Realisms: Literature and Painting, 1840-1890; How Russia Learned to Write: Literature and the Imperial Table of Ranks; Literatura kak opyt: "Burzhuaznyi chitatel"' kak kul 'turnyi geroi|
|Author:||Patyk, Lynn Ellen|
|Article Type:||Book review|
|Date:||Mar 22, 2019|
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