Catalogue


Ghostly paradoxes : modern spiritualism and Russian culture in the age of realism /
Ilya Vinitsky.
imprint
Toronto ; Buffalo : University of Toronto Press, ©2009.
description
xvii, 251 pages : illustrations, music ; 24 cm
ISBN
0802099351, 9780802099358
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Toronto ; Buffalo : University of Toronto Press, ©2009.
isbn
0802099351
9780802099358
contents note
Introduction: a new world -- modern spiritualism in Russia, 1853-1870s -- Seance as test, or, Russian writers at a spiritualist rendezvous -- Russian glubbdubdrib: the shade of false Dimitry and Russian historical imagination in the age of realism -- Dead poets' society: Pushkin's shade in Russian cultural mythology of the second half of the nineteenth century -- Flickering hands: the spiritualist realism of Nikolai Vagner -- The middle world: the realist spiritualism of Saltykov-Schedrin -- The underworld: Dostoevsky's ontological realism -- The (dis)infection: art and hypnotism in Leo Tolstoy -- Epilogue: the spirit of literature: reflections on Leskov's artistic spiritualism.
abstract
"Foregrounding the important role that nineteenth-century spiritualism played in the period's aesthetic, ideological, and epistemological debates, Ilya Vinitsky challenges literary scholars who have considered spiritualism to be archaic and peripheral to other cultural issues of the time. Ghostly Paradoxes ;s an innovative work of literary scholarship that traces the reactions of Russia's major realist authors to spiritualist events and doctrines and demonstrates that both movements can be understood only when examined together."--Jacket.
language note
Includes some text in Russian.
catalogue key
12010348
 
Includes bibliographical references (pages 219-239) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2010-01-01:
For many years, D. S. Mirsky's A History of Russian Literature: From Its Beginnings to 1900 (2v, 1926-27) served as the standard critical study of Russian literature. It was reliable and sound, however orthodox in its treatment, and embraced the major writers and literary trends of the 19th century. Vinitsky (Univ. of Pennsylvania) offers a novel, rich, highly sophisticated, and radically new approach to that literature from the perspective of spiritualism, which Vinitsky contends not only was inherent in realism, but also played a vital "interactive" role in the ideological and social life of the realistic age. He seems to suggest that spiritualism is an integral component of human existence, and he argues that the spiritualist quest was an effort to transcend the tyranny of language and everyday reality. He cites the Russian symbolists (Valery Bryusov, Alexandr Blok, Andrey Bely, and V. I. Ivanov, in particular) and even the futurists. Symbolism and prerevolutionary futurism were essentially religious movments. One only has to recall the conclusion to Vladimir Mayakovsky's poem "War and the World." This fine, imaginative, well-researched study makes a major contribution and has few, if any, rivals. Summing Up: Essential. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty. V. D. Barooshian emeritus, Wells College
Reviews
Review Quotes
Vinitsky's welcome and well crafted study explores the non-realistic "underpinnings" of the Russian Age of realism... Definitely a valuable addition to our understanding of nineteenth-century Russian literature.
'This fascinating study of Russian spiritualism in the second half of the nineteenth century will alter the way we look at the Russian "Realist Period." Neither endorsing nor ridiculing these controversial parlor practices, Ilya Vinitsky demonstrates how they satisfied cultural needs that were compelling, real, and of passionate interest to the greatest writers. His impeccably researched book will be of great value to students of the nineteenth-century novel as well as to scholars of various disciplines studying the Russian late-imperial era.'
'Vinitsky has skillfully integrated cultural phenomenon and shown how they touched upon the deep questions of faith, the soul and immorality that continued to reverberate among those segments of Russian society and writers, who refused to capitulate to the pressure of materialism. This book will be most welcome by those interested in Russian Realism, cultural studies, and Russian spiritualism.'
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, January 2010
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
The culture of nineteenth-century Russia is often seen as dominated by realism in the arts, as exemplified by the novels of Leo Tolstoy and Ivan Turgenev, the paintings of ‘the Wanderers,' and the historical operas of Modest Mussorgsky. Paradoxically, nineteenth-century Russia was also consumed with a passion for spiritualist activities such as table-rappings, seances of spirit communication, and materialization of the ‘spirits.' Ghostly Paradoxes examines the surprising relationship between spiritualist beliefs and practices and the positivist mind-set of the Russian Age of Realism (1850-80) to demonstrate the ways in which the two disparate movements influenced each other.Foregrounding the important role that nineteenth-century spiritualism played in the period's aesthetic, ideological, and epistemological debates, Ilya Vinitisky challenges literary scholars who have considered spiritualism to be archaic and peripheral compared to other cultural issues of the time. Ghostly Paradoxes is an innovative work of literary scholarship that traces the reactions of Russia's major realist authors to spiritualist events and doctrines and demonstrates that both movements can be understood only when examined together.
Main Description
The culture of nineteenth-century Russia is often seen as dominated by realism in the arts, as exemplified by the novels of Leo Tolstoy and Ivan Turgenev, the paintings of 'the Wanderers,' and the historical operas of Modest Mussorgsky. Paradoxically, nineteenth-century Russia was also consumed with a passion for spiritualist activities such as table-rappings, seances of spirit communication, and materialization of the 'spirits.' Ghostly Paradoxesexamines the surprising relationship between spiritualist beliefs and practices and the positivist mindset of the Russian Age of Realism (1850-80) to demonstrate the ways in which the two disparate movements influenced each other. Foregrounding the important role that nineteenth-century spiritualism played in the period's aesthetic, ideological, and epistemological debates, Ilya Vinitsky challenges literary scholars who have considered spiritualism to be archaic and peripheral to other cultural issues of the time. Ghostly Paradoxesis an innovative work of literary scholarship that traces the reactions of Russia's major realist authors to spiritualist events and doctrines and demonstrates that both movements can be understood only when examined together.
Main Description
The culture of nineteenth-century Russia is often seen as dominated by realism in the arts, as exemplified by the novels of Leo Tolstoy and Ivan Turgenev, the paintings of 'the Wanderers,' and the historical operas of Modest Mussorgsky. Paradoxically, nineteenth-century Russia was also consumed with a passion for spiritualist activities such as table-rappings, seances of spirit communication, and materialization of the 'spirits.' Ghostly Paradoxes examines the surprising relationship between spiritualist beliefs and practices and the positivist mind-set of the Russian Age of Realism (1850-80) to demonstrate the ways in which the two disparate movements influenced each other.Foregrounding the important role that nineteenth-century spiritualism played in the period's aesthetic, ideological, and epistemological debates, Ilya Vinitisky challenges literary scholars who have considered spiritualism to be archaic and peripheral compared to other cultural issues of the time. Ghostly Paradoxes is an innovative work of literary scholarship that traces the reactions of Russia's major realist authors to spiritualist events and doctrines and demonstrates that both movements can be understood only when examined together.
Main Description
The culture of nineteenth-century Russia is often seen as dominated by realism in the arts, as exemplified by the novels of Leo Tolstoy and Ivan Turgenev, the paintings of ‘the Wanderers,’ and the historical operas of Modest Mussorgsky. Paradoxically, nineteenth-century Russia was also consumed with a passion for spiritualist activities such as table-rappings, seances of spirit communication, and materialization of the ‘spirits.’ Ghostly Paradoxes examines the surprising relationship between spiritualist beliefs and practices and the positivist mind-set of the Russian Age of Realism (1850-80) to demonstrate the ways in which the two disparate movements influenced each other.Foregrounding the important role that nineteenth-century spiritualism played in the period’s aesthetic, ideological, and epistemological debates, Ilya Vinitisky challenges literary scholars who have considered spiritualism to be archaic and peripheral compared to other cultural issues of the time. Ghostly Paradoxes is an innovative work of literary scholarship that traces the reactions of Russia’s major realist authors to spiritualist events and doctrines and demonstrates that both movements can be understood only when examined together.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Prefacep. ix
Abbreviationsp. xix
Introduction: A New World - Modern Spiritualism in Russia, 1853-1870sp. 3
Table Talks: Seance as Cultural Metaphorp. 21
Seance as Test, or, Russian Writers at a Spiritualist Rendezvousp. 23
Russian Glubbdubdrib: The Shade of False Dimitry and Russian Historical Imagination in the Age of Realismp. 43
Dead Poets' Society: Pushkin's Shade in Russian Cultural Mythology of the Second Half of the Nineteenth Centuryp. 57
Realist Exorcism: Spiritualism and The Russian Literary Imagination of the 1860s to 1880sp. 87
Flickering Hands: The Spiritualist Realism of Nikolai Vagnerp. 89
The Middle World: The Realist Spiritualism of Saltykov-Shchedrinp. 107
The Underworld: Dostoevsky's Ontological Realismp. 119
The (Dis)infection: Art and Hypnotism in Leo Tolstoyp. 136
Epilogue: The Spirit of Literature - Reflections on Leskov's Artistic Spiritualismp. 156
Notesp. 165
Works Citedp. 219
Indexp. 241
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

This information is provided by a service that aggregates data from review sources and other sources that are often consulted by libraries, and readers. The University does not edit this information and merely includes it as a convenience for users. It does not warrant that reviews are accurate. As with any review users should approach reviews critically and where deemed necessary should consult multiple review sources. Any concerns or questions about particular reviews should be directed to the reviewer and/or publisher.

  link to old catalogue

Report a problem