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This book explores the unique way in which Russian culture constructs the notion of everyday life, or byt, and offers the first unified reading of Silver-age narrative which it repositions at the centre of Russian modernism. Drawing on semiotics and theology, Stephen C. Hutchings argues that byt emerged from a dialogue between two traditions, one reflected in western representational aesthetics for which daily existence figures as neutral and normative, the other encapsulated in the Orthodox emphasis on iconic embodiment. Hutchings identifies early 'Decadent' formulations of byt as a milestone…mehr

Produktbeschreibung
This book explores the unique way in which Russian culture constructs the notion of everyday life, or byt, and offers the first unified reading of Silver-age narrative which it repositions at the centre of Russian modernism. Drawing on semiotics and theology, Stephen C. Hutchings argues that byt emerged from a dialogue between two traditions, one reflected in western representational aesthetics for which daily existence figures as neutral and normative, the other encapsulated in the Orthodox emphasis on iconic embodiment. Hutchings identifies early 'Decadent' formulations of byt as a milestone after which writers from Chekhov to Rozanov sought to affirm the iconic potential hidden in Russian realism's critique of representationalism. Provocative, yet careful, textual analyses reveal a consistent urge to redefine art's function as one not of representing life, but of transfiguring the everyday.

Table of contents:
Acknowledgments; Introduction; Part I: 1. Narrative and the everyday: myth, image, sign, icon, life; 2. The development of byt in nineteenth-century Russian literature; Part II: 3. Enacting the present: Chekhov, art and the everyday; 4. Fedor Sologub's aesthetics of narrative excess; Part III: 5. The struggle with byt in Belyi's Kotik Letaev and The Christened Chinaman; 6. Breaking the circle of the self: Vasilii Rozanov's discourse of pure intimacy; 7. At the 'I' of the storm: the iconic self in Remizov's Whirlwind Russia; Conclusion; Notes; Bibliography; Index.

This book interprets the complex of meanings attached by Russian culture to the concept of everyday life, or byt, and assesses its impact on Russian modernist narrative. Drawing on modern literary theory and theology, Stephen C. Hutchings offers provocative, yet careful, readings of key narrative texts from the period.

An interpretation of the Russian concept of everyday life, or byt, and its impact on Modernism.