Irene Masing-Delic's Exotic Moscow Under Western Eyes: Essays on Culture, Civilization and Barbarism (Cultural Revolutions: Russia in the Twentieth Century)
This collection of Essays
on Turgenev, Nietzsche, Goncharov, Austen, Conrad, Dostoevsky, Blok, Briusov, Gorky, Gogol, Pasternak and Nabokov is diverse, but also unified. One unifying element is the recurring distinction between "culture" and "civilization" and the vision of Russia as the bearer of culture because it retains much "barbarism." Another is the vision of a synthesis between "sense and sensibility," Apollo and Dionysus, mind and heart creating a "civilized culture." This collection of articles adds new perspectives to the much-debated opposition of a vital Russia and a declining West, offering novel interpretations of classics from "A Terrible Vengeance" to Oblomov, from "Song of Triumphant Love" to The Idiot and Doctor Zhivago to Lolita. It also discusses less well known texts, such as Gorky's "Italian Fairytales" and Briusov's early "exotic" verse.