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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:53735
Doc. No:TL23689
Call number:‭3197495‬
Main Entry:Lynn Ellen Patyk
Title & Author:“The double -edged sword of word and deed”: Revolutionary terrorism and Russian literary cultureLynn Ellen Patyk
College:Stanford University
Date:2006
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2006
Page No:303
Abstract:This dissertation probes the relationship between Russian literary culture and revolutionary terrorism, the writer and the terrorist, the word and the deed, and argues that Russian literature played a significant role not only in making sense of terrorism for a society beset by revolutionary violence, but was integral to the phenomenon itself. The role that literature played vis-à-vis revolutionary terrorism is complex and even paradoxical: Russian literature called forth, modeled, valorized, demonized, analyzed, and re-mythologized revolutionary terrorism. This inquiry, however, is most interested in the evolution and permutations of a single image: that of the terrorist as a Messianic figure whose heroic deed [podvig] of murder/self-sacrifice is imagined as sacred violence capable of redeeming the national community. Each chapter has at its center a concrete act of political violence and its perpetrator and examines the influence of literary and non-literary discourses in their representation. Chapter One functions as a prologue, as well as an abbreviated cultural history of terror in Western Europe. I trace the transmission of the cult of the dagger from revolutionary France to Russia and identify the most salient features of the virtuous assassin (epitomized by Charlotte Corday), as well as the key representational moments (topoi) of the terrorist act. In Chapter Two, I examine the way in which Vera Zasulich's shooting of General Trepov in 1878 generated a female image of heroic-martyrdom that expressed the ideas of moral purity, compassion, self-sacrifice, and Russianness in a way that her male counterpart could not. Chapter Three investigates the effect of representations of terrorist violence on the viewer (reader) by revisiting the Symbolist poet and thinker Maksimilian Voloshin's decade-long meditation on individual psychology, violence, and aesthetics. In Chapter Four, I demonstrate the way in which the novelist, poet, and leader of the Combat Organization of the PSR, Boris Savinkov, turns to Byronism à la Dostoevsky for his terrorist self-fashioning. Throughout the dissertation, I return to Fyodor Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov as the master text that provided both his contemporaries and posterity with resonant terms and archetypes for the discussion of revolutionary terrorism's moral and metaphysical problematic.
Subject:Language, literature and linguistics; Boris Savinkov; Dostoyevsky, Fyodor; Fyodor Dostoyevsky; Literary culture; Revolutionary; Russian; Savinskov, Boris; Terrorism; Slavic literature; 0314:Slavic literature
Added Entry:M. Greenleaf
Added Entry:Stanford University