|Title||Confrontation in Idyllia: The Country Estate as Moral Space in Russian Literature|
|Author||Brumfield, William C.||email@example.com|
|About author||Brumfield, William Craft — Ph. D., professor of Slavic studies. Tulane University, Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies, 305 Newcomb Hall 1229 Broadway, New Orleans, Louisiana 70118, USA.|
|In the section||Russian Art in the 18th–19th Centuries||DOI||10.18688/aa200-2-35|
|Type of article||RAR||Index UDK||82.091||Index BBK||71; 83.3(2Рос=Рус)|
The Latin phrase “Et in Arcadia ego” has been interpreted as referring both to the presence of man in an idyllic place and to the presence of death in that same space. The article applies this ambiguous treatment to the Russian country estate as a place of moral conflict in the novel Hard Times by V. A. Sleptsov and I. S. Turgenev’s Fathers and Sons. Their interpretation requires an understanding of both the setting of the estate within the natural environment and its socio-cultural status linked to the theme of social justice in Russian during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The article demonstrates that a crucial function of the Russian country estate as a literary topos is the creation of a moral space (moralis locus) within which profound existential questions are posed and discussed. The stage-like spatiality of the country estate — enclosed yet inproximity to the natural environment — provides an ideal setting not only for gathering the verbal antagonists but also for establishing their identity as a function of their attitude toward the presence of nature. This latter element —the presence of nature —in turn summons the question of the characters’ (and writers’) relationship to Romanticism in 19th-century literature. It was Romanticism which elevated the human perception of Nature’s transcendent harmony as a fundamental literary trope. At the same time, the immediate presence of nature as a productive, life-nourishing land situated the usad’ba in the midst of the intractable social problems of the peasantry and its economic plight, before and after the emancipation in 1861.
|Reference||Brumfield, William C. Confrontation in Idyllia: The Country Estate as Moral Space in Russian Literature. Actual Problems of Theory and History of Art: Collection of articles. Vol. 10. Ed: A. V. Zakharova, S. V. Maltseva, E. Iu. Staniukovich-Denisova. — Lomonosov Moscow State University / St. Petersburg: NP-Print, 2020, pp. 400–411. ISSN 2312-2129. http://dx.doi.org/10.18688/aa200-2-35|
|Full text version of the article||Article language||english|