Suicide as a Cultural Institution in Dostoevsky's Russia

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9780801484254: Suicide as a Cultural Institution in Dostoevsky's Russia
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In the popular and scientific imagination, suicide has always been an enigmatic act that defies, and yet demands, explanation. Throughout the centuries, philosophers and writers, journalists and scientists have attempted to endow this act with meaning. In the nineteenth century, and especially in Russia, suicide became the focus for discussion of such issues as the immortality of the soul, free will and determinism, the physical and the spiritual, the individual and the social. Analyzing a variety of sources-medical reports, social treatises, legal codes, newspaper articles, fiction, private documents left by suicides-Irina Paperno describes the search for the meaning of suicide. Paperno focuses on Russia of the 1860s-1880s, when suicide was at the center of public attention.

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Review:

"A comprehensive study."

--Choice

"A pathbreaking book.... Paperno's research is impeccable, and the information amassed is invaluable."

--The Russian Review

"An exciting book. In it Paperno discusses ideas about the meaning of suicide from classical times to the late nineteenth century, when Russia was said to have experienced 'a epidemic of suicides."

--A. S. Byatt "The Threepenny Review "

"As a contribution to Doestoevskii studies, this book will be of primary importance.... Irina Paperno has written fruitful book."

--The Slavonic Review

"As Irina Paperno demonstrates in this fascinating look at Russian fiction, newspaper articles, suicide notes, and medical reports, the act of suicide in 19th century Russia became the source of discussions on immortality, religion, free will, and the relationship between the individual and society, among other topics.... Paperno concludes that suicide became a cultural artifact in 19th-century Russian and thus served as a symbol of the age."

--Virginia Quarterly Review

"Inspired by the interpretive dilemma of suicide in nineteenth-century Russia, Paperno offers a superb reading of contemporary responses, across genres and philosophical divides. A fascinating view of the symbolic recesses of a culture in transition."

--Laura Engelstein, author of The Keys to Happiness: Sex and the Search for Modernity in Fin-de-Siècle Russia

"This book will make an important contribution to nineteenth-century Russian studies. It is not for literary scholars alone; by examining suicide as a cultural institution, Paperno brings together the history of medicine, law, literature, and philosophy in a meaningful way."

--Slavic Review

About the Author:

Irina Paperno teaches Russian literature and intellectual history at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of "Who, What Am I?": Tolstoy Struggles to Narrate the Self, Stories of the Soviet Experience: Memoirs, Diaries, Dreams, and Suicide as a Cultural Institution in Dostoevsky's Russia, all from Cornell, and Chernyshevsky and the Age of Realism: A Study in the Semiotics of Behavior.

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9780801433979: Suicide as a Cultural Institution in Dostoevsky's Russia (Suny Series in National Identities)

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Book Description Cornell University Press, United States, 1998. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. In the popular and scientific imagination, suicide has always been an enigmatic act that defies, and yet demands, explanation. Throughout the centuries, philosophers and writers, journalists and scientists have attempted to endow this act with meaning. In the nineteenth century, and especially in Russia, suicide became the focus for discussion of such issues as the immortality of the soul, free will and determinism, the physical and the spiritual, the individual and the social. Analyzing a variety of sources-medical reports, social treatises, legal codes, newspaper articles, fiction, private documents left by suicides-Irina Paperno describes the search for the meaning of suicide. Paperno focuses on Russia of the 1860s-1880s, when suicide was at the center of public attention. Seller Inventory # APC9780801484254

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Book Description Cornell University Press, United States, 1998. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. In the popular and scientific imagination, suicide has always been an enigmatic act that defies, and yet demands, explanation. Throughout the centuries, philosophers and writers, journalists and scientists have attempted to endow this act with meaning. In the nineteenth century, and especially in Russia, suicide became the focus for discussion of such issues as the immortality of the soul, free will and determinism, the physical and the spiritual, the individual and the social. Analyzing a variety of sources-medical reports, social treatises, legal codes, newspaper articles, fiction, private documents left by suicides-Irina Paperno describes the search for the meaning of suicide. Paperno focuses on Russia of the 1860s-1880s, when suicide was at the center of public attention. Seller Inventory # APC9780801484254

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