The question of how to write about women in Russian literature of the nineteenth-century can be solved in various ways. We do not see the women authors as a homogenous group. Instead, we would like to pay attention to diversity of genre, different types of protagonists and the differences between ideas and themes and narrative strategies. If some tried to adopt and adapt literary imagery and topoi which were considered conventionally male, others created an alternative space for women in their own right within, but separate, from the male world. A third group chose a border existence, while a fourth spoke from the female margins which they recreated, renamed and revized into a space of innovative possibilities.
Bunina, Anna (Writer)
Marcus C. Levitt -- USC Department of Slavic Languages & Literatures
Chukovskaia naturally did not approve of the change, as it violated her intentions for the novel, whose title focuses the reader's attention on the character and experience of the heroine; it also made Chukovskaia's work secondary to the poetic cycle of the better-known Akhmatova, to whom her Notes already paid such tribute. It was one thing for the author herself to act as if she were second fiddle to the famous poet, but another thing for others to treat her that way. I have not checked the edition, but the edition and subsequent reprints not only have the correct title and have been revised, but they include a foreword and afterward by Chukovskaia that are well worth reading. For one thing, by reminding us that the novel was written by someone who survived and fought the system with great effect, the extra material leaves the reader much less depressed. Her father was the remarkable literary critic, scholar, translator, theorist of language acquisition, and most famously to his dismay! I won't write about him at length here, but he's a very interesting guy and well worth your research, especially since Chukovskaia wrote quite a bit about him. Most of her childhood was spent in the dacha community of Kuokkala, then part of the Russian Empire, now in Finland.
The Women's Century: Five Russian Writers to Watch
Bobbs, Merrill. First Edition. First This Title. A fine copy in the second state brown cloth in an excellent bright dustwrapper showing light use. Scholz; cloth; resp.
Double Concerto. A Real-life Love Story in Letters. Five Hard Pieces. Distributed by UMass-Press.