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Aleksandra Xvostova, Nikolaj Karamzin and the Gendering of Toska

  • Sara Dickinson

This article reviews the evolution of toska in eighteenth-century literary discourse to demonstrate this sentiment's profound connection with notions of femininity. That century's use of toska culminates in Aleksandra Xvostova's then popular Otryvki (Fragments, 1796), the emotional emphases of which were one of the reasons for its success. In fact, we argue that Russian women's writing contains a tradition of emotional expression that is lexically distinct from the male tradition. Xvostova’s emphatic and reiterative use of toska participates in a larger debate about gender and the 'ownership' of personal emotions and it was relevant to literary arguments about "feminization" that involved writers such as Nikolaj Karamzin and Vasilij Zukovskij, but also a number of women authors (e.g. Ekaterina Urusova, Anna Turčaninova, Elizaveta Dolgorukova, Anna Volkova), whose work asserts the right of the female subject to both suffer strong emotion and to express it.

  • Keywords:
  • Russian women's writing,
  • toska,
  • history of emotions,
  • Karamzin,
  • Xvostova,
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Sara Dickinson

University of Genoa, Italy - ORCID: 0000-0002-8333-0528

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  • Publication Year: 2015
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  • Content License: CC BY 4.0
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Chapter Information

Chapter Title

Aleksandra Xvostova, Nikolaj Karamzin and the Gendering of Toska

Authors

Sara Dickinson

Language

English

DOI

10.36253/978-88-6655-822-4.03

Peer Reviewed

Publication Year

2015

Copyright Information

© 2015 Author(s)

Content License

CC BY 4.0

Metadata License

CC0 1.0

Table of Contents

Book Title

Melancholic Identities, Toska and Reflective Nostalgia

Book Subtitle

Case Studies from Russian and Russian-Jewish Culture

Editors

Sara Dickinson, Laura Salmon

Peer Reviewed

Number of Pages

194

Publication Year

2015

Copyright Information

© 2015 Author(s)

Content License

CC BY 4.0

Metadata License

CC0 1.0

Publisher Name

Firenze University Press

DOI

10.36253/978-88-6655-822-4

ISBN Print

978-88-6655-821-7

eISBN (pdf)

978-88-6655-822-4

eISBN (xml)

978-88-9273-384-8

Series Title

Biblioteca di Studi Slavistici

Series Issn ISSN

2612-7687

Series E-Issn

2612-7679

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