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Russian Literature: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) by [Kelly, Catriona]
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Russian Literature: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) Kindle Edition

2.7 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product Description

Review

It is written in a lively and stimulating manner...and displays a range to which few of Dr. Kelly's peers in the field of Russian scholarship are equal.' (Dr Philip Cavendish)

This is a brilliant essay, written with elegance, informed, incisive, provocative...[Dr Kelly] is in the forefront of scholars of Russian literature...she will make her readers engage with a wide variety of authors and texts. (Professor Anthony Cross, head of Slavonic Studies Department, Cambridge University)

It seems to me brilliant and original, taking an unexpected approach to the subject, and it is written with great confidence and clarity. (Professor Peter France, University of Edinburgh)

About the Author


Catriona Kelly is a Fellow of New College, Oxford, and the author of A History of Russian Women's Writing and co-editor of Russian Cultural Studies, both published by OUP.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2007 KB
  • Print Length: 182 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford; 1 edition (23 Aug. 2001)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192801449
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192801449
  • ASIN: B003ATPRQU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #607,891 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I was looking forward to improving my knowledge and understanding of a period of Russian writing that I have always loved. I thought that this short introduction would give me a few insights into the minds of writers such as Dostoevsky, Lermentov, Tolstoy, Turgenev, Gogol and Chekhov and the contexts of their famous works. Sadly after only a few pages in it becomes obvious that it only focuses on Pushkin and the influence that his work had on Russian writing. It does mention other writers but only in relation to Pushkin and to back up the argument for his importance as the father of Russian literature. I am not doubting this claim but it is misleading to call this book an Introduction to Russian literature when it focuses so narrowly on Pushkin's influence and not the other writers in there own right.
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Format: Paperback
'Short' it may be. An 'introduction' it is not. This is written by someone who is frightfully clever, with a particular point of view in mind and a particular purpose for sharing it (to attack the so-called Pushkin myth in Russian literature). It's not for the casual reader or the beginner. It's difficult, and assumes a fair bit of knowledge, patience and understanding. Be warned. Prof Kelly knows all that there is to know about Russian literature, and isn't afriad of showing it.
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Format: Paperback
I won't for a moment dispute Professor Kelly's vast knowledge of her subject. I had naively hoped that this book would not only educate me, but fill me with the enthusiasm to read some of the authors described. I gave up in utter frustration less than a quarter way through.

Sadly, the writing skills of the Russians have not found their way into the author's style. This is of the (sadly, not yet dead) school that confuses "intellectual" with "pretentious" and "challenging writing" with "needlessly verbose and convoluted writing": why use straightforward language and vocabulary when we can show how clever we are with complex forms and obscure words?

"Pious sentiments about the untranslatability of Pushkin seem to be a genre requirement in every introduction to the writer: they are as true, but also as false, as platitudes about poetry getting lost in translation", opines the learned lady on page nine. WHAT?

Does she mean "Lots of reviewers think Pushkin doesn't translate well, but that is not necessarily true"? Then why not just say so? There's 150 pages full of these contestants for Private Eye's "Pseud's Corner". No, thank you.

I'm sure that there is a mountain of brilliant Russian literature to be read and enjoyed. Don't let this turgid and self-indulgent little book put you off it.
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