Advisor: Prof. Jeff Brooks, The Johns Hopkins University
Material from the National Library of Russia, St. Petersburg
The colorful cheap stories and songbooks that flooded Russia during the last half century of the old regime exemplify the richness of the Russian popular imagination. The literature of the lubok, named for the prints that circulated in the same milieu, was a ubiquitous expression of popular taste.
The collection illustrates the chief genres of Russian popular literature and includes chivalric tales, historical fiction and updated fairy tales, as well as stories of adventure, banditry, detectives, success, war and empire, women and gender. The collection also includes rags-to-riches tales of social mobility, adventures set in Siberia and the Caucasus, and the stories of the occult world of wizards and sorceresses. Taken together, these lively texts illustrate changing stereotypes of gender, ethnicity, and social class. Their authors also invoke historical memory, celebrating notable personages and eras of interest to their readers.
From popular songs to fairy tales and war stories, the collection follows the evolution of the Russian language in its popular commercial print form, an evolution that the Bolsheviks interrupted, but one that has now resumed.
Part of the IDC series Mass Culture and Entertainment in Russia.
Please visit this collection at Brill.com for price information.