Franklin

Russia and Soul : An Exploration / Dale Pesmen.

Author/Creator:
Pesmen, Dale, author.
Publication:
Ithaca, NY : Cornell University Press, [2018]
Format/Description:
Book
1 online resource
Contained In:
De Gruyter University Press Library.
Status/Location:
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Details

Subjects:
Interpersonal relations -- Russia (Federation).
National characteristics, Russian.
Social psychology -- Russia (Federation).
Local subjects:
Anthropology. (search)
Labor History. (search)
Language:
In English.
System Details:
Mode of access: Internet via World Wide Web.
text file PDF
Summary:
This ethnography of everyday life in contemporary Russia is also an examination of discourses and practices of "soul" or dusha. Russian soul has historically appeared as a myth, a consoling fiction, and a trope of national and individual self-definition that drew romantic foreigners to Russia. Dale Pesmen shows that in the 1990s this "soul" was scorned, worshipped, and used to create, manipulate, and exploit cultural capital. Pesmen focuses on "soul" in part as what people chose to do and how they did it, especially practices considered "definitive" of Russians, such as hospitality, the use of alcoholic beverages, steam baths, Russian language, music, and suffering. Attempting to avoid narrow definitions of soul as a thing, Pesmen developed a new way of structuring ethnographic interviews.During her stay in a formerly "closed" military industrial city and surrounding villages, Pesmen spent time on public transportation and in kitchens, steam baths, vegetable gardens, shops, and workplaces. She uses stories from her fieldwork along with examples from the media and literature to introduce a phenomenology of russkaia dusha and of related American and other non-Russian metaphysical notions, exploring diverse elements in their makeup, examining and questioning the world created when people believe in the existence of such "deep," "vast," "enigmatic," "internal" centers. Among theoretical issues she addresses are those of power, community, self, exchange, coherence, and morality. Pesmen's attention to dusha gives her a multifaceted perspective on Russian culture and society and informs her rich portrayal of life in a Russian city at a historically critical moment.
Contents:
Frontmatter
Contents
Dedication and Acknowledgments
Nate on Transliteration, Translation, and Names
Glossary
PART I. SITUATING SOUL
Introduction: Is soul a thing?
1. O.M.S.K.
PART II .AGAINST AND FOR DUSHA
2. In Public Transportation and in the Soul: You call this life?
3. A Channel between Worlds
4. The Language of Music and the Russian Language
5. The Baths: A Celebration for Soul and Body
Story: For Anna Viktorovna
PART III. EVERYONE WANTS SOMETHING, BUT ONLY THROUGH SOMEONE
Two Stories: Decency (Oleg), Generosity (Grisha)
6. Do Not Have a Hundred Rubles, Have Instead a Hundred Friends
Story: Pulling Something Out of a Hat
7. Like the Trojan Horse's Gut: Hospitality and Nationalism
8. Standing Bottles, Washing Deals, and Drinking for the Soul
9. If You Want to Live, You've Got to Krutit'sia: Crooked and Straight
PART IV. AUTHORITY
10. Depth, Openings, and Closings
Story A Second Soul
11. If You Want to Know a Man, Give Him Power
PART V. TOGETHERNESS
12. Those who Poke into My Soul: Dostoevsky, Bakhtin, Love
13. We Lost Some Neatness
PART VI. CONCLUSIONS
Two Discussions: Semantics and National Character I Homo Sovieticus
Conclusions
Epilogue: Non-Russian Souls
Bibliography
Index
Notes:
Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page (publisher's Web site, viewed 20. Sep 2019)
Contributor:
De Gruyter.
ISBN:
9781501729386
OCLC:
1088920321
Publisher Number:
10.7591/9781501729386 doi
Access Restriction:
Restricted for use by site license.