Ritualized violence Russian style : the duel in Russian culture and literature / Irina Reyfman.

"To this day, Russian cultural memory has preserved a glamorous image of the Russian duelist: a gentleman, he is always true to his honor; he elegantly challenges his offender for some equally elegant indiscretion, behaves courageously and magnanimously at the dueling site, and shows fortitude...

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Bibliographic Details
Main Author: Reyfman, Irina
Format: Book
Language:English
Published: Stanford, Calif. : Stanford University Press, ©1999.
Series:Studies of the Harriman Institute.
Subjects:
Online Access:Table of contents
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Summary:"To this day, Russian cultural memory has preserved a glamorous image of the Russian duelist: a gentleman, he is always true to his honor; he elegantly challenges his offender for some equally elegant indiscretion, behaves courageously and magnanimously at the dueling site, and shows fortitude in the face of possible punishment - if he survives. In the Russian cultural imagination, dueling crossed the boundaries of purely aristocratic experience and acquired the status of heroic behavior representative of national character, as is shown in many works of literature and popular fiction, as well as scholarship."--Jacket.
"This book argues that the Russian duel acquired its enduring prestige because it served to define and to defend personal autonomy in a hierarchical state that lacked legal guarantees against corporal punishment. To fight a tradition that tolerated superiors' punching and slapping their subordinates, Russian duelists embraced raw violence and incorporated it into dueling procedure, thus replacing the hierarchical - and therefore humiliating - violence of corporal punishment with the equalizing violence of the duel. Once made reciprocal, a punishing gesture (such as a slap in the face) lost its capacity to impose a hierarchy of authority and became a means of promoting equality between the parties."--Jacket.
Physical Description:xi, 364 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
Bibliography:Includes bibliographical references (pages 289-344) and index.
ISBN:0804734127
9780804734127