Poetry and the Leningrad Religious-Philosophical Seminar 1974-1980
Music for a Deaf Age

Josephine von Zitzewitz

Legenda (General Series)

Legenda

1 September 2016  •  244pp

ISBN: 978-1-909662-92-6 (hardback)  •  RRP £75, $99, €85

ISBN: 978-1-315560-52-6 (Taylor & Francis ebook)

ContemporaryRussianPoetry


The Religious-Philosophical Seminar, meeting in Leningrad between 1974-1980, was an underground study group where young intellectuals staged debates, read poetry and circulated their own typewritten journal, called '37'. The group and its journal offered a platform to poets who subsequently entered the canon of Russian verse, such as Viktor Krivulin (1944-2001) and Elena Shvarts (1948-2010).

Josephine von Zitzewitz's new study focuses on the Seminar’s identification of culture and spirituality, which allowed Leningrad’s unofficial culture to tap into the spirit of Russian modernism, as can be seen in '37'. This book is thus a study of a major current in twentieth-century Russian poetry, and an enquiry into the intersection between literary and spiritual concerns. But it also presents case studies of five poets from a special generation: not only Krivulin and Shvarts, but also Sergei Stratanovskii (1944-), Oleg Okhapkin (1944-2008) and Aleksandr Mironov (1948-2010).

Josephine von Zitzewitz is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages at the University of Cambridge.

Reviews:

  • ‘Von Zitzewitz convincingly demonstrates that the religious-philosophical impulse in general, and a pull to Russian Orthodoxy in particular, was a widespread cultural phenomenon in the late Soviet period, cutting across the official/unofficial divide... von Zitzewitz’s precise situating of her subjects in their unofficial environment constitutes a crucial key to understanding the semantic and formal features of their work, and in turn, the lonely and frustrated spirit of their time.’ — Ainsley Morse, Modern Language Review 112.4, 2017, 1053-55 (full text online)
  • ‘In her impeccably researched and documented book, Josephine von Zitzewitz combines an examination of the Religious-Philosophical Seminar with five case studies of poets from the Leningrad underground of the 1970s and 80s... An important contribution to the study of both late-Soviet poetry and religious literary culture.’ — Sarah Clovis Bishop, Slavic and East European Journal 61.4, Winter 2017, 913-14

Bibliography entry:

Zitzewitz, Josephine von, Poetry and the Leningrad Religious-Philosophical Seminar 1974-1980: Music for a Deaf Age (Cambridge: Legenda, 2016)

First footnote reference: 35 Josephine von Zitzewitz, Poetry and the Leningrad Religious-Philosophical Seminar 1974-1980: Music for a Deaf Age (Cambridge: Legenda, 2016), p. 21.

Subsequent footnote reference: 37 Zitzewitz, p. 47.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

Bibliography entry:

Zitzewitz, Josephine von. 2016. Poetry and the Leningrad Religious-Philosophical Seminar 1974-1980: Music for a Deaf Age (Cambridge: Legenda)

Example citation: ‘A quotation occurring on page 21 of this work’ (Zitzewitz 2016: 21).

Example footnote reference: 35 Zitzewitz 2016: 21.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)


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