By Olga Livshin

Through the past due Soviet interval, many educators, scientists and newshounds believed that
traditional gender roles and norms had replaced, generating bodily or ethically susceptible males and correspondingly robust girls. the next examine follows the representations of this shift between Soviet nonconformist poets, writers and playwrights within the Sixties, Seventies and Eighties.
Social scientists have argued that those perceived adjustments have been defined of their time as
the results of demographic imbalance of fellows to girls or the deterioration of men‘s our bodies because of difficulties comparable to alcoholism. against this, this examine exhibits that during nonconformist literature, the overdue Soviet gender predicament was once a response to the Stalinist unitary version of the ―steeled‖ guy, as expressed in tradition and artwork. Authors articulated substitute versions of masculinity as a part of a bigger critique of Soviet, basically Stalinist, civilization.
This dissertation analyzes the prose works of Venedikt Erofeev and Yuz Aleshkovsky,
the poetry of Genrikh Sapgir and Nina Iskrenko, and the prose and performs of Lyudmila
Petrushevskaya. How did those authors build male weak point and feminine energy –
physically, mentally, spiritually, or as a mix of all 3 elements? Did they decry these
changes or did they valorize them as possible choices to the Stalinist legacy of ―steeled‖ males? Did the authors position the accountability for the perceived emasculation of the Soviet guy at the country or at the guy himself?

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Extra info for Alternative Masculinities in Late Soviet Nonconformist Literature, 1958-1991

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61 The male persona of the poem thus stands as a metonymy for something more savage and fascinating than a detached, quasi-journalistic description of a crazy man in one village: namely, the transformation of male-led civilization into monstrous – and monstrously emasculated – non-humans. Sapgir was not the only late Soviet nonconformist author to make derangement a model for rhetoric and behavior in his work. , p. 17. 51 element of the plot in Leningrad underground literature. 63 Similarly, in ―The Women‘s Village,‖the speaker aims to shock by forcing the reader to stare at the deranged man.

The combination of elements is based on children‘s faith in the magic of imaginative play. A similarly playful combination of diverse elements characterizes Sapgir‘s first fulllength poetry collection for adults, Voices [Голоса] (1962). For example, ―Monkee [Обезьян],‖ the poem quoted in the beginning of this chapter, revolves around the monkey who is also a man: his definition depends on the speaker‘s point of view. ‖ He serves as an even clearer metaphor for degeneracy: when his wife files for divorce, her request is denied on the premise 64 Tsukanov, ―Dva poeta i absurd,‖ p.

How do we account for the authors‘ attention to the past that was either pre-revolutionary Russian or far removed from their place and time? Paradoxically, the past provides appealing alternatives precisely because these alternatives cannot be embraced in Soviet everyday life. The authors under discussion are staunchly anti-didactic: they reject the highly specific Soviet behavioral expectations, which were enforced in schools by teachers and the Youth Communist League, in workplaces by the Party and in living spaces by neighbors who engaged in surveillance of others.

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