By Henrietta Mondry
Natural, robust and Sexless explores the illustration of gender and sexuality of peasant ladies in flip of the century Russian tradition during the writings of populist author Gleb Uspensky. Uspensky's a variety of works handle quite a number matters regarding sexuality, together with infanticide, abortion, prostitution, adultery and venereal illness. this is often the 1st accomplished learn of populist's fantasies in regard to the peasant woman's physique as a non-sexed utopian physique inside Russian fin-de-siecle sexual discourse. incorporated during this publication is the 1st English translation of the diary of Uspensky's psychiatrist, Dr Boris Sinani. This frank account portrays the tragic decline of a delicate observer and author into the psychotic and delusionary global of schizophrenia. This paintings is a useful resource for college students of Russian literature, gender reports, and historical past of psychiatry
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Additional resources for Pure, Strong and Sexless: The Peasant Woman's Body and Gleb Uspensky
My golden one! My shining sun! 52). ” This statement, left ambiguous by Uspensky, may be referring to the incestuous and adulterous love in the story that at least was potentially there, but it is also possible to see this as a reference to his own attack on the innocent Agrafena during the trial. The relationship between a son and his stepmother, although not consanguineous, is prohibited in both the book of Leviticus and the Byzantine Orthodox canon. 6 Both the Russian Code of Iaroslav and canon law also deemed the sexual relationship between a man and his stepmother as incestuous; the former regarding it as incest with a mother, the latter as incest with a half-sister.
13 Instead, it has either medical terms which the scholar identifies as sterile, or rude swear words which are not to be uttered in polite society. This lack of vocabulary to signify the sexual side of human existence is explained by Kon as a result of the fact that sex education and sexual culture in Russia have not become a part of the public or artistic discourse. Uspensky’s use of euphemisms such as “klubnichka” and “Zolaizmy” is indicative of this problem. While Uspensky tries to break the taboo on the discussion of the sexual aspects of human relationships, he at the same time remains a victim of the same taboos and prejudices.
Now, peasant men could afford to get emotional gratification and to fall in love with young spinsters. Uspensky admits that peasant women who age early and who supposedly lose their sexual drive can be of no attraction to their husbands—he thus creates his model of peasant sexuality where men reach their sexual maturity by the age of fifty while women lose their sexual drive much earlier. This model is a product of Uspensky’s rationalization of peasant bodies based on his desire to give credibility to his idea of a woman’s body as desexed.