Nature, Equality, and the Feminine in Sentimentalist Russian Women’s Writing (Mariia Pospelova, Mariia Bolotnikova, and Anna Naumova) – With translations by Emily Lygo
Chapter Five Criticism of Sentimentalist Conventions: Mariia Bolotnikova
This chapter examines the strategies adopted by a provincial Sentimentalist woman author to justify her writerly activity, with a particular focus on Mariia Bolotnikova (dates of birth and death unknown), whose collection was first pub- lished in 1817 and has never been republished. In creating her self-image as a woman poet, she made use of Sentimentalism’s elevated appreciation of nature. Also, conforming to the display of modesty expected of a woman writer, she did refer to a male mentor. Bolotnikova’s work nevertheless challenges the notion of woman as a superior yet naive being who is incapable of learning her lessons. Her writings not only criticise certain aspects of Sentimentalist ‘feminisation’ of culture, they also challenge the Sentimentalist association of subordination with woman and nature, and provide evidence of a cultural discourse which included debates about the human rights of both serfs and, crucially, women as well. Bolotnikova’s life, work, and publication strategies Very little biographical information is available on this author.1 One source is Ivan Dolgorukii (1764–1832), provincial governor and himself author of some po- ems and comedies, who kept a social diary naming people who mattered to him. According to his diary, Bolotnikova was a married gentlewoman resident in the Orel region, some one hundred kilometres south of Moscow.2 In 1817 she pub- lished a collection of poems, Derevenskaia lira, ili chasy uedineniia (The Country 1 Some topics in this chapter have been discussed in Ursula Stohler: ‘Released from Her Fetters? Natural Equality in the Work of the...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.