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Sutcliffe, Benjamin Massey (2005) ENGENDERING BYT: RUSSIAN WOMEN'S WRITING AND EVERYDAY LIFE FROM I. GREKOVA TO LIUDMILA ULITSKAIA. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Gender and byt (everyday life) in post-Stalinist culture stem from tacit conceptions linking the quotidian to women. During the Thaw and Stagnation the posited egalitarianism of Soviet rhetoric and pre-exiting conceptions of the quotidian caused critics to use byt as shorthand for female experience and its literary expression. Addressing the prose of Natal'ia Baranskaia and I. Grekova, they connected the everyday to banality, reduced scope, ateleological time, private life, and anomaly. The authors, for their part, relied on selective representation of the quotidian and a chronotope of crisis to hesitantly address taboo subjects. During perestroika women's prose reemerged in the context of social turmoil and changing gender roles. The appearance of six literary anthologies gave women authors and Liudmila Petrushevskaia in particular a new visibility. Female writers employed discourse and a broadened chronotope of crisis, along with the era's emphasis on exposure, negation, and systematic critique, to challenge gender roles. Both supporters and opponents of women's literature now directly addressed its relation to gender instead of using byt as a euphemism. From 1991 to 2001 women's prose solidified its status as a recognized part of Russian high literature. Liudmila Ulitskaia and Svetlana Vasilenko employed a transhistorical temporality that was based on the family and offered an indirect critique of history through representation of women's byt. Critics debated the relationship between women's writing, feminism, and the new divide between elite and popular literature. Depictions of byt in the work of Ulitskaia imply that the everyday is an artistic resource in its own right as well as a conduit to higher meaning.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Sutcliffe, Benjamin
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairGoscilo, Helenagoscilo@pitt.eduGOSCILO
Committee MemberBirnbaum, Daviddjbpitt@pitt.eduDJBPITT
Committee MemberCondee, Nancycondee@pitt.eduCONDEE
Committee MemberGlazener, Nancyglazener@pitt.eduGLAZENER
Date: 20 January 2005
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 21 October 2004
Approval Date: 20 January 2005
Submission Date: 31 October 2004
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Slavic Languages and Literatures
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: baranskaia; petrushevskaia; private life; soviet literature; vasilenko
Other ID:, etd-10312004-115858
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 20:03
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:51


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