The Familiar Letter as a Literary Genre in the Age of Pushkin

Paper Text – $19.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-1711-2
Publication Date
August 1999
Page Count
230 pages
Trim Size
6 1/8 x 9 1/4

The Familiar Letter as a Literary Genre in the Age of Pushkin

William Mills Todd III

In the field of Russian literary studies, there is surprisingly little discussion of independent genres and their effect on the creativity of an era. This important text on the quasi-public "friendly letter" of nineteenth-century Russia addresses this deficiency, examining the tradition of familiar letter writing that developed in the early 1800s among literary circles that included such luminaries as Pushkin, Karamzin, and Turgenev, and arguing that these letters constitute a distinct literary genre.

About the Author

William Mills Todd III is Curt Hugo Reisinger Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures and professor of comparative literature at Harvard University. His books include Literature and Society in Imperial Russia: 1800-1914 and Fiction and Society in the Age of Pushkin. His articles address the theory of narrative, the sociology of literature, and nineteenth-century Russian literary culture.
"Light, sensitive and pleasantly in harmony with [the] gentle and civilized subject." --Modern Language Review
"Professor Todd's thoughtful inquiry into this engaging subject is a valuable addition to the scholarly literature on the Age of Pushkin. It is written with a clarity and grace which the Arzamasians themselves would have appreciated." --Russian Review