Unattainable Bride Russia

Paper Text – $34.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-2869-9

Cloth Text – $74.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-2656-5
Publication Date
March 2010
Page Count
340 pages
Trim Size
6.125 x 9.25

Unattainable Bride Russia

Gendering Nation, State, and Intelligentsia in Russian Intellectual Culture

Throughout the twentieth century and continuing today, personifications of Russia as a bride occur in a wide range of Russian texts and visual representations, from literature and political and philosophical treatises to cartoons and tattoos. Invariably, this metaphor functions in the context of a political gender allegory, which represents the relationships between Russia, the intelligentsia, and the Russian state, as a competition of two male suitors for the former’s love.

In Unattainable Bride Russia, Ellen Rutten focuses on the metaphorical role the intelligentsia plays as Russia’s rejected or ineffectual suitor. Rutten finds that this metaphor, which she covers from its prehistory in folklore to present-day pop culture references to Vladimir Putin, is still powerful, but has generated scarce scholarly consideration. Unattainable Bride Russia locates the cultural thread and places the political metaphor in a broad contemporary and social context, thus paying it the attention to which it is entitled as one of Russia’s modern cultural myths.

About the Author

Ellen Rutten is postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Foreign Languages at the University of Bergen, Norway.

"Rutten provides a compelling and well-contextualized genealogy of a cultural myth that, as her brief excursions into popular culture demonstrate, remains a part of contemporary culture. Drawing attention to an understudied gendered understanding of the nation, her work will appeal to a broad range of scholars interested in the development of Russian culture across the Soviet and post-Soviet divides." —The Slavonic and East European Review