RT Book, Whole DB /z-wcorg/ DS http://worldcat.org ID 34515241 LA English T1 Social functions of literature : Alexander Pushkin and Russian culture A1 Debreczeny, Paul., PB Stanford University Press PP Stanford, Calif. YR 1997 SN 0804726620 9780804726627 AB This study of the effect of literature on readers, both as individuals and as members of social groups, focuses on Russia's national poet, Alexander Pushkin, as a model for investigating the aesthetic and social functions of literature. The individual reader's response to the literary text is demonstrated in Part One through a broad range of memoirs, diaries, and correspondences in which Russian readers recorded their reactions to Pushkin. Part Two exposes the extent to which individuals' aesthetic responses are conditioned by their social environment. The aura surrounding the personality of an author is the subject of Part Three, in which the author shows how Pushkin's death in a duel with a foreigner contributed to his emergence as a symbol of the Russian nation, and how deep-seated anxiety about national identity gave rise to the Pushkin myth and to the canonization of the poet as martyr. Throughout the book, theoretical arguments are buttressed by close readings of Pushkin's works, especially The Prisoner of the Caucasus, Eugene Onegin, Poltava, Egyptian Nights, and several lyric poems.