Written in Blood
Revolutionary Terrorism and Russian Literary Culture, 1861–1881
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Lynn Ellen Patyk contends that the prototype for the terrorist was the Russian writer, whose seditious word was interpreted as an audacious deed—and a violent assault on autocratic authority. The interplay and interchangeability of word and deed, Patyk argues, laid the semiotic groundwork for the symbolic act of violence at the center of revolutionary terrorism. While demonstrating how literary culture fostered the ethos, pathos, and image of the revolutionary terrorist and terrorism, she spotlights Fyodor Dostoevsky and his "terrorism trilogy"—Crime and Punishment (1866), Demons (1870–73), and The Brothers Karamazov (1878–80)—as novels that uniquely illuminate terrorism's methods and trajectory. Deftly combining riveting historical narrative with penetrating literary analysis of major and minor works, Patyk's groundbreaking book reveals the power of the word to spawn deeds and the power of literature to usher new realities into the world.
Praise For Written in Blood: Revolutionary Terrorism and Russian Literary Culture, 1861–1881…
"A wonderful book, full of original insights on the intersection between Russian literature and the birth of modern terrorism. Challenging usual ways of thinking, Written in Blood is sure to become a classic in Russian cultural studies, to be read and appreciated by scholars, students, and general readers alike." —Anthony Anemone, editor of Just Assassins: The Culture of Terrorism in Russia
University of Wisconsin Press, 9780299312206, 368pp.
Publication Date: June 20, 2017