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Title:The Symbolism of Female Characters in Fedor Sologub's Mythopoetics
Author(s):Cosner, Christopher K.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Richard Tempest
Department / Program:Slavic Languages and Literatures
Discipline:Slavic Languages and Literatures
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Abstract:This study examines the symbolism of female figures and characters in the full range of Fedor Sologub's literary works over the course of his entire career as a writer and demonstrates their importance in conveying the metaphysical subtexts of his works. Symbolic females console or torture, inspire or tempt, guide to Truth or deceive, with implications for other characters, transcendence of phenomenal reality. Inspiration and guidance to truth help characters to transcend their imprisonment within the illusions of the phenomenal world, while temptation and deception keep them imprisoned within phenomenal reality. Consolation and torture, also significant functions of several female figures, are manifestations of this imprisonment, though consolation often appears in Sologub's works as an anticipation of death or transcendence. A female figure can also serve as a symbolic focal point for multiple forces exerting the above effects on an individual. Perhaps rather predictably, females who are independent characters in Sologub's fiction have a different relationship to metaphysical transcendence and lyrical imagination than males. Whereas men attempt to transcend illusions by creating and appreciating beauty outside themselves (Trirodov, Don Quixote), women's attempts at transcendence usually involve some relationship to their body: they lose hypocritical shame or put their imagination to work in making themselves beautiful, e.g., via dance. A shift in emphasis over the course of Sologub's 40-year career is traced through Sologub's symbolic females. Whereas the early works symbolic females are most associated with a contrast between consolation and torture, middle works tend to focus on inspiration vs. temptation, and later works on the dichotomy of truth vs. deception. Whereas death, beauty, and inspiration are the transcendent forces most associated with females in the majority of Sologub's works, toward the end of his life love is represented as the main transcendent force.
Issue Date:1999
Description:360 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1999.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI9921675
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-28
Date Deposited:1999

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