From a Historical Source to a Narrative Form: Anecdotes in A. V. Nikitenko’s Diary and the History of Censorship

15 Pages Posted: 14 Apr 2017

See all articles by Alina Bodrova

Alina Bodrova

National Research University Higher School of Economics

Kirill Zubkov

National Research University Higher School of Economics

Date Written: April 14, 2017

Abstract

The study explores the narrative structure of Alexandr Nikitenko’s diary, one of the core sources for the history of Russian censorship, and on the role of the genre of anecdote in particular. Through an analysis of the ‘anecdotal’ entries about censorship in Nikitenko’s diary and their evolution (their number peaks during the years of Nicholas I’s reign, and plummets in the parts of the account dealing with Alexander II, particularly in the period of 1860-ies), the authors demonstrate the peculiarities of the ‘anecdotal’ frame in picturing the interactions between literary circles and censorship. The literary form of anecdote, whose strength is in picturing singular oddities and excesses, fails to account for the everyday quality of routine practices, the day-to-day modes of interaction between authors and censors, so that the ‘anecdotal’ narrative can only work as a segment of a more complex and multidimensional vision of how literary agency and censoring authorities interacted.

Keywords: the history of censorship, Alexander Nikitenko, narrative forms and patterns, ego-documents

JEL Classification: Z

Suggested Citation

Bodrova, Alina and Zubkov, Kirill, From a Historical Source to a Narrative Form: Anecdotes in A. V. Nikitenko’s Diary and the History of Censorship (April 14, 2017). Higher School of Economics Research Paper No. WP BRP 23/LS/2017. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2952683 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2952683

Alina Bodrova (Contact Author)

National Research University Higher School of Economics ( email )

Myasnitskaya street, 20
Moscow, Moscow 119017
Russia

Kirill Zubkov

National Research University Higher School of Economics ( email )

Myasnitskaya street, 20
Moscow, Moscow 119017
Russia

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