Russian-Soviet Literature of the 1960s and 1970s: Motherhood in Disguise, or A Male Anti-Feminist Rhethoric for what it’s Worth

Olga Tabachnikova

Abstract


This paper looks into the Russian Soviet literature of both the “thaw” and “stagnation” periods (1960s and 1970s) in order to reassess the existing paradigm in its critical reception provided from the gender perspective. The discussion starts with consideration of the issue of motherhood – especially in the case of working mothers – and its literary treatment, but then expands to a feminist reading of the literature in question more generally. By suggesting an alternative interpretation of literary works of this period, especially those authored by male writers, the paper challenges the accepted understanding of this literature as essentially misogynistic. By revealing concealed insecurities behind hostile male rhetoric, it turns the tables round to argue that the prevailing model that arises from this literature is, in figurative terms, that of all pervasive motherhood, and as such is actually matriarchal. Thus, the suggestion made, is that this literature should be viewed at least as two-fold: superficially misogynistic, but matriarchal in spirit.

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References


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GOST Style Citations


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