CULTURAL AND SOCIAL BORDER CROSSINGS: GERMANY AND RUSSIA IN THE WRITINGS OF LOU ANDREAS-SALOMÉ (1861-1937) AND ALINA BRONSKY (1978-).
Frederiksen, Elke P
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This study explores sociocultural discourses on Russia and Germany and examines the intercultural and gendered hybrid identity formation among Russian-German women in the texts of Lou Andreas-Salomé (1861-1937) Fenitschka (1898), Russland mit Rainer (1900), and Rodinka (1923) and in Alina Bronsky’s novels (1978-) Scherbenpark (2008) and Die schärfsten Gerichte der tatarischen Küche (2010). The project employs an interdisciplinary approach in the analyses of texts by combining the methodologies of cultural and intercultural studies, German cultural studies, as well as feminist and gender studies. It further incorporates a historical overview of the major political events and economic relationships between Russia and Germany at the end of the nineteenth through the twentieth, and the beginning of the twenty first century. The study analyzes the influence that these events had on societal mainstream perceptions of the ‘Other’ during these periods. The discourse on Soviet/Russian and German cultural encounters as well as the concept of ‘Otherness’ particularly from a Russian-German perspective were investigated. The texts reveal the rich German cultural presence in Russia throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and the social position of minorities in Soviet Russia in late twentieth century and in post-reunification Germany. It also looks at the ‘Woman Question’ and gender issues in both nations and the deviation from societal gender norms among Russian-German women.