ABOUT THIS BOOK
Chekhov and Russian Religious Culture is an innovative study of the Virgin Mary and the "saintly harlots"--Mary of Egypt and Mary Magdalene--as a cultural paradigm encoded in Chekhov's prose. De Sherbinin establishes the authority of the Marian paradigm in nineteenth-century Russian culture with a comprehensive overview of salient religious and literary texts, then offers critical readings of more than fifteen Chekhov stories, including key works such as "Peasants," "Peasant Women," and "My Life." De Sherbinin argues that Chekhov inverts and displaces the Christian meanings of Marian texts in order to reveal a vasy array of problematized relationships to the canonized figures. This illuminating semiotic reading of Chekhov explores questions of female identity as it probes the mindset of Russian Orthodox popular culture.