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Dimitry's Shade: A Reading of Alexander Pushkin's Boris Godunov
by J. Douglas Clayton
Northwestern University Press, 2004
eISBN: 978-0-8101-2165-2 | Cloth: 978-0-8101-1938-3
Library of Congress Classification PG3343.B64C57 2004
Dewey Decimal Classification 891.723

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ABOUT THIS BOOK
In an ambitious reinterpretation of the premier work of Russia's national poet, J. Douglas Clayton reads Boris Godunov as the expression of Alexander Pushkin's thinking about the Russian state, especially the Russian state of his own time (some two hundred years distant from the events of the play), and even his own place within that state. Here we see how the play marks a sharp break with the Decembrists and Pushkin's own youthful liberalism, signaling its author's emergence as a Russian conservative. Boris Godunov, Clayton argues, can be best understood as an ideologically conservative defense of autocracy.

Sure to shock readers even as it persuades them, Dimitry's Shade reveals, incarnated in Boris Godunov, those three elements that were to become the slogan of Nicholas's Russia in the 1830s: autocracy, orthodoxy, and nationality.

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