Writing the Time of Troubles: False Dmitry in Russian Literature

Writing the Time of Troubles: False Dmitry in Russian Literature


Marcia Morris

Series: The Unknown Nineteenth Century
ISBN: 9781618118639 (hardcover)
Pages: 162 pp.
Publication Date: August 2018


Is each moment in history unique, or do essential situations repeat themselves? The traumatic events associated with the man who reigned as Tsar Dmitry have haunted the Russian imagination for four hundred years. Was Dmitry legitimate, the last scion of the House of Rurik, or was he an upstart pretender? A harbinger of Russia’s doom or a herald of progress? Writing the Time of Troubles traces the proliferation of fictional representations of Dmitry in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Russia, showing how playwrights and novelists reshaped and appropriated his brief and equivocal career as a means of drawing attention to and negotiating the social anxieties of their own times.

Marcia A. Morris is Professor of Slavic Languages at Georgetown University. She is the author of Saints and Revolutionaries: The Ascetic Hero in Russian Literature, The Literature of Roguery in Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century Russia, and Russian Tales of Demonic Possession: Translations of Savva Grudtsyn and Solomonia.

Table of Contents

A Note on Translation, Transliteration, Names, and Abbreviations

Introduction: Recurrence, Transference, and Dmitry
Chapter 1. Prelude
Chapter 2. Two Visions of Tyranny: The Late Eighteenth Century
Chapter 3. Verbal Self-Fashioning: The Early Nineteenth Century
Chapter 4. Two Visions of Reform: 1866
Chapter 5. Contingent Self-Fashioning: The Fin de Siècle
Dmitry: Re-resurrection and Conclusions
Sources Cited