In the popular and scientific imagination, suicide has always been an enigmatic act that defies, and yet demands, explanation. Throughout the centuries, philosophers and writers, journalists and scientists have attempted to endow this act with meaning. In the nineteenth century, and especially in Russia, suicide became the focus for discussion of such issues as the immortality of the soul, free will and determinism, the physical and the spiritual, the individual and the social. Analyzing a variety of sources-medical reports, social treatises, legal codes, newspaper articles, fiction, private documents left by suicides-Irina Paperno describes the search for the meaning of suicide. Paperno focuses on Russia of the 1860s-1880s, when suicide was at the center of public attention.
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(229mm x 152mm x 21mm)
Cornell University Press
Publisher: Cornell University Press
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Author Biography - Irina Paperno
Irina Paperno teaches Russian literature and intellectual history at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of "Who, What Am I?": Tolstoy Struggles to Narrate the Self, Stories of the Soviet Experience: Memoirs, Diaries, Dreams; and Suicide as a Cultural Institution in Dostoevsky's Russia, all from Cornell, and Chernyshevsky and the Age of Realism: A Study in the Semiotics of Behavior.