Language and Metaphors of the Russian Revolution: Sow the Wind, Reap the Storm is a panoramic history of the Russian intelligentsia and an analysis of the language and ideals of the Russian Revolution, from its inception over the long nineteenth century through fruition in early Soviet society. This volume examines metaphors for revolution in the storm, flood, and harvest imagery ubiquitous in Russian literary works. At the same time, it considers the struggle to own the narrative of modernity, including Bolshevik weaponization of language and cultural policy that supported the use of terror and social purging. This uniquely cross-disciplinary study conducts a close reading of texts that use storm, flood, and agricultural metaphors in diverse ways to represent revolution, whether in anticipation and celebration of its ideals or in resistance to the same. A spotlight is given to the lives and works of authors who responded to Soviet authoritarianism by reclaiming the narrative of revolution in the name of personal freedom and restoration of humanist values. Hinging on the clashes of culture wars and class wars and residing at the intersection of ideas at the very core of the fight for modernity, this book provides a critical reading of authoritarian discourse and investigates rare examples of the counter narratives that thrived in spite of their suppression.
Lonny Harrison is associate professor of Russian and director of the Charles T. McDowell Center for Global Studies at the University of Texas at Arlington.
Chapter 1: Origin Stories of the Russian Revolution
Chapter 2: Roots of the Russian Intelligentsia
Chapter 3: The Intelligentsia and the People
Chapter 4: An Incomparable Age
Chapter 5: Bolshevik Weaponization of Language and Culture
Chapter 6: The Lives of ‘Former People’: White Guard
Chapter 7: Fruits of Revolution: Three Soviet Novels
Chapter 8: A Defense of the Personal: Doctor Zhivago
Language and Metaphors of the Russian Revolution: Sow the Wind, Reap the Storm is an excellent introduction to Russian culture of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It is well written, easy to read, and its historical and cultural details thoroughly explained, even to the uninitiated.