Russia is again becoming dark. In a double-edged move for imprisonment studies, Gullotta has turned a patient scholarly eye on one pocket of the gulag that briefly experienced more light than most. Geographically his focus is tiny, but its history stretches over half a millennium. In 1429, three monks founded a retreat on the Solovetsky Islands in the White Sea, the Russian Far North. Consecrated as a frontier monastery/fortress in the sixteenth century, this thriving community, rich in timber and fish, played a dramatic role at key moments in Russia's history: from Ivan the Terrible (when the monastery was first used as a prison) to the seventeenth-century Schism in the Orthodox Church (when Old Believers held out during an eight-year siege), to bombardment by the British navy in the Crimean War (1853–56) and then Allied intervention against the Bolsheviks near Arkhangelsk during the Russian Civil War. A Red victory sealed...
Intellectual Life and Literature at Solovki, 1923–1930: The Paris of the Northern Concentration Camps
Caryl Emerson is A. Watson Armour III University Professor Emerita of Slavic and Comparative Literatures at Princeton. Her books include The First Hundred Years of Mikhail Bakhtin; The Life of Musorgsky; Boris Gudonov: Transposition of a Russian Theme; All the Same Words Don't Go Away; and (with Gary Saul Morson) Mikhail Bakhtin: Creation of a Prosaics.
Caryl Emerson; Intellectual Life and Literature at Solovki, 1923–1930: The Paris of the Northern Concentration Camps. Common Knowledge 1 January 2023; 29 (1): 130–133. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/0961754X-10333059
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