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Title: Imaginary interiors : representing domestic spaces in 1910s and 1920s Russian film and literature
Author: Pasholok, Maria
ISNI:       0000 0004 6062 2573
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis is an exploration of the ways in which a number of important Russian writers and filmmakers of the 1910s and 1920s appropriated domestic interiors as structural, visual and literary metaphors. My focus is on the artistic articulation of the closed space of the Russian domestic interior, in particular as it surfaced in the narratives of the modernist literature and cinema of the time and became an essential metaphor of its age. In my discussion I take issue with two standard ways of understanding domestic space in existing literature. I argue that representations of home spaces in early twentiethcentury Russian culture mount a challenge to the conventional view of the home as a place of safety and stability. I also argue that, at this point, the traditional approach to the room and the domestic space as a fixed closed structure is assailed by representations that see domestic space as kinetic. The importance of the 'room in motion' means that I address cinematic as well as literary representations of domestic space, and show that even literary representation borrow cinematic techniques. My different chapters constitute case studies of various separate, but complementary, aspects of the representation of home space. The first chapter shows how domestic space in reflected in the poetical language of Anna Akhmatova. The second chapter focuses on the parallel exploration of rooms and a child's consciousness in Kotik Letaev by Andrei Belyi. The third chapter discovers the philosophy of a room built by Sigizmund Krzhizhanovskii in his short stories of the 1920s. The next three chapters focus on interiors of three different cinematic genres. The fourth chapter looks closely at films created by Evgenii Bauer, showing the director's innovative techniques of framing and set-design. The fifth chapter explores the film Tret'ia Meshchanskaia by Abram Room, focusing on the director's employment of the room as a structural device of the film. The last chapter analyses two lyrical comedies by Boris Barnet to show the comic effect produced by the empty room and domestic objects in his films, and also focuses on the image of staircase. In conclusion, I speculate that the representation of interior spaces in the period in question goes beyond genre, medium, and narrative structure and becomes an important and culturally dynamic motif of the time.
Supervisor: Kelly, Catriona Sponsor: Clarendon Scholarship
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Interior architecture in literature ; Interior architecture--Russia (Federation)--History ; Motion pictures--Russia (Federation)--20th century--History and criticism ; Russian literature--20th century--History and criticism