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Murder Most RussianTrue Crime and Punishment in Late Imperial Russia$
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Louise McReynolds

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780801451454

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801451454.001.0001

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Crime Fiction Steps into Action

Crime Fiction Steps into Action

(p.201) Chapter Seven Crime Fiction Steps into Action
Murder Most Russian

Louise McReynolds

Cornell University Press

This chapter discusses the emergence of two visions of Russia after 1905, giving insight into some of the revolution's cultural repercussions. One is as fast paced as modernity itself, offering outlines, albeit dimly lit, of a future built on the detective's world of law-and-order stability. Stimulating courage and confidence, the stories of this genre tapped into the violence of revolution and offered a way forward, suggesting a future installment. The other vision draws from stories that feature a crime but do not resolve it. No resolution means that no order is restored, no one is punished, and no closure that can make sense of the crime. This crime fiction drew from the fatalism that characterizes much of Russian culture, undermining the potential for liberalism's self-actualizing individual. Thus, this genre supplied both the causes and effects of postrevolutionary instability.

Keywords:   modernity, law and order, stability, crime fiction, Russian culture, liberalism, postrevolutionary instability

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