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Rimsky-Korsakov and His World$
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Marina Frolova-Walker

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780691182711

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691182711.001.0001

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Rimsky-Korsakov, Snegurochka, and Populism

Rimsky-Korsakov, Snegurochka, and Populism

(p.63) Rimsky-Korsakov, Snegurochka, and Populism
Rimsky-Korsakov and His World

Emily Frey

Princeton University Press

This chapter looks at Rimsky-Korsakov's Snegurochka (The Snow Maiden) in the political context of the era, namely within a particular branch of 1870s populism that extolled “harmonious communal ritual, agrarian prehistory, and the development of individual feeling.” Together, the Snegurochkas of Alexander Ostrovsky and Rimsky-Korsakov offer perhaps the clearest representations in art of the populist notion of the ideal past, depicting the prehistoric village as a site of social cooperation and humane politics. Indeed, in his adaptation of Snegurochka, Rimsky-Korsakov united an idealized vision of the past with the progress of private, inner feeling. Meanwhile, Russia's thick journals of the seventies brimmed with articles by populist thinkers like Nikolai Mikhailovsky and stories about village life by writers such as Gleb Uspensky and Nikolai Zlatovratsky.

Keywords:   Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Snegurochka, The Snow Maiden, populism, Alexander Ostrovsky, prehistoric village, social cooperation, humane politics, individual feeling, Nikolai Mikhailovsky

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