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A.M. Gorky Institute
of World Literature
of the Russian Academy of Sciences

IWL RAS Publishing

A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature
of the Russian Academy of Sciences


Povarskaya 25a, 121069 Moscow, Russia



Types of publications

Information about the author:

Elena M. Trubilova, PhD in Philology, Senior Researcher, А.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of Russian Academy of Sciences, Povarskaya 25 а, 121069 Moscow, Russia.


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Before N.A. Teffy the feminitive “authoress” was pronounced with a condescending intonation, being synonymous with low-grade fi ction. Crowning with the title of “queen of Russian laughter,” which Teffy was named by critics, refl ected the scrapping of existing stereotypes in society. The comic with the arrival of Teffy in literature has acquired a qualitatively different content — the chill of the “anesthesia” of the heart, which A. Bergson spoke about in his defi nition, was replaced by heart warmth and pity for a weak, ridiculous, funny little man. Teffy’s favorite writer was not the satirist-accuser N.V. Gogol, who was attributed to her as a teacher, but the humanist F.M. Dostoevsky. With the “naturally inherent” heightened sensitivity of the female sex, Teffy shifted the focus of perception inside the joke, inviting the reader to try on what the laughing character is going through. Most of the plots of Teffy are based on the confl ict of external and internal. The main motives of her work are the contrast between appearance and essence, “reconciliation with life, twofold between a cruel reality and a beautiful dream” (E. Lyatsky).

  • Keywords: Teffy, “women’s question,” comic, “Russian laughter.”


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