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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

About the author:

Emilio Mari — PhD in literature, linguistics and comparative literature, lecturer in Russian language and literature at the University of Viterbo, Via Santa Maria in Gradi, 4, 01100 Viterbo VT, Italy; Junior Researcher, University of International Studies of Rome, 133, delle Sette Chiese street, Rome, Italy.

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The aim of this paper is to analyse the relation between orality and literacy in some of the expressive forms linked to the suburban summer leisure during Saint Petersburg “Belle Époque”. In particular, I will consider a forgotten corpus of texts and practices, somehow halfway between folklore and literature, cultural production and consumption, that mirrored and filled free time in dacha settlements, allowing the encounter between different socio-cultural realities (summer dwellers and “natives”) and contributing in many ways to the weakening of the boundaries between the “elitist” and the “popular” in the artistic culture of the time. The analysis of these materials, despite their aesthetic marginality, gives us a new vision “from the bottom up” of the pre-revolutionary dacha culture: a rapidly modernising landscape in which still fluid social bodies meet and fight in order to obtain their “right to the city”.

  • Keywords: dacha folklore; dacha literature; mass literature.


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