Literature is a window into the soul of a culture. Writers often reflect the history, traditions, and values that they were raised in. Thus, in many works we see heroism, justice, and the divine portrayed as they have been for centuries, even referencing images and characters from deep within a culture’s folklore and belief systems.

Further, literature doesn’t just reflect, it can also critique. Writers are often inspired by the political and social issues of their day. Dostoevsky and Tolstoy’s works, for instance, are often cited as not only great books, but excellent insight to the changes taking place in their contemporary society. As such, while authors often preserve values, they can also use their work to challenge societal norms, raise awareness of important issues, and spark conversations about change.

Literature can be so powerful that the state is often keen to both support literature that it deems postive and to censure literature that it deems to challenge its foundations.

All of these forces can be found within the rich literary traditions of Eurasia.

Nadezhda Khvoshchinskaya – A Forgotten Great of Russian Literature

Nadezhda Khvoshchinskaya became a prolific and widely popular author in early 19th century Russia. Her most famous novels reflect on the stylistic staples of 19th century Russian literature, focusing on women’s issues and other social problems through the lens of realism. Despite her fame and success, Nadezhda Khvoshchinskaya has largely been forgotten in the study […]

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