Beyond the Feminine in Pushkin's Tatiana
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Pushkin's Tatiana tends to be pigeonholed by criticism that acknowledges her dynamism and openness to creative possibilities but restricts her intertextual significance to the heroines of the European novelists she herself reads. I argue that only by viewing her as the construction of a narrator who relies heavily on the stylistics of Karamzin and Zhukovsky can Tatiana be pulled out of such narrow confines. By tracing the thread of these Russian texts in the novel in verse, I will show that they often beg comparison not with their predecessors' heroines but with their male counterparts. Tatiana’s ambiguous characterization when read in conjunction with "Domik v Kolomne" (1830) shows the explicit gender parodies that Onegin only hints at. Using this text, I will ultimately consider Tatiana as an example of the ambivalence of Pushkin's heroine-muse in relation to his own participation in the ‘ballad question’ of the early 19th century.