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Irina Reyfman, Professor
Ph.D.: Stanford, 1986
Diploma in Russian Language and Literature, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia, 1973
Research Interests: 18th and 19th-century Russian literature; cultural history; semiotics of culture; censorship; state service, system of ranks and the status of the writer in Russia.
Rank and Style is a collection of essays by Irina Reyfman, a leading scholar of Russian literature and culture. Ranging in topic from the eighteenth to the twentieth century, the essays focus on the interaction of life and literature. In the first part, Reyfman examines how obligatory state service and the Table of Ranks shaped Russian writers' view of themselves as professionals, raising questions about whether the existence of the rank system prompted the development of specifically Russian types of literary discourse. The sections that follow bring together articles on Pushkin, writer and man, as seen by himself and others, essays on Leo Tolstoy, and other aspects of Russian literary and cultural history. In addition to examining little-studied writers and works, Rank and Style offers new approaches to well-studied literary personalities and texts.