Download Dacha Idylls: Living Organically in Russia's Countryside by Melissa L. Caldwell PDF

By Melissa L. Caldwell

Dacha Idylls is a full of life account of dacha existence and the way Russians adventure this deeply rooted culture of the summer time cottage amid the altering cultural, monetary, and political panorama of postsocialist Russia. at the same time loved and reviled, dachas wield an influence that makes possessing and taking care of them a necessary a part of existence. during this publication, Melissa L. Caldwell captures the dacha's abiding traditions and demonstrates why Russians insist that those dwellings are key to figuring out Russian lifestyles. She attracts on literary texts in addition to observations from dacha dwellers to spotlight this enduring truth of Russian tradition at a time whilst a lot has replaced. Caldwell offers the dacha global in all its richness and complexity--a "good lifestyles" that pulls idea from the usual surroundings during which it really is located.

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Extra resources for Dacha Idylls: Living Organically in Russia's Countryside

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Holding the play together is a series of arguments among the various characters as they debate the nature of a meaningful and productive life, their place within this world, and, most importantly, the nature of their existence. Affairs of the heart, intellectual anxieties, and family politics all preoccupy the dachniki and serve as allegories for these larger issues of social transformation. Observing these interactions is a secondary set of characters who comprise the community’s year-round residents, the locals who must tolerate the summer visitors who descend in droves to soak up the sun and fresh air, suck up the berries and mushrooms from the forests, and leave the detritus of their everyday lives strewn about their surroundings.

These economic differences were compounded by generational differences within and among families. In some cases, retirees who had previously enjoyed significant social prestige and earned high wages but were now receiving pensions that had failed to keep up with inflation were drastically impoverished in comparison with their employed children and grandchildren. In other cases, retirees who continued to receive pensions that included supplemental amounts for special service to the state or for disabilities found themselves earning more than their children and grandchildren, especially offspring who worked in state-run enterprises.

The late nineteenth century). Certain constants characterized my dacha fieldwork: riding the train with ankle-licking dogs; endless family photographs of dacha picnics; lazy rambles through forests and meadows; overflowing baskets of fresh berries, mushrooms, tomatoes, and cucumbers; intense, hours-long philosophical discussions; and Anton Chekhov, one of Russia’s greatest and most beloved writers. I quickly discovered during interviews and informal conversations that no matter the topic under debate, it usually was not long before Chekhov made an appearance.

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