The problem of woman in Russian culture and literature at the beginning of the 20th century : Lilith - Salomea - Eva
Zdrojový dokument: Новая русистика. 2008, roč. 1, č. 2, s. -49
ISSN1803-4950 (print)2336-4564 (online)
Licence: Neurčená licence
The following material can be considered a sort of continuation of the article "Two Wives in Sologub's works: beetwen Eva and Lylith" issued in "New Russian Studies", 1 (2008). Lylith is first of all a character in Jewish demonology. But in the Silver Age Literature Lylith appears not as an ugly demon but as Adam's first wife, as a predecessor and an antipode of Eva. Lylith is contraposed to Eva as a dream is contraposed to reality, as a completed being to an incompleted one, as something unstable and short-living to something real and long-lasting, as the night-time lunar world to the day-time solar one. From F. Sologub to A. N. Tolstoy ("Aelita") and V. V. Nabokov ("Lolita") over and over again Russian writers created a pair of heroines in one of which Eva could be guessed whereas the other was assosiated with Lylith. And the preference was invariably given to the last one. However, the choice has not always been as simple as that and it was the heroe's torments of choosing between the two wives - profane and sacral - which tore him apart that were put in the centre of all collisions in the story. Another one bright representative of female mythology at the begining of the XX century was Salomea in whom Eva and Lylith were synthesized in a certainspecial way as the matter and the spirit. The problem of a connection between matter and spirit grew at the considered epoch into one with the structure of meanings and motives in Salomea complex and represented itself as a problem of connection of head and body. Head being the instrument of intellect and spirit was comprehended as what cut off the man from the nature whereas the body was interpreted as what originally connected them; the head without the body is like the spirit without the matter, the body without the head is like the matter without the spirit. All their possible combinations are carefully considered and examined in the epoch of fin de siècle as well as their possible interpretations.