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Reimagining Marriage: Tolstoy’s “Kreutzer Sonata” (1889) and Room’s “Bed and Sofa” (1927)

In the 1880s and 1890s the “sexual question” began to occupy the Russian intelligentsia. Writers addressed the inequities between the sexes, raising questions about the very nature of love and marriage. These debates intensified in the early twentieth century and revolutionary period. In this talk, I will address two fictional texts which can be viewed as bookends to this discussion: Lev Tolstoy’s “Kreutzer Sonata” (1889) and Abram Room’s “Bed and Sofa” («Третья Мещанская») (1927).