The Life of Aleksandr Men\u27: Hagiography in the Making


Hagiography is not an extinct genre in Russian literature, even though many believe that it was important in the history of early Russian literature but became irrelevant as Russian literature entered its modem period. The autobiography of priest A vvakum, written in the second half of the seventeenth century, is often considered to be the final work in the development of Russian hagiography. Russian spirituality has not died out, however, and holy men and women continue to display the same devotion to Christ that was admired in medieval saints. The biographies and memoirs of these modem saints retain some of the hallmarks of traditional hagiography. In this paper I propose to show that the memoirs written about one of these contemporary Christian heroes, Aleksandr Men\u27, draw upon traditional hagiographic elements in order to portray him as a saint. Furthermore, the literature written about Men\u27 contains the seeds for a full-length saint\u27s Life, one that could possibly be included among the works of a modem neo-hagiographic genre

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