Living for a ‘Cause’ Radical Autobiographical Writing in Russia at the Beginning of the 20 th Century

Stephan Rindlisbacher


The ambiguous term delo (thing, matter, act or cause) was fundamental for the th Russian radical autobiographical writers at the beginning of the 20 century. The dedication to a cause was the ‘leading star’ to frame one’s own biography, as it proved one’s reputation within the radical milieu. Therefore, it was important not only to choose which parts of one’s radical past needed to be emphasised, but also which deeds were better to silence, omit or vindicate. While radical writers often framed the topics of their autobiographies in a similar way, polemics and debates generated among the senior radicals. This article proposes basic guidelines on how to read and analyse the numerous Russian radical autobiographical writings by identifying the most common authors’ choices of framing and emplotment.

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© 2012-2015 AvtobiografiЯ

ISSN: 2281-6992

Registrazione del Tribunale di Padova 23-04-2013, n. 2326 Registro della Stampa,

Variazione: Tribunale di Padova 27-10-2014, n. 3197 Registro della Stampa.