By Alaina Lemon
Lemon’s ethnographic research relies on wide fieldwork in Nineteen Nineties Russia and makes a speciality of Moscow Romani Theater actors in addition to Romani investors and metalworkers. Drawing from interviews with Roma and Russians, observations of performances, and conversations, in addition to documents, literary texts, and media, Lemon analyzes the position of theatricality and theatrical tropes in Romani existence and the standard linguistics of social family members and of reminiscence. traditionally, the best way Romani degree functionality has been culturally framed and located in Russia has served to typecast Gypsies as “natural” performers, she explains. therefore, whereas theatrical and musical functionality could now and then empower Roma, extra usually it has bolstered and rationalized racial and social stereotypes, with the exception of them from many Soviet and Russian monetary and political arenas. functionality, hence, defines what it skill to be Romani in Russia in a different way than it does somewhere else, Lemon indicates. contemplating formal info of language in addition to broader cultural and social constructions, she additionally discusses how racial different types relate to post-Soviet financial alterations, how gender different types and Euro-Soviet notions of civility are hooked up, and the way ontological differences among “stage paintings” and “real lifestyles” give a contribution to the making of social kinds. This complicated examine therefore serves as a corrective to romantic perspectives of Roma as indifferent from political forces.
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Additional resources for Between Two Fires: Gypsy Performance and Romani Memory from Pushkin to Post-Socialism
That is, to this day, the presence of Gypsies in my childhood has never been blotted out. That is, I always—well, where there are Gypsies, there it’s good, there it is merry. Well, you know, well, Gypsies, they are a very tempestuous people, very merry people. Especially, of course, their art is unique! Can’t compare it with anything! They are so liberated! Songs, unforgettable songs! Of course, what can I say, except that we, well, if even the great poet Pushkin, he was crazy about Gypsies, then of course!
Budulaj overcomes that fear with his gentleness with horses, his musical talents, and his literacy (though a stumbling, accented literacy) in Russian. He, in fact, seems to prefer socializing with Russians and sermonizes to the nomadic Gypsies (even a settled Romani woman cannot win his heart). Still, he and Klavdija never come together—thugs savagely beat him out of consciousness just before he confesses his love to her. Intermarriage was a Soviet trope of successful internationalism (see also Slezkine 1994a:307).
On their wedding day, she laughs when he refuses to bend before her and trips him with a whip. Shamed, he stabs her through the heart, and is in turn killed by her father. Pushkin, The Gypsies, and Nostalgia 39 Russian stories of courtships and marriages between aristocratic poets and Gypsy singers reveal more about Russian national ideology and identity than they do about Roma. ∞≤ The wish to subsume is gendered; the adoring Russian is male, the Gypsy is female. This genderedness seems commonsense indeed.