Saturday, January 12, 2013

Monogamy vs Open Relationships

I was surprised that Chernychevsky was addressing this question as early as the 19th century; I'd always thought of this as a fairly modern discussion.  I found it surprising that this could have been published given that it is so contrary to Chistianity's code of morality.  It got me wondering if something like this could have been published elsewhere in Europe, e.g. France.  If I remember correctly, the Russian Orthodox church had more or less been under the thumb of the Czar since Peter Great, and the church wasn't as vocal in Russia as it was elsewhere in Europe.  It seems to me that a work like this would have had a much harder time being published in a country like France at this time.  I find it ironic that while in many respects Russia was so far behind the rest of Europe, a small portion of the population seems to have been much more foreward thinking and to have had much more freedom than people elsewhere.

1 comment:

Cassidy George said...

I agree that some of the ideas we've discussed have seemed surprisingly progressive for the 19th century. Chernyshevsky writes of the right for a woman to marry based on love and companionship. His character asserts her desire to remain, in a sense, independent- to not have to rely on her husband. She then goes forth and pursues her own economic endeavors, with success. She is a 19th century entrepreneur. I certainly wasn't expecting him to express many of his utopian concepts through the actions and thoughts of a female character.