Salnikova A. A. City of Childhood in Autobiographical Narratives of Kazan Historians (.pdf) 

 

Annotation: The autobiographical narratives of Kazan historians published over the past two decades are under research in the paper. Attention is focused on the childhood and adolescence of their authors presented in the analyzed texts in the urban spatial context as a kind of ego-history in the space of the city. It is shown that the provincial city − in this case, Kazan − not only creates a background for the autobiographical narrative, but actually performs a structural function, forming a special spatial model of the autobiographical text. The article describes the specifics of the urban "noble" "children's" space of the last pre-revolutionary decade on the basis of memoirs, traces its transformation in the early Soviet period, and describes the specifics of the Soviet "children's" urban space in the 1920s – first half of the 1940s and its varieties (educational, educational, leisure spaces). The author traces the process of assimilation of urban space by the child from learning the private space to learning the public one and to accumulating it in chil-dren's memory. The influence of traumatic experience on the nature of childhood memories is revealed. Special em-phasis is placed on the specifics of how the history of childhood and adolescence is represented in the memoirs of professional historians and to the factors affecting the degree of self-censorship and limiting confessional moment in such memories. The author compares autobiographical texts of different methods of fixation: spontaneous and pro-voked, written and dictated ones, and describes how the method of fixation affects the resulting text. The value of fixation of own children's discursive practices, expressed in the language of spatial representations, for constructing and reproducing a holistic and consistent line of life and for a full representation of the past is determined. 

 

Key words: autobiographical narrative, childhood history, children's space, provincial town, late Imperial / Sovi-et Russia, 1910s-1940s.

 

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