Die Figur der Protopopica. Ein Beitrag zur altrussischen Autobiographie
The article focuses on the most famous Russian pre-modern autobiography The Life by protopope Avvakum (1621/22–1682) to discuss his wife Natas’ja Markovna as one of its essential characters. Being the leader of the movement against religious reform in the seventeenth century Russia, Avvakum composed his life story in accordance with hagiographical canon of the martyr to send a propaganda message to his followers. The figure of Natas’ja Markovna in his text also works for this aim. In accordance with women’s hagiographic canon she is portrayed as wife and mother completely subjected to her husband’s will and doomed to share all hardships of his life. Though Avvakum’s autobiography was widely read, this religious/social context was often understood as insignificant for understanding its meanings. The same is true for the figure of the protopopica, which was used by Russian scholars and writers of the twentieth century to establish a canon of the model wife.