Publications by Type: Journal Articles

2020
Toker, Leona. “Irina Astashkevich, Gendered Violence: Jewish Women in the Pogroms of 1917 to 1921.” Antisemitism Studies 4, no. 2 (2020): 403-407.Abstract

book review

Toker, Leona. “"Bruised Fists": A Shift of Values in Nabokov's Fiction in the Late 1930s.” Krug: Journal of the Vladimir Nabokov Society of Japan 12 (2020): 1-20.Abstract

 

The work of writers in exile is generally expected to display the theme of nostalgia and the techniques of defamiliarization. It is seldom noted that the experience of a young emigrant is sometimes characterized by bouts of overwhelming poignant happiness, of joy yielded by the senses in response to the natural or even urban scenes. This happiness, against the background of a near-sublime self-sufficiency, is a distinctive feature of Nabokov’s experience of the twenties, despite the painful blows that he received; it is a recurrent theme in his poetry, fiction, and letters. By the late 1930s, for a variety of personal and political reasons, the waves of joy become rare. Instead, Nabokov’s other capacities deepen and gain further development, a modified axiology partly replacing the youthful happiness or compensating for the infrequency of its returns. This paper is devoted to the shift of emphases in Nabokov’s poetics and his thematic concerns after he could no longer base his eschatology on a recurrent experience of joyful oneness with the world.    

 

Toker, Leona. “Nezakonnaia kometa. Varlam Shalamov: Opyt medlennoto chteniya, by Elena Mikhailik.” Slavic Review 79, no. 2 (2020): 485-486.Abstract

book review

Toker, Leona. “Solzhenitsyn, Aleksandr. The Red Wheel. Node III: March 1917, Book 2 (book review).” The Russian Review 70, no. 3 (2020): 487-488.Abstract

book review

Yun, Lan, and Leona Toker. “Cultural Remission, Factographic Literature and Ethical Criticism: An Interview with Leona Toker.” Interdisciplinary Studies of Literature 4, no. 1 (2020): 1-18.Abstract

In December 2019, Ms. Lan Yun interviewed Leona Toker during her academic visit to Shanghai Jiao Tong University. In this interview, Toker approaches the concept of cultural remission and Gulag and Holocaust literature from an ethical perspective, exploring the complex relationship between literary forms and their ethical consequences. She claims that ethical criticism is coming back in new ways and that analysis of the ethics of form may take over from that of the ethics of character behavior as a potential orientation for future studies.

Toker, Leona. “Review of Nabokov and Indeterminacy: The Case of the Real Life of Sebastian Knight, by Priscilla Meyer.” Partial Answers 18, no. 1 (2020): 182-85. Publisher's Version
2019
Testimony and Fictionality in Georgy Demidov's Gulag Stories.” Partial Answers 17, no. 2 (2019): 299-318. Publisher's Version
Toker, Leona, and Jeremy Hawthorn. “Literature as Time's Witness: Special Issue in Honor of Jakob Lothe. Introduction..” Partial Answers 17, no. 2 (2019): 195-200. Publisher's Version
Literary Reflections of Elitocide: Georgy Demidov and Precursors.” Verbeia 3 (2019): 83-105. Publisher's VersionAbstract

 

Whereas the killing of the elites, whether as part of genocide, as a bid for enslavement of a community, or as an expression of a social ressentiment, dates back to ancient times, it is owing to the atrocities of the twentieth century that histories of elitocide assembled the critical mass for the concept to emerge. This paper is devoted to literary reflections of elitocide, many of which can likewise be recognized as such only after the phenomenon itself has crystallized in collective memory. Literary treatments of the issue of elitocide includes works by Dostoevsky (The Devils), H. G. Wells (The Time Machine), and Nabokov (Bend Sinister), but my main example is the theme of the destruction of the most talented in the Gulag stories by Georgy Demidov.

 

2018
"On Two of the Lolitas" (in Hebrew).” Dokhak 9 (2018): 191-96.Abstract

Afterword to Dorothy Parker, "Lolita," trans. Aviad Stir.

2016
Review of Julie Hansen and Andrei Rogachevskii, eds., Punishment as a Crime? Perspectives on Prison Experience in Russian Culture.” Slavic Review 75, no. 2 (2016): 529-30.
Playgrounds.” Style 50, no. 4 (2016): 489-92.
Representation of Forced Labor in Shalamov's 'Wheelbarrow I' and "Wheelbarrow II'.” Mémoires en jeu / Memories at Stake 1, no. 1 (2016): 77-85.
2015
Review of Anna Colin Lebedev, Le coeur politique des meres: Analyse du mouvement des meres de soldats en Russie.” Slavic Review 74, no. 1 (2015): 201-202.
Review of Christa Schönfelder, Wounds and Words: Childhood and Family Trauma in Romantic and Postmodern Fiction.” Style 49, no. 2 (2015): 240-43.
Hypallage and the Literalization of Metaphors in a Dickens Text.” Style 49, no. 2 (2015): 113-25.
‘Khaki Hamlets Don’t Hesitate’: A Semiological Reading of References to the Boer War and Concentration Camps in Joyce’s Ulysses.” Journal of Modern Literature 38, no. 2 (2015): 45-58. Publisher's VersionAbstract

 

Information about the early history of concentration camps can shed light on the meaning of Stephen Dedalus's reference to “concentration camps sung by Mr. Swinburne” in the library episode of Joyce's Ulysses. Having made their way into the text, external references enter an array of relationships with other narrative details of the novel. The semiological model of literary analysis can help us in balancing attention to the properties of the text and to contextual information, in choosing the relevant data for analysis, avoiding detours in pedagogical practice, and remaining alert to the ways in which the text refracts historical realities and provides a comment on them. The comment of Ulysses on concentration camps has a prophetic quality.

 

Périodisation et contextualisation de la littérature soviétique sur la Shoah.” Fabula: La recherché en littérature, no. Oct. 29 (2015). Publisher's Version

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