Review by Choice Review
Hubb's new book provides a wealth of material on Russian peasant folklore and ritual. Her focus is quite definitely on female divinities and the cults attached to them, but her net is wide and much else is included, although not in a systematic manner. Her argument--that much in traditional Russian culture represents the persistence of cults of the great goddess--is not new, but her book is unique in its comprehensive coverage. Despite its virtues, however, this reviewer was left uneasy. The subject matter is so large, the sources so varied, and the goddess herself appears in so many guises, that questions arise about the author's theoretical framework, the standards she used in evaluating her sources, and the validity of her argument. The last section, on "Pushkin and Other Champions from the Intelligentsia," was particularly disappointing. Hubbs's analysis, confined solely to Pushkin and her interpretation of two of Pushkin's works, is based on her belief that the goddess myth continues to prevail in Russia, and is not entirely convincing. -J. Zimmerman, University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.