I don't have any real insight at this point, but as of this moment, The Daughter is watching some kind of American-ized anime program on FOX, and a male character just said something like this:
I'm a lit student, majoring in Russian novels. Those are really long books about poor, sad people in tattered overcoats living hungry through very cold and long winters in old, ramshackle houses. It makes me a really cheery guy to be with!
Other than leaving out the insular and judgmental clerics in their icy monasteries, he pretty much nailed it!