A Nation Astray
Nomadism and National Identity in Russian Literature
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: Northern Illinois University Press
Title Page, Copyright, Quote
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I would like to convey my gratitude to the many colleagues and friends who have contributed to the completion of this book. The idea for it was conceived while I was a graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley; thus my first thanks and largest debt are to the illustrious faculty there who set me on the path of writing this project: Harsha Ram, olga Matich, David Frick, Anne ...
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...even today these homeless Russian wanderers continue their wandering; they will not disappear, it seems, for a long time yet. And if in our time these wanderers no longer go to Gypsy camps to search in that wild, distinctive way of life for universal ideals, nor look for respite from the contradictory and absurd life of our Russian intelligentsia […] in the bosom of nature, then, all the same ...
1—Tracing the Topos of theEternal Russian Traveler
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Karamzin’s 1797 Letters of a Russian Traveler (Pis’ma russkogo puteshestvennika) and Dostoevsky’s 1863 Winter Notes on Summer Impressions (Zimnie zametki o letnikh vpechatleniiakh) are at first glance very different texts, lying as they do at the outer boundaries of the Russian Romantic period, yet they exist in an important lineage of Russian writing about travel and identity. Given their ...
2—Chaadaev’s Wayward Russia
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In our houses we are like billeted guests; in our families we possess the look of The trace Chaadaev left on the consciousness of Russian society is so deep of the Russian Romantics of the 1820s and 30s, Petr Iakovlevich Chaadaev (1794–1856) has frequently been described as the most ironic and paradoxical.1 A philosopher, he published only one major work in his lifetime, and that, ...
3—A Poet Astray
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Then for a long time I led a nomadic life, wandering first in the south, then in the North, and yet I never broke free from the borders of boundless Russia.The poet Alexander sergeevich Pushkin occupies a central role in the Russian literary-historical imagination: he is the emblematic Russian poet—the most Romantic of Russian Romantics—and has typically been viewed as ...
4—“A Journey around the Worldby I. Oblomov”
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Listening to my moaning and groaning, you will of course ask, why did I depart? […] Permit me this: Did I really depart? From where? From Petersburg? In this vein can’t you also ask why I departed from London the other day, from Moscow several years ago, and why I will depart from Portsmouth in two weeks, etc.? Really, am I not an eternal traveler, like anyone who has no family and no ...
5—A Radical at Large
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He became in fact what in spirit he had been since the great trek from The Bedouin has his own soil, his own tent, he has his own way of life.… The Russian is poorer than the Bedouin… he has nothing with which he might be Prevented by his liberal political views and critical attitude toward the government from being “at home” in the repressive Russia of Nicholas I, the ...
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In conclusion, this book returns to its starting point, Dostoevsky’s Pushkin speech of 1880. As I hope I have shown, the “Russian wanderer” whom Dostoevsky both named and vociferously bemoaned in the speech is a phenomenon that reaches far beyond the confines of Pushkin’s work or even Dostoevsky’s analysis. Rather, we might imagine that Dostoevsky’s speech evoked the passionate ...
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Page Count: 265
Publication Year: 2012