Institute of Scientific Information for Social Sciences
of the Russian Academy of Sciences
LITERATUROVEDCHESKII
ZHURNAL
The Journal of Literary History and Theory
Peer-reviewed Academic Journal

WESTERNIZERS AND SLAVOPHILES REFLECTED IN RUSSIAN TRAVELS

Guminskii V.M.

Victor M. Guminskii, DSc in Philology, Professor, Principal Researcher, A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Povarskaya Street, 25 a, 121069, Moscow, Russia. E-mail: gumins@rinet.ru

Abstract

The article deals with the paradox of the Russian social thought and literature, including the ambiguity of the historical images of Russian westernizers and slavophiles. The travel genre focused on the contrast between us and them. Two outstading Russian pieces of this genre (published almost simultaneously) contributed to the polemics of westernizers and slavophiles reflecting the inconsistencies of their positions. “Letters on Spain” by V.P. Botkin follows the idea, similar to slavophiles’, of the need to preserve the national identity under the conditions of modern (mid 19th century) globalization affecting the suburbs of the European world. The surprising unanimity shown by westernizers and slavophiles (essentialists) in their assessment of Monk Parfeny’s “Narrative of Travels…” gives us the opportunity to a have a new look at the essence of their debates regarding the future development of Russia and Russian literature (religious and national-historical aspects).

Keywords

slavophiles; westernizers; travel literature; “Letter on Spain” by V.P. Botkin; identity; European civilization; Monk Parfeny’s “Narrative of Travels…”.

Recieved

21.10.2021

Accepted

17.11.2021

For citation

Guminskii, V.M. “Westernizers and Slavophiles Reflected in Russian Travels”. Literaturovedcheskii zhurnal, no. 1(55), 2022, pp. 9–31. (In Russ.) DOI: 10.31249/litzhur/2022.55.01

DOI: 10.31249/litzhur/2022.55.01

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