By Susanna Rabow-Edling

Susanna Rabow-Edling examines the 1st concept of the Russian state, formulated via the Slavophiles within the moment region of the 19th century, and its courting to the West. utilizing cultural nationalism as a device for realizing Slavophile considering, she argues Russian nationwide id used to be now not formed towards Europe as a way to separate Russia from the West. fairly, it originated as an try and counter the sensation of cultural backwardness between Russian intellectuals by means of making it attainable for Russian tradition to imagine a number one function within the common growth of humanity. This reinterpretation of Slavophile principles concerning the Russian kingdom bargains a extra advanced picture of the position of Europe and the West in shaping a Russian nationwide identification.

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Slavophile Thought and the Politics of Cultural Nationalism

Susanna Rabow-Edling examines the 1st conception of the Russian state, formulated via the Slavophiles within the moment region of the 19th century, and its courting to the West. utilizing cultural nationalism as a device for figuring out Slavophile pondering, she argues Russian nationwide identification used to be no longer formed against Europe so one can separate Russia from the West.

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Moreover, by looking at Romantic thought we are also able to understand how the formulation of Slavophilism could solve this crisis, since Romantic ideas and concepts constituted the main source out of which a Russian national identity was formed. Many scholars have pointed at the Romantic influence on Slavophilism. Riasanovsky even argues that it is wrong to talk about the influence of Romantic ideas on the Slavophiles. Rather, “spiritually the Slavophiles were a part of the Romantic movement” and should, accordingly, be treated as one of the groups of Romantic intellectuals that spread all over nineteenth-century Europe.

5 Dmitry Venevitinov, a fellow member, was also concerned with the insignificance of Russian culture. He argued that it was not possible to build a national culture with external forms imported from the West. Without a genuine foundation, there could only be an illusory culture. ”6 Ivan Kireevsky continued in the vein of the Society of the Lovers of Wisdom, where he himself had been a member. In an early article, he claimed that Russian works could be of no interest to the rest of the world solely as reflections of European literature, except perhaps in terms of quantity.

Since titles meant little to the Russian nobility, social status was enhanced by skills in foreign languages and knowledge of Western literature and culture. Compared to their English or Prussian counterparts, Russian aristocrats were more culturally insecure and isolated. Through association with Western culture, they were given a sense of individual worth and dignity, but this also provided them with common values and roles. Hence, Westernization had a significant impact on the formation of a public identity for the educated elite, and this identity rested on the two ideas that brought them together—public service and culture.

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