Letters of a Russian Traveler, 1789-1790: An Account of a Young Russian Gentleman's Tour through Germany, Switzerland, France, and England

Letters of a Russian Traveler, 1789-1790: An Account of a Young Russian Gentleman's Tour through Germany, Switzerland, France, and England

Letters of a Russian Traveler, 1789-1790: An Account of a Young Russian Gentleman's Tour through Germany, Switzerland, France, and England

Letters of a Russian Traveler, 1789-1790: An Account of a Young Russian Gentleman's Tour through Germany, Switzerland, France, and England

Excerpt

Traveling, in its richest sense, has to do with movement in time as well as in space, and it was this approach to one of life's most enriching experiences which drew me to this particular traveler. For Karamzin in moved not only from place to place, but also from age to age--from his own time backward--and forward into ours.

With the unbounded curiosity and interest, the continuous quest and sensibility so typical of his century, he recorded not only his impressions of people and places but also his reactions to ideas, his attitude toward attitudes. He posed questions. He offered answers. And, though he was limited, as everyone is, by his own age, many of his questions and answers appear so "modern"' that one can only ask, Is this eighteenth-century, twenty-two-year-old "enlightened" youth not typical of the "enlightened" youth of every era?

It was because these letters are so fresh, so alive, so current, that I wanted to share them. And therefore, this translation.

Actually, Karamzin wrote more than is presented here. The selection of material has not been easy. In order to preserve the smooth flow of Karamzin's writing I have avoided the use of deletion marks. In most cases I have included entire letters, but I have also omitted letters or retained only excerpts. Karamzin visited and described many churches, monuments, and other sights of interest to travelers. He also poured forth his feelings in lengthy sentimental passages. In the belief that this tends to become repetitious and might therefore prove cloying to the: modern reader, I have chosen only those sections which I feel.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.