Cervantes in Russia

Cervantes in Russia

Cervantes in Russia

Cervantes in Russia

Excerpt

Foreign penetration has always been for Russia a matter of vital importance and great controversy. Lying as it does between Asia and Europe, Russia has ever been faced with the question of whether the East, the West, or its own national heritage is to determine its life and destiny. At times, Russia had no choice in the matter. When Asia heaved its barbaric hordes into the Steppe for the destruction of Kiev, Russia had to accept the East. Then, after it had recovered from the numbness of the Mongolian paralysis, the problem reappeared. The West began to filter in, sporadically during the reigns of Ivan the Terrible and Peter the Great, and continually after that of Catherine the Great. This flow was frequently impeded by hostile currents and the resulting turmoil was often violent, as in the struggle of the Westernists with the Slavophils. Today the stream of Western culture is still striving to penetrate into Russia. It is resisted by a strong nationalism which in the nineteenth century found expression in the philosophical concepts of Slavophilism, and now in the twentieth serves as the basis of Soviet diplomacy.

The question naturally arises whether this barrier is the same for all cultural elements. An examination of Russia's history reveals that for truly great literary masterpieces barriers do not exist. Characters like Don Quixote, Hamlet, Faust and Don Juan, the Western world's exponents of man's varying attitudes towards himself and society, by their very universality extended their appeal beyond national frontiers. Their contours are evident in some of the important works of the greatest Russian authors. It is not surprising that Ivan Turgenev, the . . .

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.