Four Versions of as Attempts at Cross-Cultural Dialogue

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кимура, Т.
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서울대학교 러시아연구소
러시아연구, Vol.11 No.2, pp. 261-291
동과 서카프카즈의 포로East and WestThe Captive of the Caucasus
Tsarist Russia' s incursion into the Caucasus engendered a fundamental change in the Russian consciousness. Having found an "East" in the Caucasus, Russian intellectuals began to think of themselves as representatives of the "West." This was at a time when Romanticism formed the literary mainstream, and Orientalist modes of thought dominated the world of letters, contributing to the tendency to divide the world conceptually between the binary poles of East and West. The culture of Russia itself, however, had a dual structure. On the one hand the aristocracy, with its very few members, and on the other hand the peasantry, with its overwhelming numbers, embodied two different cultures. Deep down at its roots, however, the former shared the culture of the latter. The Russian cultural identity consequently gave rise to various conflicting mind-sets that survive to this day. Russian writers found the Caucasus such an attractive subject that they produced several literary works describing the nature and people of that land during the 19th century. In recent years, certain European and American scholars of Russian literature, influenced by Edward W. Said' s critique of Orientalism, have approached those works almost exclusively in terms of whether or not they are orientalist. Particularly harsh criticism has been directed at the two na poems, both titled written Ьу А. S. Pushkin and Lermontov.

Pushkin' s роет exercised а significant influence оп the Russian literature

that followed, typified Ьу L. N. Tolstoi' s short story, which also took the same title. This group of literary works provide fertile ground for аcomparative cultural study exploring the reception Ьу 19th-century Russian writers of the Caucasus, this land with а culture different from their own. The Caucasus was а topic of widespread discussion among writers and journalists in 20th-century Russia, as well, during the recent intensification of the Chechen conflict in the mid-1990s. Given this context, the short story written Ьу Makanin under the same title (although "captive" here

is rendered Ьу the word plennyi instead of plennik) stimulated intense debate in Russian critical circles. Thus the seeds sown Ьу Pushkin provided, almost two centuries later, an occasion to illuminate the cultural and intellectual relationship that exists between Russia and the Caucasus. This study takes that phenomenon for reevaluation, but not from the same perspective taken Ьу the critics of Orientalism. The point of departure here is provided Ьу the understanding that to subject the works in question to an exclusively Orientalist critique is to risk losing sight of

fundamental differences between those works. The principal analytical tool applied in this study is the working concept of dialogism. The appropriateness of this research method is discussed and affirmed in the Introduction. Chapter 1, "The Formation of Russian Images of the Caucasus," maintains that the myth of the Caucasus was created less Ьу the intelligentsia and literati of the time than it was Ьу the ordinary

Russian colonists who went and settled that alien land. This discussion also refers to the fact that upper-class Russians, who were educated in Western European culture, developed а discourse of attempted objectivity about the natures, folkways, and customs of the peoples of the Caucasus, and although they were unable to fully cast off their Orientalist prejudices, that discourse was itself drawn into this mythical world and read in аdistorted form. That distorted reading has been passed down to the present day. Chapter 2, "Dialogism and Cultural Autism," shows the differences that arise between readings of У. Makanin' s short story that use the analytical tool of dialogisrn, and readings that apply а typological method. Chapter 3, "The Negation of Negation in Russian Classical Authors," first takes Tolstoi' s short story and compares it with the narrative poems Ьу Pushkin and Lermontov in terms of four points of difference: The protagonist' s social position, his reasons for being taken captive, the events leading to his contact with the young indigenous woman, and his attitude toward his homeland. The chapter also identifies fundamental differences between ushkin' s and Lermontov' s narrative poems that have Ьееп overlooked up to this time. The chapter further points out that Pushkin's antagonism to the poems Ьу Derzhavin and Zhukovskii was what motivated him to write his own narrative роет.

Chapter 4, "The Keywords of Orientalism: Dikii and Vol'nyi," uses а concordance created Ьу the author for these works Ьу Pushkin, Lermontov, and Tolstoi to compare the extent to which Orientalism influenced these three literary figures. The analysis demonstrates а distinct correlation with the relatively larger presence of elements of dialogisrn, which is the working concept of this study overall. The term dikii as used in Pushkin' s time (including Ьу the poet himsеlf did not yet differentiate the two

senses of barbaric and feral, which are distinguished Ьу context in the Russian language today. The possibility is raised, therefore, that the poet used this word without апу clear awareness of that sense of something that has Ьееп left behind Ьу civilization and failed to develop culturally. The conclusion emphasizes, not the binary approach taken, for example, Ьу anti-Orientalism, but rather the dialectical approach that discems ап affirmative moment within the negative moment. This latter approach is of greater importance for comparative cultural and literary historical studies.
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College of Humanities (인문대학)Institute for Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies (러시아문화권연구소)러시아연구 (Russian Studies)러시아연구 Volume 11 Number 1/2 (2001)
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