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A Published Answer to Petr Chaadaev’S First “Philosophical Letter”: A Comment on Russian Political Language of the 1830s

Listed author(s):
  • Mikhail Velizhev


    (National Research University Higher School of Economics)

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    This paper is aimed at exploring the rhetorical conventions of political polemics in 19th century Russia. We will compare two texts published in the 1830s – a classic “First Philosophical Letter” by Petr Chaadaev and a less known reply to it written by young Andrej Krayevsky – “Thoughts on Russia”. First we plan to focus on their stated ideas, and then to consider the political language of the opponents. As we will see, if their ideas were completely different, Chaadaev and Krayevsky shared the same political idiom – the language of official national ideology. We will try to demonstrate that it was possible to use the language of the official ideology not only to establish that ideology but paradoxically also to start an open debate with it.

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    Paper provided by National Research University Higher School of Economics in its series HSE Working papers with number WP BRP 19/LS/2017.

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    Length: 16 pages
    Date of creation: 2017
    Publication status: Published in WP BRP Series: Literary Studies / LS, January 2017, pages 1-16
    Handle: RePEc:hig:wpaper:19/ls/2017
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