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Historical Reality and Cultural Memory: The Image of Peter I in Russian Literature and Folklore

Seonjeong Seo 1

1경북대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

In the world history in the rein of totalitarianism cultural project of government had been activated, and consequently of it official culture had been organized. But at the same time on the other side of it people(‘narod’), who didn’t have cultural means for active expression of own opinion on the reality, had expressed world-view and judgement informally in everyday language. In the literature of autocracy, subjected to censorship, had been expressed and fixed mythically idealized image of sovereign and his works. But in the folklore the image of ruler had been created by liberal fantasy of people. This article examined russian literature and folklore texts of 18 century, when russian people suffered from rapid and dramatic changes, caused by Peter I. Although russian literature of 18 century had gone over to the new literary regime, it still accepted political mechanism as dominant of age, and consequently in the literary texts of this century Peter I was represented as ideal person and great monarch. But various images in folklore texts show that people’s opinion on ruler and his activities couldn’t be controlled. In other worlds, diverse images of Peter I in folklore texts reflect clear and plain historical consciousness of people. This analysis reveals not only difference between mechanism of idealization of government and historical consciousness of people, but also meaning of cultural memory as indicator of historical reality.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.

This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.