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The publication was prepared for the 200th anniversary of Dmitry Grigorovich, who was a contemporary of Turgenev, Tolstoy and Dostoevsky and whose literary and journalistic heritage still requires commentary and research reflection. The article presents an unfinished essay by Dmitry Grigorovich “Who is to blame?” Probably Grigorovich worked on the essay for the last ten years of his life, but the question posed in the essay remained unresolved. Grigorovich turns to the analysis of xenophobia. In the exposition of the essay, relying on his own observations and emotions, he writes about nationalism. Speaking about the external attributes of the nation, explaining his childhood and youthful fears, the writer is the most tendentious: he describes irrational phobias, trying to argue his right not only not to accept others, but also to be afraid of the appearance of representatives of other peoples. This part of the work ends with a discussion about the stereotypes that people have in relation to different nations. The main part of the essay refutes the preliminary judgments made earlier: it is devoted to the history of a Jewish master from Vilna and an executive Baltic official Gaberbir. Unlike Fjodor Dostoevsky, who formulated his position on this matter in the “Diary of a Writer,” Mikhail Katkov and Konstantin Pobedonostsev, who pursued a tendentious nationalist line in periodicals, Dmitry Grigorovich refuses to reach a verdict, although he raises a question that cannot be answered on the pages of his work. Moreover, the issue that bothered the writer was resolved by Anton Chekhov, who managed to translate Russian literature into a universal dimension.
The essay is published in accordance with the rules of modern spelling and punctuation; occasional errors are corrected.
- Keywords: Russian literature of the 19th century, Grigorovich, identity, national question, xenophobia, self-reflection.
- For citation:
“D.V. Grigorovich: ‘Who is to Blame?’,” text prep. and comment. by A.E. Kozlov. Literaraturnyi fakt, no. 2 (24), 2022, pp. 152–168. https://doi.org/10.22455/2541-8297-2022-24-152-168
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The research was funded by Russian Science Foundation (RSF), project no. 21-78-00011.