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The Gumilev MystiqueBiopolitics, Eurasianism, and the Construction of Community in Modern Russia$
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Mark Bassin

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780801445941

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801445941.001.0001

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Gumilev and the Russian Nationalists

Gumilev and the Russian Nationalists

(p.177) 7 Gumilev and the Russian Nationalists
The Gumilev Mystique

Mark Bassin

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines the emergence of a post-Stalinist movement of Russian nationalism, in which Gumilev occupied a significant if ambivalent position. For Russian nationalists, Gumilev represented a profound enigma, and their reception of him was highly mixed. For instance, his positions on environmental protection and Russian-Khazar interaction resonated positively with Russian nationalist sentiments in the late Soviet period. However, there was another key aspect of the nationalist perspective that was notably absent from his work. There was really nothing in his writings that reflected the exclusive preoccupation with ethnic Russia that was characteristic for the nationalists, and he did not seem to support the prioritization of ethnic Russia's interests over and above those of other Soviet nationalities. Gumilev's alternative narrative of early Russian history also offended nationalist sensibilities to their very core.

Keywords:   Russian nationalism, post-Stalinist movement, ethnic Russia, Lev Nikolaevich Gumilev, environmental protection, Russian-Khazar interaction

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