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Haunted EmpireGothic and the Russian Imperial Uncanny$
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Valeria Sobol

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501750571

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501750571.001.0001

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From the Island of Bornholm to Taman′: The Literary Trajectory of the Russian Imperial Uncanny

(p.1) Introduction
Haunted Empire

Valeria Sobol

Cornell University Press

This chapter talks about the Gothic tradition, the Russian Empire, and the geography of the Russian Gothic. It begins by talking about Mikhail Lermontov's novel A Hero of our Time to set an example to show the recognizable tropes of Gothic literature. It defines “the imperial uncanny” as the instability in the categories of one's own and the foreign, the familiar and the strange, self and other, a confusion resulting from the threatening ambiguity of the Russian imperial space. The chapter gives a history of the Gothic tradition, how it manifested in the literature of the Russian Empire, and its reception.

Keywords:   Gothic tradition, Russian Empire, geography, imperial uncanny, self, other, tropes, Gothic literature, Russian Gothic

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