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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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Russia’s Uncanny Double

(p.81) Chapter 4 Ukraine
Haunted Empire

Valeria Sobol

Cornell University Press

This chapter introduces Ukraine as the quintessential locale of the Russian imperial uncanny. It discusses Ukraine's complicated history of its integration into the Russian Empire. Unlike Finland, Ukraine was perceived as a repository of specifically Slavic authenticity and national culture. The topic of Ukraine in the Russian imperialist discourse and Gogol's complicated relationship to his Ukrainian and Russian “selves” have been sufficiently addressed in scholarship. Thus the chapter only outlines the major factors that contributed to the image of Gothic Ukraine in the Russian literary imagination as its uncanny double and briefly discusses Gogol's stories The Night before Christmas and A Terrible Vengeance (1832) as case studies.

Keywords:   Ukraine, Russian Empire, Slavic authenticity, national culture, Gogol, Gothic Ukraine, The Night before Christmas, A Terrible Vengeance

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