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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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Afterword

Afterword

Chapter:
(p.135) Afterword
Source:
Haunted Empire
Author(s):

Valeria Sobol

Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:10.7591/cornell/9781501750571.003.0008

This chapter reflects on the contemporary moment, which has witnessed a revival of Russia's expansionist and imperial discourse. It discusses “physiognomy” — a concern that pervaded Russian literary criticism of the time and found its manifestation in such uncanny fictional characters as the characters of the stories discussed in this book. The book discussed the anxieties that underlay several literary works of the time that deployed, seriously or subversively (and often both), popular Gothic tropes. The Gothic conventions served not exclusively as purely literary techniques intended to create a mysterious and suspenseful atmosphere in the work, to provoke certain emotions in the reader, or, in some cases, to mock a fashionable literary form. The chapter concludes that the book reconstructs a coherent tradition of the Russian imperial uncanny — a fictional space into which the Russian Empire projected its colonial fantasies and anxieties, and where it created its monsters and doubles that continue to haunt the Russian historical imagination.

Keywords:   expansionist discourse, physiognomy, Gothic tropes, Gothing conventions, Russian imperial uncanny, projection, Russian literary criticism, Russian Empire

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