The Romantic Other: Adam Mickiewicz in Russia
This dissertation examines the role of Polish poet Adam Mickiewicz as the Romantic Other in the formation of Russia's Romantic identity during his Russian sojourn between 1824 and 1829. Analysis of Mickiewicz's image as the poetic Other, with respect to his Russian contemporaries, reveals the process that led to the establishment of their individual and national identities during the transition from Classicism to Romanticism in the second half of the 1820s. Examination of materials gathered
... erials gathered from a variety of sources - poetry dedicated to, and inspired by, Mickiewicz, reviews of his work, correspondence and memoirs - demonstrates how contemporary Russians perceived Mickiewicz: a Polish poet, all at once a representative of Western literature and culture, a Lithuanian bard, a Slavic Byron, and a poet who was also close to Russia's cultural and poetic tradition. Special consideration is also given to Mickiewicz as the Other in Pushkin's poetic paradigm "bard vs. prophet", through which the Russian poet expressed and interpreted his own poetic identity in the context of Western and Russian literature. Such a multi-dimensional image of Mickiewicz reflects the Russians' struggle to establish their own Romantic identity in response to Western literary and cultural models, as well as one that would reflect Russia's own history and tradition. By examining Mickiewicz's so far unexplored position as the Romantic Other, this dissertation provides a new perspective on the significant role that the Polish poet and his work played in the critical period of Russia's transition towards its own Romantic literature.