Article: PDF
DOI: 10.26170/FK19-02-12
Abstract: The article discusses political economy discourse of ego documents related to the life and work of Decembrists at the colony in Yalutorovsk, Tobolsk Province (1832–1856). We study the Decembrists’ private letters, autobiographical texts by I. D. Yakushkin, I. I. Pushchin, N. D. Fonvizina, E. P. Obolensky, as well as the memoirs written by M. S. Znamensky, O. N. Balakshina, A. P. Sozonovich, S. M. Semenov, K. M. Golodnikov etc. The subject of the research is “the political economy of empathy” discourse, expressed in the system of recurring motifs in the epistolary and autobiographical prose of the XIX century. The discursive approach (never applied previously with the reference to the Decembrist ego-documents) served a useful tool to analyze the documentary texts as artistic and publicistic sources, depicting the vision of the world, which is not typical for other texts created in the Siberian exile. The analysis of key discourse metaphors (“empathy”, “artel”, “Siberian family”, “strict circle”, “paradise of Yalutorovsk”) allows observing their specific historical content, taking into account the importance of metaphors in the Decembrists’ environment that had been assigned to them even before the uprising. We prove that daily routine at the Yalutorovsk colony bears features of a project and ideology due to the utopian desire to fulfill the economic and ethical ideas of Decembrism, profiting from “benefits” of the status of a “state criminal”. In the frames of “the political economy of empathy” and the theory of “exchange of gifts”, we reconsider the structure of private life of I. D. Yakushkin, I. I. Pushchin, M. I. Muravyov-Apostol, etc, their social activity, and the attempts to establish a Lancaster school, as well as to build ties with native people. The language of the Decembrists’ ego documents testify to the movement from the eschatological experience of the Siberian exile to creating a new myth of Siberia as the place of salvation. Later this concept developed in the Silver Age literature.

For citation

Rogacheva, N. A. “Political Economy of Empathy” in the Decembrists’ Ego Documents at the Yalutorovsk Colony / N. A. Rogacheva, E. N. Ertner . In Philological Class. 2019. №2 (56). P. 98-103. DOI 10.26170/FK19-02-12.