Pre-Modern Seminar No 13: Roman Voitekhovich
On Monday April 2nd at 18.15 at the library of Skandinavistika Roman Voitekhovich will give a talk called:
"Russian frost and Russian national character: from anecdotes to theories (15th-19th centuries)"
The seminar will take place in the library of Skandinavistika (Ülikooli 17) at 18.15.
Roman has sent us a short presentation of the lecture:
"In winter of 1413 Ghilbert de Lannoy visited northern Russian lands (Novgorod and Pskov), where he allegedly saw a pot with meat that "was boiling on the one side and freezing as ice on the other". Later on, the strong cold became a common place in description of Russia. A number of rhetoric models appeared to describe the strength of the frost. The most interesting are hyperbolic and oxymoron models, such as that example of Lannoy. The local frost was also used in description of Russian national character. However, the effect upon human nature was more controversial issue than the effect upon water or animals and plants. In late 18th and 19th centuries the old stories about Russian frost were reinterpreted in many ways: mocked in the adventures of Münchhausen, criticized in poetry by A. Mickiewicz, used in allegorical way by French historian J. Michlet, treated in a positive way by T. Gautier. Finally, the metaphor 'Russian frost = Russian government penetrated the Russian political thought and preserved in formula "it is necessary to freeze Russia a little, so that it does not 'rot'" (K. Leontyev)."
Wine, bread, fruit, cheese and ham will be served.