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Images of Russia: Strategies for Writing About Russia in Contemporary Polish Literary Reportage. P. 41–54

Версия для печати

Section: Philology

UDC

[811.162.1.+821.162.1]:81’272

DOI

1 0.17238/issn2227-6564.2019.3.41

Authors

Barbara Sobczak
Adam Mickiewicz University; ul. Wieniawskiego 1, 61-712, Poznań, Republic of Poland;
e-mail: bsobczak@amu.edu.pl
Monika Wójciak
Adam Mickiewicz University; ul. Wieniawskiego 1, 61-712, Poznań, Republic of Poland;
e-mail: monika8@amu.edu.pl

Abstract

In Poland, the notion of Russia triggers a comprehensive and diverse – but above all, emotionally charged – system of ideas and conceptual associations. It is partly due to literary images. As a result of the complicated Polish-Russian relations, both Russia and Russians have been the focus for Polish writers for many centuries now. Throughout the last thirty years, the issue has been especially investigated by reporters, who try to understand and describe it. An analysis of the texts of three authors – Ryszard Kapuściński, Jacek Hugo-Bader, and Mariusz Wilk – allows us to identify the ways in which Polish authors write about Russia. These schemes mainly stem from the writer’s attitude towards the world. These include 1) the attitude of an inspector – someone who comes to Russia in order to verify, or rather, to solidify their beliefs about the world; 2) the attitude of a searcher, that is, someone who wanders from place to place looking for people, sensations and emotions; 3) the attitude of an explorer, for whom Russia is a reality in which one must first immerse themselves in order to explore and describe it. These attitudes are linked to specific strategies of writing about Russia. Choosing the reportage was not a random decision. Due to its documentary nature, the requirement of objectivity and fidelity to the subject of the narrative, the reportage is treated by the recipients as an important and reliable source of information. The polemical capacity towards such broadcasts disappears, making them an effective tool for creating images of the world.

Keywords

Polish reportage, Polish-Russian relations, images of Russia, narrative, inspector, searcher, explorer
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