The Specifics of Visual and Textual Existence of the “Window to Europe” Metaphor in Russian Journalism of the 19th – Early 20th Centuries

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Olga S. Kruglikova

PhD in Philology, Associate Professor at the Chair of Journalism History, St. Petersburg State University, St. Petersburg, Russia

Elena S. Sonina

PhD in Philology, Associate Professor at the Chair of Journalism History, Saint Petersburg State University, Saint Petersburg, Russia


Section: History of Journalism

The research analyzes the specifics of visual and textual existence of the “window to Europe” metaphor in Russian journalism of the 19th – early 20th centuries. The phrase, coined by F. Algarotti and rephrased by Pushkin, acquired symbolic meaning in the political discourse of the 19th century Russia. It was used widely in journalism as part of the discussion about Peter the Great’s role in Russian history. Based on the history of ideas method, the article examines 24 verbal and 16 visual representations of the studied metaphor, identified in periodicals, letters and memoirs, and comes to the conclusion that the interpretation of the “window to Europe” metaphor varied depending on the political position of a periodical and the author’s intention. The metaphor was widely used by journalism in texts and illustrations, it was rpeatedly interpreted by satirical graphic artists and became a tool of polemic about the goals, scope and consequences of Peter the Great’s reforms. The active use of this metaphor was caused by the fact that the Russian socio-political dialogue of the 19th century experienced a significant influence of the literary process, so even political journalism tended to symbolize and poeticize the texts. The "window to Europe" metaphor successfully retained its polemical figurative meaning in political discourse throughout the 19th century thanks to the numerous analogies and complex memories that were actively created by 19th century journalists. However, by the beginning of the 20th century the metaphor lost its former imagery, turning into a clich .

Keywords: Peter I, “window to Europe”, political controversy, satirical graphics
DOI: 10.30547/vestnik.journ.4.2020.5379


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