“On the Pastures of History” (Towards Semiotization of Historiosophical Categories in Slavophiles’ Opinion Writing)

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Vladimir N. Grekov

Doctor of Philology, Professor of Russian Orthodox University of St. John the Divine, Moscow, Russia

e-mail: grekov-@mail.ru

Section: Essay

This article examines early Slavophiles’ opinion writing. The author draws on the assumption of polycentricity of Slavophiles’ historiosophical works and inevitable polyphony of texts. An analysis of Slavophiles’ first writings (A.S. Khomyakov’s article “About the Old and the New” and I.V. Kireevsky’s answer) proves that their ideas of Ancient Rus were contradictory and inconsistent. This can be accounted for by the contradiction between their wholehearted attachment to old ways and recognition of fundamental drawbacks of Old Russian life. However, this explanation inevitably leads to the conclusion about idealization of the ancient world and utopian nature of Slavophilic opinion writing. Khomyakov himself foresaw the accusation of idealization of the past and tried to avoid it. The article shows for the first time that in his opinion writing Khomyakov used the “countermove” of historical research turning at first to modernity and then going back to Old Russian life. Later this device was used by historian L.P. Karsavin. Because of such an approach, not only is the chronology of the events broken down but also the cause-and-effect relations of these events are destroyed. The facts seem to be isolated, they create a new conceptual system and get included into a special pictorial row. Subsequently, semiotization of historiosophical categories takes place and the language of Slavophilic opinion writing is created.

Keywords: Slavophiles’ opinion writing, “countermove”, polycentrism, semiotization
DOI: 10.30547/vestnik.journ.6.2022.178199


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To cite this article: Grekov V. N. (2022) «Na pazhityakh istorii» (k voprosu o semiotizatsii istoriosofskikh kategoriy v publitsistike slavyanofilov) [“On the Pastures of History” (Towards Semiotization of Historiosophical Categories in Slavophiles’ Opinion Writing)]. Vestnik Moskovskogo Universiteta. Seriya 10. Zhurnalistika 6: 178–199. DOI: 10.30547/vestnik.journ.6.2022.178199