Słowiańszczyzna wyobrażona. Próba opisu XIX-wiecznego dyskursu slawistycznego
IMAGINARY THE SLAVS. AN ATTEMPT AT A DESCRIPTION OF NINETEENTH-CENTURY SLAVIC DISCOURSE
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The paper attempts to present the description of nineteenth-century Slavistic discourse. Using findings of Hayden White, the article outlines how the Slavs were presented in and by discourse. In the description of the Slavic culture, West Europe seemed to be unable to actually see the huge and essential internal linguistic, ethnic, national, political, religious and finally cultural diversity. Initially, the Slavs were perceived as the Other, but gradually the concept of the Slavic culture as an imaginary notion, which was an emancipated construct created in Western consciousness, based on incomplete and often false assumptions, was changing. Particular emphasis has been placed on the analysis of Slavistic discourse in 3 perspectives: culture – non-culture, center – periphery and diachrony – synchrony. The paper discusses Herder’s concepts (concerning language and nation) which became central for discussions relating to the Slavic culture. Herder predicted the Slavic nations would one day be the real power in Europe. Many of his ideas, which directly influenced Slavic activists and writers, determined the field of strategies and projects in constructing cultural models. This is the reason why Herder became an intellectual godfather of the Slavic national revival. Although, Herder's concepts meant the significant change, Europe still cultivated many stereotypes and myths, which distorted the real picture of the Slavs.
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