„Oto miasto nieustępujące w niczym Sodomie i Gomorze”. Obraz Paryża w korespondencji Denisa Fonwizina z 1778 roku
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“Here’s a city which is a match to Sodom and Gomorrah.” The picture of Paris in the letters of Denis Fonvizin of 1778 Denis Fonvizin, one of the most eminent Russian writers of the 18th c. and at the same time secretary to minister Nikita Panin, visited Paris in the year 1778. He described his stay in the French capital in the letters addressed to his friends and relatives; in them he intimated that the city did not suit his taste. Among others, he complained about a lack of cleanliness and also a slackening of morals and excessive social stratification. He criticized the majority of the Enlightenment professors admonishing them for their egocentrism and arrogance. He did not like the saloon and cultural life in the French capital either (apart from the high level of the French comedy). He tried to dissuade his countrymen from visiting the French capital which reminded him more of Sodom and Gomorrah, rather than of the famous City of Lights which was so popular in contemporary Europe. Without a doubt, his opinions were slightly exaggerated, yet due to their expressiveness and uncompromising nature, it is difficult for a historian to remain indifferent towards them.
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