International Reception Studies
The book contains articles in English and in Russian language.
Chapter 8. Political characteristics as basic for stereotypes
272 Chapter 8 Political characteristics as basic for stereotypes In the Distant Confines: A Narrative of Colonial Presence Jambul Akkaziev (USA) No matter how accurate the literature may have been, it exerted its biggest impact not by satisfying readers’ intellectual curiosity but rather by supplying them with unverifiable affective meanings about their relation to untamed Asia. ~ Susan Layton, Russian Literature and Empire In contrast to Sariti who, in his introduction to In the Distant Confines, claims that the primary value of Karazin’s work is in its being “a rich treasure trove of information on Russian garrison life and the people and places of Central Asia during the expansion of the Russian empire” (5), I would argue that the novel represents a typical work of colonial writing that reinforces, maintains, and enriches the Russian imperial enterprise. While the characterizations of the people might be thoroughly believable, it is true, as Sariti points out, that Karazin’s por- trayal of Central Asia and its peoples was intended primarily for his own compa- triots who commanded the Russian language (unlike many Central Asian natives). The Russian title of the novel Na Dalekikh Okrainakh is particularly indicative of the nature of Karazin’s narrative. The far away outskirts (okrainy) already repre- sent a part of the Russian Empire regardless of how the inhabitants of Central Asia might perceive it. Appropriated in the title, Central Asia (or, more precisely, Russian Turkestan) is the focus of Karazin’s oeuvre, yet it is the Russian soldier Batogov, a “captive of...
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