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Publications of Tcvetov Dmitrii Leonidovich
Litera, 2016-4
Tcvetov D.L. - The Geographic Destiny of the Besieged Leningrad Culture pp. 73-81

DOI:
10.7256/2409-8698.2016.4.20494

Abstract: The siege of Leningrad continues to be an actual topic for interdisciplinary research in various fields. From the point of view of cultural studies the blockade of Leningrad is a unique cultural phenomenon, the appearance of which induced a number of factors and primarily to the geographical destiny of St. Petersburg, the city that emerged in spite of the seemingly unfavorable natural and cultural environments. The author aims to determine the role of the influence of geographical coordinates of Leningrad in the process of metamorphosis of its culture in the blockade time, as well as clarify cultural and historical significance of the siege of the city for the course of the great Patriotic war. The author suggests to clarify the infuence of the geographical factor on the citizens' mind and culture of Leningrad through introducing the concept of 'geographical destiny'. This is the term used by Yury Lotman in his article 'Modern Times Between the East and the West'. Georgraphical coordinates of St. Petersburg that later became the grounds for the Russian intellectual and social discourse of a new cultural concept 'Window on Europe' as it was raised by Alexander Pushkin in his poem 'Bronze Horseman', all of the sudden became the reason of its transformation into a completely different 'open' semantic concept, 'blockaded' or 'besieged' Leningrad. The narrow piece of land that used to take the Russian culture to European strategic development model through the sea became the place where the Russian culture that had European values (at all levels of culture and as an 'ideal' city for Europe itself) faced the countercultural and antihuman foces. It was the place where the main battle of the Second World War took place and it was the battle between 'barbarity' and culture. The nature of the battle considerably defined the historical and geographical factor as well. 
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