«Window to Europe» in Cultural Memory: Metamorphoses of the Frontier Metaphor
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Peter I Peter's epoch window to Europe cultural memory metaphor frontier images of the past memory studies

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1. Artamonov D. «Window to Europe» in Cultural Memory: Metamorphoses of the Frontier Metaphor // Journal of Frontier Studies. 2020. № 2 (5). C. 78-91.


The article discusses constructing ideas about the epoch of Peter I using the metaphor «window to Europe». From the moment of its appearance this metaphor meant overcoming the cultural borders between Russia and Europe. The reformatory activities of Peter I destroyed these boundaries. The metaphor reflected the mythological perception of the Russian Emperor’s image and the process of Russia's rebirth. The stereotypical perception of Russia by Europeans after Peter's reforms contributed to the birth of the metaphor. It became famous from the work of F. Algarotti. A. S. Pushkin used this popular phrase in his poem «the Bronze horseman». The metaphor fixed myths about Peter's transformations in the collective memory of the Russians. The metaphor «window to Europe» was perceived as bridging the cultural frontier between civilization and barbarism. Transformations of the metaphor in different historical periods did not change its main characteristics. Variations of the metaphor further entrenched Peter's myths in cultural memory. Writers, poets, publicists, and historians have used the metaphor «window to Europe» in both positive and negative contexts to describe mutual influence of Russia and Europe. In the modern digital age it is still relevant - it retains its original meaning and has become an effective tool for constructing the past.

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