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Dialogue and Universalism

Volume 21, Issue 3, 2011

Poland in the Context of Russia’s Way to Europe

Victor Alexandrovich Khoryev
Pages 55-64

Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz’s St. Petersburg Text

Khoryev regards Petersburg, a collection of essays by Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz, published in 1976, as a windup of the writer’s complex ties with Russian culture and literature, which he was widely known to have loved and known in depth. It is a book where, through the legendary city on the river Neva, Iwaszkiewicz takes a look at a number of essential issues of Russian history and its ties with the history of Poland and the Polish people. Iwaszkiewicz avoids unequivocal judgments, noticing the antinomian nature of St. Petersburg, seen as a being full of contrast but at the same time the center of revolutions and despotism, a manifestation of imperial power and the highest achievements of sophisticated art. These contrasts reveal, in Khoryev’s opinion, the multi-faceted and fullest picture of St. Petersburg and its individuality: so mysterious, overpowering and unique.