“Vo Glubine Sibirskikh Rud”: Siberia and the Myth of Exile

  • Harriet Murav


Siberia in the nineteenth-century Russian literary imagination is in large part shaped by the historical reality of imprisonment and exile. The image of Siberia as a place of punishment appears in works by and about the Decembrists, in the writings of political prisoners and exiles from the middle and later parts of the century—for example—Dostoevsky and Korolenko, and in such travelogues as Chekhov’s “Iz Sibiri” (“From Siberia”). But at the same time, Siberia serves as a blank slate for European Russians, who inscribe it with many different visions of themselves and their culture. These representations of Siberia reflect the major currents of Russian literature and thought of the time.


Russian Literature Historical Reality Political Prisoner Blank Slate Prison Experience 
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© Galya Diment and Yuri Slezkine 1993

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  • Harriet Murav

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