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Friendship, Romance, and Romantic Friendship

  • Rebecca Friedman

Abstract

When Moscow University was struck by a cholera epidemic in 1830, it closed its doors for much of the academic year. Students were forbidden from seeing one another, some were quarantined, and others were sent away. Ia. I. Kostenetskii described in his memoir how this isolation caused him great distress; he longed to see his friend Aleksei Topornin. Once the cholera restrictions were relaxed, Kostenetskii recalled running to the home of Professor Pogodin — where Topornin resided — just to get a glimpse of his friend at the door. When he did, the two young men, ‘not putting down each other’s hands,’ talked for a few minutes and then were forced to part ‘with tears in their eyes.’3 Kostenetskii’s description of this reunion illustrates the vocabulary of friendship among men in these decades — the tears, the pain at separation, and the affection expressed in holding each other’s hands.

Keywords

Intimate Friendship Russian Student National Spirit Heighten Emotion Evil Deed 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

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    Ia. Kostenetskii, ‘Vospominaniia iz moei studencheskoi zhizni,’ Russkii arkhiv 1 (1887): 329.Google Scholar
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    In the first volume of his book Scenarios of Power, Richard Wortman argues that during the first quarter of the nineteenth century, friendship played a prominent role in autocratic ideology. Tsar Alexander I used the trope of friendship to consecrate the bond between monarch and subjects. Upon his accession, Alexander created a committee of ‘young friends’ and ‘Russia’s best sons’ to assist him in carrying out his reforms. By evoking a ‘feeling of friendship’ and ‘feelings of affection,’ Alexander united himself not only with his Committee of Young Friends, but also with his subjects more generally, who in turn were obligated to fulfill the wishes of their friend and Tsar. Richard S. Wortman, Scenarios of Power: Myth and Ceremony in Russian Monarchy, Volume 1 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1995), 195 and 204.Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Rebecca Friedman 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rebecca Friedman
    • 1
  1. 1.Florida International UniversityUSA

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