miércoles, 10 de octubre de 2012

Euro-Orientalism: Liberal Ideology and the Image of Russia in France, c. 1740-1880 (Oxford, Peter Lang, 2006)


Drawing from a range of critical perspectives, in particular postcolonial, this book examines the relationship between perceptions of Russia and of Eastern Europe and the making of a 'Western' identity. It explores the ways in which the perception of certain characteristics of Russia and Eastern Europe, whether real or attributed, was shaped by (and used for) the construction of a liberal narrative of the West, which eventually became dominant. The focus of this inquiry is French culture, from the beginning of the debate about Russia among the philosophes (c.1740) to the consolidation of a professional field of Slavic studies (c.1880). A wide range of writing - literature, travel accounts, histories, political tracts, scientific journals, and parliamentary debates - is examined through the work of major authors (from Montesquieu, Diderot and Rousseau to Tocqueville, de Maistre and Guizot, from Mme. de Staël, Hugo and Balzac to Dumas, Michelet and Comte), as well as that of many less well known figures. The book also explores possible continuities between those first academic accounts of Russia and Eastern Europe and present-day scholarship in Europe and the USA, to show that the liberal ideological accounts constructed in the nineteenth century still to a great extent inform contemporary academic studies.(del texto de contratapa)


"Ezequiel Adamovsky’s Euro-Orientalism: Liberal Ideology and the Image of Russia in France (c. 1740–1880) is a more ambitious book than at first meets the eye. A study of representations of Russia among French intellectuals between 1740 and 1880, the topic is discrete, the sources are restricted, and the text is not long. Adamovsky argues, however, that Russia has been “one of the main others through which European/Western identity emerged” in the modern period. Moreover, Russia has been a paradoxical “other” at the boundary of Europe and Asia, “neither fully Asiatic nor sufficiently European,” and therefore particularly revealing (19). Intelligent and thought provoking, Euro-Orientalism thus advances a bold argument about the formation of modern Western identity.", Andrew Jainchill, The Journal of Modern History (Chicago), vol. 81, no. 2, June 2009, pp. 383-84.

 "Euro-Orientalism is certainly a valuable addition to Franco-Slavic studies specifically, as well as more generally to European and, with its parallel Russia/USA, transatlantic studies. While some may not fully appreciate Adamovsky’s approaches based in intellectual history and class ideologies, his sketch of the discourse of Euro-Orientalism will be useful to cultural historians and scholars of literature looking at representations of Russia and Eastern Europe. (...) Adamovsky’s critique of the West’s vision of the Slavic East is well worth scholars’ attention. His study encourages a break with long-standing perceptions of (and policies toward) Europe’s East, calling ultimately for new conceptualizations of Slavic countries in relation to the West that would replace “an ideological conceptual framework that deserves quick retirement”", N. Christine Brookes, Central Michigan University, H-France Review Vol. 7 (April 2007), No. 43.  

 "Zusammenfassend kann man festhalten, dass das Buch einen überzeugenden Überblick bietet über die Wahrnehmung Russlands durch französische liberale Denker des 18. und 19. Jahrhunderts und die Entwicklung des französischen Liberalismus kompakt und sehr gut verständlich charakterisiert. Leider fehlt die russische Reaktion auf diese Dispute. Im Schlussteil wird Adamovsky sehr polemisch, was den guten Eindruck der komplexen historischen Teile des Buches trübt. Sein Terminus 'Euro-Orientalismus' klingt sperrig, doch es gelingt ihm auf jeden Fall, die Vergleichbarkeit westeuropäischer Denkmuster darzulegen, die sowohl das westliche Verständnis von der arabisch-islamischen Welt geprägt haben als auch deren Verhältnis zu Russland. Allerdings vernachlässigt er die religiöse Dimension dieses Diskurses vollständig. Der Autor bringt die Ambivalenz des westeuropäischen Verständnisses von Russland als europäisch-asiatischem Reich anschaulich zum Ausdruck, und er belegt, wie im Zeitalter der Aufklärung diese eurozentristischen Denkstrukturen geprägt wurden. Doch er widerspricht vehement Thesen, die behaupten, dass es einen 'Orientalismus' bereits im 18. Jahrhundert gegeben habe, eine These, die er Larry Wolff unterstellt. Für Adamovsky kann man von 'Orientalismus' nur in Zusammenhang mit dem Imperialismus des 19. Jahrhunderts sprechen, womit er sich vollends auf der Argumentationslinie Edward Saids befindet"  Kristina Küntzel-Witt, Sehepunkte 7 (2007), Nr. 9.