front cover of Goncharov's
Goncharov's "Oblomov"
A Critical Companion
Gayla Diment
Northwestern University Press, 1998
No other novel has been used to describe the "Russian mentality" or "Russian soul" as frequently as Ivan Goncharov's Oblomov, first published in 1859. This guide will enable readers to appreciate fully the remarkable talent of the writer and his masterpiece.

All the essays were written specifically for this volume and are published here for the first time. The book also includes an introduction, autobiographical materials, an annotated bibliography, and letters never before translated into English.

Contributors: Galya Diment, John Givens, Beth Holmgren, Karl D. Kramer, Ronald D. LeBlanc, Alexandar Mihailovic, and Brian Thomas Oles.

front cover of A World of Empires
A World of Empires
The Russian Voyage of the Frigate Pallada
Edyta M. Bojanowska
Harvard University Press, 2018

A Financial Times Best History Book of the Year

Many people are familiar with American Commodore Matthew Perry’s expedition to open trade relations with Japan in the early 1850s. Less well known is that on the heels of the Perry squadron followed a Russian expedition secretly on the same mission. Serving as secretary to the naval commander was novelist Ivan Goncharov, who turned his impressions into a book, The Frigate Pallada, which became a bestseller in imperial Russia. In A World of Empires, Edyta Bojanowska uses Goncharov’s fascinating travelogue as a window onto global imperial history in the mid-nineteenth century.

Reflecting on encounters in southern Africa’s Cape Colony, Dutch Java, Spanish Manila, Japan, and the British ports of Singapore, Hong Kong, and Shanghai, Goncharov offers keen observations on imperial expansion, cooperation, and competition. Britain’s global ascendancy leaves him in equal measures awed and resentful. In Southeast Asia, he recognizes an increasingly interlocking world in the vibrant trading hubs whose networks encircle the globe. Traveling overland back home, Goncharov presents Russia’s colonizing rule in Siberia as a positive imperial model, contrasted with Western ones.

Slow to be integrated into the standard narrative on European imperialism, Russia emerges here as an increasingly assertive empire, eager to position itself on the world stage among its American and European rivals and fully conversant with the ideologies of civilizing mission and race. Goncharov’s gripping narrative offers a unique eyewitness account of empire in action, in which Bojanowska finds both a zeal to emulate European powers and a determination to define Russia against them.


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