Vladimir Toporov's article was written as a contribution to the jubilee book published to celebrate Professor Viktor Khoryev's seventieth anniversary (Studia Polonica. K 70-letiyu V. A. Khoryeva, Moscow, 2001). According to the book's title, the author, perceiving the partitions of Poland as a great political crime of 19th century, one which burdened the conscience of Russia and Russians, attempts at replying the question of how Russian literature responded to those dramatic events marking the end of the First Commonwealth. There were not so many compassioning reactions on the part of Russian literature. Attention is drawn, among those few, by 'Boleslav', a tragedy (unfinished) by Mikhail Muravev (1757-1817), one of the first Russian sentimentalist writers. The article reconstructs the play's creative history, along with discussing various depictions of the same theme (being a motif from the history of Poland) and outlining its ideological significance.
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