The article analyses the conditions and circumstances of reception of Russian literature in the Congress Kingdom of Poland and Galicia at the turn of the 19th and early in the 20th centuries. Based on opinions of artists, critics and politicians found in Polish press, memoirs, and diaries, the research attempts to prove how deeply the social and political situation of Poland (the January Uprising of 1863, the Russian-Japanese War and the Revolution of 1905) influenced the Polish view of Russia, Russians and Russian culture; how politics generated different stereotypes, clichés which stimulated, aroused or hindered interests in the literature of neighbouring Russia. The contemporary opinions about Russian literature oscillated between hatred and fascination. Hate, aversion, and contempt for everything that was related to Russia, in its capacity of an invader, were caused especially by fear that the beauty of the Russian literature could be used as an effective method of Russification: one that could weaken Polish national identity. For this reason, potential admiration for it was frequently mingled with a sense of sin against patriotic imperative.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.