For citation:

Kliuikova E.A. Russian Travelogues about Korea in the Second Half of the 19th Century. Studia Litterarum, 2019, vol. 4, no 4, pp. 126–137. (In Russ.)

DOI: 10.22455/2500-4247-2019-4-4-126-137

Author: Ekaterina A. Kliuikova
Information about the author:

Ekaterina A. Kliuikova, Lecturer, Perm State National Research University, Bukireva 15, 614990 Perm, Russia.

ORCID ID: 0000-0003-0650- 9126.

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Received: July 27, 2019
Published: December 25, 2019
Issue: 2019 Vol. 4, №4
Department: Russian Literature
Pages: 126-137

UDK: 821.161.1
BBK: 83.3(2Рос=Рус)6
Keywords: travelogues, travel literature, Korea, Romanticism, I.A. Goncharov, N.G. Garin- Mikhailovsky, postcolonial critics, mythopoetics


The article is a survey of Russian travelogues about Korea written in the second half of the 19th century (N. Przhevalsky, P. Delotkevich, A. Krasnov, N. Garin- Mikhailovsky, V. Seroshevsky). First “discovered” by Ivan Goncharov, Korea was of interest to Russian travelers and writers because of its intermediate position between China and Japan. Besides reports of the official delegations, there appeared travelogues written in the form of private diaries; some of the latter belonged to the pen of Russian authors (N. Garin-Mikhailovsky, V. Seroshevsky). These travelogues reveal the imperial attitude to Korea affected by diplomatic relations between Russia and Korea. The article focuses on the two aspects of the representation of Korea and Koreans in the travelogues. The first one concerns the notion of the age of the nation first introduced by Goncharov. The travelogues describe Koreans as a nation at the age of infancy. The other aspect is related to the common Orientalist view on the non-Western nations seeing them as rigid and not capable of developmente. Garin-Mikhaylovsky nevertheless discusses the ways Koreans could both “grow up” and develop their potential. The writer explicitly connects Korean “growth” and “development” with the evolution of Russian-Korean political relations.


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