The Concept of “Russian Europeans” in an Anti-war Film The Cuckoo

  • Sergei Akopov


In the second quarter of the twentieth-century, Russian émigré philosopher Georgii Fedotov coined the description of a personality type termed the “Russian European”. He distinguished the creative type of “Russian Europeans” loyal to both Russian and European cultural values from two other negative types: the “autocratic despot” and “antistate -nihilist”. In this chapter I look at how this concept was further theorized in works of Vladimir Kantor and Alexei Kara-Murza and relate it to an anti-war message developed in a 2002 Russian film The Cuckoo.

Interpreting The Cuckoo this chapter, in particular, shows how various scenes from the movie overlap with ideas of “dialogism” and help to deconstruct what Mikhail Bakhtin called an “authoritative discourse”. I also explore how concepts like “life knowledge” and “all unity” (by Semyon Frank) enable us to speak up against war and political violence today.



The author acknowledges proofreading and editing made by Kate Panian, University of California, San Diego alumna. The article was prepared within the framework of the Academic Fund Program at the National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE) in 2017–2018 (grant № 17-01-0108) and by the Russian Academic Excellence Project “5-100”.


  1. Bakhtin M (1981) The dialogic imagination: four essays (trans: Emerson C, Holquist M). University of Texas Press, Austin, TXGoogle Scholar
  2. Baudrillard J (1995) Symbolic exchange and death. Sage, LondonGoogle Scholar
  3. De Rougemont D (1966) The idea of Europe, Meridian books. Macmillan, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  4. Fedotov G (1992) Sud’ba i grekhi Rossii. Izbrannye stat’i po filosofii russkoi istorii i kul’tury, vol 2. Sofiia, St. PetersburgGoogle Scholar
  5. Frank S (1990) Sochineniya. Pravda, MoscowGoogle Scholar
  6. Frank S (1992) The spiritual foundations of society. Republika, MoscowGoogle Scholar
  7. Frank S (1996) Russkoie mirovozzrenie. Nauka, St. PetersburgGoogle Scholar
  8. Frank S (1997) Real’nost’ I chelovek. Respublica, MoscowGoogle Scholar
  9. Iensen T (2002) Nezlye nadezhdy. «Kukushka», rezhisser Aleksandr Rogozhkin, Isskustvo Kino, vol 11. November.
  10. Kantor V (2007) Sankt-Peterburg: Rossijskaya imperiya protiv rossijskogo haosa. K probleme imperskogo soznaniya v Rossii. Rossijskaya politicheskaya ehnciklopediya, MoscowGoogle Scholar
  11. Kara-Murza A (1995) “Novoe varvarstvo” kak problema rossijskoj civilizacii. МoscowGoogle Scholar
  12. Kara-Murza A (2011) Primirenie Russkogo mira. Vozmozhen li vnutritsivilizatsionnyi dialog? In: Huseinov A, Kara-Murza A, Iakovleva A (eds) Russkii mir kak tsivilizatsionnoe prostranstvo. IFRAN, Moscow, pp 148–195Google Scholar
  13. Kierkegaard S (2000) The essential Kierkegaard. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Lakoff G, Johnson M (1980) Metaphors we live by. University of Chicago Press, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  15. Pozdnyakov A (2002) Aleksandr Rogozhkin, rezhisser: “Hochu snyat’ mul’tfil’m o tarakanah”. Izvestiya, July 12, Saint-Petersburg.
  16. Riayzonovsky NV (2000) A history if Russia, 2010. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  17. Rogozhkin A (2002) Chelovek – eto zvuchit gordo, Isskustvo Kino, vol 11. November.
  18. Rogozhkin A (2008) Vstrechi na Mohovoi. 27 September.
  19. Trimble K (2015) Cuckoo [Kukushka]. Russian Film Symposium.
  20. Weil S (2002) The need for roots. Routledge, LondonGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sergei Akopov
    • 1
  1. 1.National Research University Higher School of EconomicsSt. PetersburgRussia

Personalised recommendations