Soon after Peter the Great decided to “cut a window on Europe,”1 aligning his country with the West, France became a primary model for Russian society. Russian noblemen adopted French culture, dress, and language, and not even the Napoleonic invasion of 1812 could weaken their chronic francophilia. From the early eighteenth century, Russian literature followed on the heels of its French counterpart, and the influence remained important even after the native genius Pushkin proved that Russians could produce literary masterpieces in their mother tongue. Intense literary contacts between France and Russia continued uninterrupted until the Revolution of 1917, culminating during the cosmopolitan Silver Age.


Mother Tongue Russian Society Early Eighteenth Century French Culture Poetic Form 
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© Maria Rubins 2000

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  • Maria Rubins

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