IN SEARCH OF IDENTITY: LITERARY AND JOURNALISTIC TEXTS OF RUSSIANS AUTHORS IN LATVIA IN THE 1920S
Published: 7 Oct 2019
Abstract: The collapse of the Russian Empire during the First World War led first to the proclamation and then to the creation of new independent states. The bloody events that followed after October 1917 provoked a wave of Russian emigration from Soviet Russia mainly to European countries. The part of the population that fled from the power of the Bolsheviks found themselves in the new proclaimed states, including Latvia. Traditionally, for decades, Russian emigration has meant anti-Soviet, anti-Bolshevik education. Everything that is not Red can be only White. However, a more complicated situation took shape outside of Soviet Russia. Outside the borders of the new metropolis were those who had not moved from anywhere and nevertheless turned out to be strangers, for example, residents of the Livonia, Courland, western parts of the former Vitebsk and Pskov provinces. In total, in the early 1920s, the Russian population in Latvia reached 200,000 people. The composition of this Russian population was quite varied. In the first years of the existence of the Republic of Latvia, for the Russian population the question of identity turned out to be one of the most burning (relevant) and complex one. On the one hand, Latvia was perceived as a new home in which the rights and freedoms of national minorities were guaranteed (at least declared), but on the other hand, a significant part of the population considered isolation from Russia as something unnatural. Sociopolitical journalism and artistic works published on the pages of Russian newspapers in Latvia reflect complex political, social, national, religious and cultural contradictions, at the same time allowing to observe the emerging strategies for the formation of a new identity.
Keywords: the establishment of the republic of latvia, russian emigration, fiction, journalism, national identity, propaganda, patriotism
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