The French Language in Russia
Derek Offord, Vladislav Rjéoutski, Gesine Argent
A Social, Political, Cultural, and Literary History
The French Language in Russia
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Derek Offord, Vladislav Rjéoutski, Gesine Argent
The French Language in Russia
-- With support from the Deutsches Historisches Institut Moskau --

This work provides an account both of the functions of the French language in pre-revolutionary Russia and of the debates that Russians' use of French occasioned. The first volume surveys the use of French in many social settings and in administration and ends with a discussion of the ways in which language practice impinged on conceptions of national and social identity. The second volume examines the use of French for various literary purposes and then considers the treatment of Franco-Russian bilingualism in Russian literature and thought. The work challenges some pervasive assumptions about the language practice of the Russian nobility and calls into question the predominantly negative view of the effects of bilingualism that informs much Russian imaginative literature and some influential scholarship. At the same time it keeps in mind the fact that elite francophonie was a more or less pan-European phenomenon in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.