The humanities and social science

2022 Issue №4

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The image of Russia as a result of a political conjuncture, or The Metamorphosis of Abbé de Pradt



The focus of the article, written within the framework of the imagological approach, is the reconstruction of the image of Russia in France during the years of the Restoration. The article is based on the analysis of the views of the famous French diplomat and politician Abbé D. de Pradt (1759–1837). The relationship between the image of Russia in France and the current political situation is revealed by the example of the journalistic works of Abbé de Pradt. The article sees Russophobia as a mechanism for solving French problems. It is also concluded that the image of Russia created in the West was, on the one hand, very stable and based on ingrained stereotypes of perception. On the other hand, this image depended on the political situation. The image of Russia created by Abbé de Pradt turned out to be very elastic, mobile, dependent on the political conjuncture. Abbé de Pradt never had any sympathy for Russia and created openly anti — Russian pamphlets. However, at the time when France was looking for an ally and saw Russia as such, rational Pradt diametrically changed his own position. At the same time, the optics of superiority, characteristic of post-­Napoleonic France, and the view of Russia as a power was never strong as it looked, remained an invariable feature of his works.