Individualization of the Russian Provincial City: The Image of the Ural City in...

Individualization of the Russian Provincial City: The Image of the Ural City in the Travelogue of D.N. Mamin-Sibiryak

Elena Y. Kazakova-Apkarimova
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The article emphasizes scholarly and practical significance of studying the cultural category of the image of the city for the humanitiesue, whicn is associated with the use of the concepts of image and public image in urban marketing. Apparently, the use of these concepts significantly deepens the scientific understanding of the city associated with the study of urban social space and the identity of urban residents, as it is illustrated by the analysis of publications of Russian and foreign scientists. The author pays special attention to the issue of individuality of the cities in the context of perception and formation of the image of a city, emphasizes the need to study the image of a city in a historical context, as well as to analyse its evolution in time. Since sustainable images and ideas related to the city are represented in the individual works of the local writers, the author refers to the works of one of the most famous Ural writers D.N. Mamin-Sibiryak, using the example of the Ural cities of the end of the 19th century to reconstruct the views of his contemporaries regarding the uniqueness or typicality of the Russian provincial city. The image of the cultural landscape of the Ural city with its inherent individual characteristics was recorded in the travel notes and essays by D.N. Mamin-Sibiryak (From Trans-Urals to the Volga, Across the Trans-Urals). The author analyses his description of the sociocultural space of the Ural city, the essential assessments of the state of spiritual and material culture, especially the perception of the image of a provincial city and the urban subculture during the Russian urbanization of the late 19th century. The article uses the method of anthropological analysis of the texts (travelogues) at the intersection of identity studies and discourses using the historical and philological analysis. The article argues the statement that Mamin personalized the images of the Ural cities. To a large extent, the image of the city in the perception of Mamin-Sibiryak was influenced by the peculiarities of the region’s natural landscape with its rivers and mountainous terrain. It is impossible to exaggerate the importance of the industrial landscape for the formation of the image of the Ural city in the works of Mamin-Sibiryak. The binary oppositions (Europeanized city / provincial city, industrial city or factory-city / rural city, railway station / city outside railway communication) that appeared in the travelogue of D.N. Mamin-Sibiryak reflected the inconsistency of the historical process and the dynamics of urban development. Creating a lively, dynamic image of the Ural city of the late imperial period of Russian history, Mamin demonstrates the gradual overcoming of the cultural backwardness of the province from the capital during the Russian urbanization of the second half of the 19th century.
Elena Y. Kazakova-Apkarimova
Doctor of Historical Sciences, leading researcher
Institute of History and Archaeology, Ural branch of the RAS
Ekaterinburg, Russia
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Ural city, image, landscape, culture, province, travelogue, Mamin-Sibiryak
For citation:
Kazakova-Apkarimova, E. “Individualization of the Russian Provincial City: The Image of the Ural City in the Travelogue of D.N. Mamin-Sibiryak.” Historia Provinciae – The Journal of Regional History, vol. 3, no. 2 (2019): 712–747, http://

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