delicious recipe
resep masakan indonesia
resep masakan indonesia
Adi Sucipto News and Entertainment

Eighteenth-Century Russian Writers through the Eyes of the Parisian Police

Dzianis A. Kandakou


Since Peter the Great’s visit in 1717, Paris has become an uncontestable symbolic place of cultural pilgrimage to his compatriots. Russian presence in Paris, especially the stays of men of letters, is well documented and was described in numerous travelogues, diaries, correspondence, and memoirs. For a long time, these accounts have remained a nearly unique source of information, quite uncertain and insufficient, creating myths and misunderstanding, leaving in the shadow the everyday life of Russian writers in Paris. This study suggests another perspective that emerges through examination of Parisian police reports. These papers shed new light on literary, social, and political activities of Russian writers in the French capital. Cases of Prince Antiochus Cantemir, Count Andrei Shuvalov, Denis Fonvizin, and Ivan Chemnitzer are presented as the most spectacular examples. The comparative analysis of police reports and the literary texts and personal writings by these four writers shows that French administrative staff, generally well-informed and well-read, had very little knowledge of Russian literary and cultural life. Therefore, travelers which were unfamiliar with the French savoir-vivre looked quite suspicious to them. At the same time, Russian writers used their life in Paris to promote themselves.


DOI: 10.31168/2305-6754.2019.8.1.9


police reports; sociability; everyday life; savoir-vivre; literary reputation; Antiochus Cantemir; Andrei Shuvalov; Denis Fonvizin; Ivan Chemnitzer


Cabanès A., La princesse de Lamballe intime (d’après les confidences de son médecin), Paris, 1922.

Delon M., Iskusstvo zhit´ libertena. Frantsuzskaia libertinskaia proza XVIII veka (Krebiion-syn, Zhan-Fransua Bastid, Vivan Denon, Onore Mirabo, prints de Lin´ i dr.), Moscow, 2013.

Dmitrieva E. E., Toporkov A. L., Avantiurnaia biografia I. I. Trevogina, Pamiatniki kul´turi. Novye otkrytiia. Pis´mennost´. Iskusstvo. Arkheologiia, Moscow, 1992, 49–75.

Dubost J.-F., Les étrangers à Paris au siècle des Lumières, La ville promise: Mobilité et accueil à Paris (fin XVIIe – début XIXe siècle), Roche D., dir., Paris, 2000, 221–288.

Dubost J.-F., Naissance de la police des étrangers dans le royaume de France (XVIe – XVIIIe siècle), Police et migrants: France 1667–1939, Chaléard M.-C. et al., dir., Rennes, 2001, 33–49.

Grasshoff H., Antioch Dmitrievič Kantemir und Westeuropa, ein russischer Schriftsteller des 18. Jahrhunderts und seine Beziehungen zur Westeuropäischen Literatur und Kunst, Berlin, 1966.

Grechanaya E. P., Kogda Rossiia govorila po-frantsuzski: russkaia literatura na frantsuzskom iazyke (XVIII – pervaia polovina XIX veka), Moscow, 2010.

Kantemir A. D., Sobranie stikhotvorenii, Leningrad, 1956.

Klein I., Puti kul´turnogo importa: Trudy po russkoi literature XVIII veka, Moscow, 2005.

Lilti A., Le monde des salons. Sociabilité et mondanité à Paris au XVIIIe siècle, Paris, 2005.

Liu N., Dimitrie Cantemir, prince philosophe de Moldavie. Échos européens, Dix-huitième siècle, 15, 1983, 421–439.

Lizé É., Mémoires inédits de Diderot à Catherine II, Dix-huitième siècle, 10, 1978, 191–222.

Milliot V., “L’admirable police”. Tenir Paris au siècle des Lumières, Ceyzérieu, 2016.

Proust J., Les Lettres de France dans l’espace littéraire français, Fonvizine D., Lettres de France: 1777–1778, Grosse H. et al., trad., comment., Paris, Oxford, 1995, 21–32.

Stroev A., Voltaire et le “ci-devant Pouchkine”, L’Image de l’Étranger, Stroev A., dir., Paris, 2010, 65–81.

Stroev A. F., “Laisa Took a Microscope…”. Russian Magnates and Parisian Actresses: Literary and Historical Contexts of a Pushkin Epigram, Russian Literature, 2014, 76, 85–96.

Viala A., Naissance de l’écrivain. Sociologie de la littérature à l’âge classique, Paris, 1985.

Vidoni N., La Police des Lumières (XVIIe–XVIIIe siècles), Paris, 2018.

Zorin A. L., Poiavlenie geroia: Iz istorii russkoi emotsional´noi kul´tury kontsa XVIII – nachala XIX veka, Moscow, 2016.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2019 Dzianis A. Kandakou

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.