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01 September 2022

An Official of the Lower and Middle Levels of the Russian Empire at the end of the 19th century: Scientific and Literary Comparison

Bylye Gody
An Official of the Lower and Middle Levels of the Russian Empire at the end of the 19th century: Scientific and Literary Comparison

The study clarifies the social features of the bureaucracy of the Russian Empire in the XIX century by the example of novels and stories by Anton Pavlovich Chekhov. At the same time, the authors conducted a comparative analysis of the image of a «Chekhov`s» official and civil servant of the lower and middle levels, constructed on the basis of research by historians of the 20th — early 21st centuries. Actualization of A.P. Chekhov's writings as a fact of objective reality, a historical source in studying the history of bureaucracy, was the study's goal. This goal led to using historical-chronological, historical-typological, and structural-systemic research methods. The source base of the exploration is the literary heritage of the Russian writer and studies of historians of the XX — early XXI centuries. The authors made conclusions about the everyday lower rank officials, their social origin, qualitative composition, mental attitudes, the features of professional activity, the role of social ties in the official promotion, subordination within the hierarchy of officials, the value of the system of awards and insignia. The specific subculture of the class officialdom is illustrated by the images of Chekhov's literary heroes, written out by the author from his own life experience, acquaintances, and professional activities. The multifaceted nature of the storylines allows for a diverse perception of the bureaucrat image and the historically conditioned background of his life and work. In general, historians have reconstructed a lower and middle-level official of the late 19th century, which is quite correlated with the collective literary image of an employee created by the classic of literature A.P. Chekhov.

Source: Bezdrabko V.V., Degtyarev S.I. (2022). An Official of the Lower and Middle Levels of the Russian Empire at the end of the 19th century: Scientific and Literary Comparison. Bylye Gody. 17(3): 1283-1300

Source web-site: https://bg.cherkasgu.press/journals_n/1662033395.pdf

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