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Working paper

Alexei Malinovskii, Poor But Noble: Translating August Von Kozebue’S Poverty and Nobleness of Mind as a Way of Social Self-Presentation

Humanities. HUM. Basic Research Programme, 2017. No. WP BRP 155/HUM/2017.
This paper discusses the problem of the adaptation of a new cultural model by the educated members of the Russian “middle class” in the late 18th century when new social skills and new kinds of the perception of social reality were transmitted to the public through the emotionally very intensive theatre performances. Examining the translation of the drama Poverty and Nobleness of Mind by August von Kozebue and taking into account that the drama was staged at the private theatre of Alexandr Vorontsov, Malinovskii’s patron, in 1799, I suggest that he had some apprehensions about his own noble status which he obtained in a specific way. He seems to face the choice: to act on his feelings as sentimental dramas instructed him and marry a poor but noble girl in 1790s, or wait until Vorontsov’s niece became a wealthy heiress what actually happened in a decade.