Bronisław Grombczewski’s Travel Diaries as Experimental Memorialistic Literature

Wawrzyniec Popiel-Machnicki, Bartosz Osiewicz

Abstract


Bronisław Grombczewski, a son of a Polish participant in the January Uprising (1863), chose a career path in the tsarist army of the Russian Empire and became a general under Tsar Alexander III and Nicholas II. Grombczewski was famous thanks to his service in Central Asia, where as a diplomat and intelligence officer he defended the interests of Russia in its struggle against the British Empire for the Silk Road. His travel diaries, covering numerous expeditions, are an invaluable source of knowledge about the history and life of the inhabitants of this region. Moreover, Grombczewski’s notebooks reflect the policy of Russia in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In addition to their value as a historical document, they give personal insight into Grombczewski. The purpose of this article is to identify the features of the diary genre in which Grombczewski worked. Attention will be paid to the culture of diary-writing in this historical period; the problem of the correlation between the elements of historical narrative and an intimate narrative; question of the addressee (the most important addressee was the Russian Emperor); functions performed by the general’s diary.

Keywords


Bronisław Grombczewski; travel diary; autobiographical genre; addressee

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.25430/2281-6992/v8-047-062

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AvtobiografiЯ
Journal on Life Writing and the Representation of the Self in Russian Culture

Dipartimento di Studi Linguistici e Letterari
Via Elisabetta Vendramini 13
35137 PADOVA

ISSN: 2281-6992
Registrazione del Tribunale di Padova 23-04-2013, n. 2326 Registro della Stampa,
Variazione: Tribunale di Padova 27-10-2014, n. 3197 Registro della Stampa.

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