ISSN (Online) 2712-8407
DOI: 10.22405/2712-8407


Veronika I. Abramova

Associate Professor, PhD in Philology, Associate Professor of the Chair of the Russian language and literature

Tula State Lev Tolstoy Pedagogical University

(Tula, Russia)


Abstract. The objective of the article is to analyse the reception of the events occurred during the Great Northern Expedition, as well as the personalities of its members in various art forms. Having referred to poetry, the author of the article has picked out eight lyric texts written during the period from the 18th to 20th century. The authors of the analyzed texts depict the Great Northern Expedition and its members using archetypic models: corroboration of existence of a strait between Asia and America as a demiurgic action, Bering and Chirikov as cultural heroes. It is Bering who is most often depicted in the poetic texts. The Commander is represented as a great seafarer and as a person suffering a personal tragedy (he was never meant to finish what he started and to come back home). Having referred to the cinema, the article has analysed two films made in different stylistics and in different sociocultural conditions. Strictly following the historical facts, the director of the Soviet film The Ballad of Bering and His Friends (1971) creates heroic images of the expedition members, who accomplish a great feat. Bering, Chirikov, Ovtsyn and Steller are brought to the fore. The modern film The First (2018) focuses on Chelyuskin and Pronchishchev. Bering’s personality is deheroized: he is portrayed as a callous bureaucrat and a family tyrant. The director creates an alternative version of real events by distorting the historical facts and emphasizing the adventure and love lines. Having referred to the genre of historical comics, the article has analysed V. Serov’s book Vitus Bering. The Great Northern Expedition (2020). Since the edition is intended for the primary school age, Laurence Waxell, a twelve-year-old participant in the voyage, becomes one of the central characters of the depicted events. He and the adult members of the expedition possess traits of superheroes in the comics: they survive in inhuman living conditions, subdue the elements. Thus, heroization of the explorers and orientation towards archetypic models prevail in representations of the Great Northern Expedition by means of various art forms.
Keywords: V. Bering, А. Chirikov, G. Steller, D. Ovtsyn, V. Pronchishchev, L. Waxell, image, reception, representation, portrait.

Full text of the article (PDF)

For citation: Abramova, VI 2022, ‘The Great Northern Expedition in Russian culture (poetry, cinema, historical comics)’, Tula Scientific Bulletin. History. Linguistics, issue 1 (9), pp. 75–89, (in Russ.)


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