The Cultural Centers of Harbin in the Russian Prose of the XX Century

Publication type Article
Status Published
Occupation: professor, Department of Russian and Foreign literature
Affiliation: Sakhalin State University
Journal nameAsia and Africa Today
EditionIssue 10

The Harbin Hotel “Modern” has been the center of Russian culture more than 100 years. The references to this place were kept in the memoirs of the immigrants from Russia, notably of poet Larissa Andersen and writer Natal’ya Il’ina. Larissa Anderson associated the Hotel “Modern” with its owner Iosiv Korot’ and the numerous acquaintances from Harbin who performed on the stage of the hotel. By following the memoirs of Larissa Andersen, the general description of the interiors as well as the repertoire of the hotel troop, the usual entertainments of guests and actors, the favorite dishes of visitors and others can be reconstructed. The impressions of Natal’ya Il’ina from the Hotel “Modern” are mainly connected with the coming of Feodor Chaliapin to Harbin and the visits of Moscow theatre actress Katerina Kornyakova to the prominent singer in the Hotel “Modern”. The destitute condition in which the immigrant family was living can explain the non-acquaintance of Natal’ya Il’ina with the luxury interiors in the hotel. The Il’ins couldn’t afford to visit “Modern” and participate in the turbulent life of the hotel. The bookshop “Gogol” (it is situated in the street of the same name) was opened nearly five years ago. Nowadays this place as well as the hotel “Modern” is connected with Russia. As a cultural center, “Gogol” has not been mentioned in any fiction work yet. Nevertheless, visiting Harbin tourists constantly mention this bookshop in their itineraries and comments. “Modern” and “Gogol” are always connected with Russia, its history and culture. 

Keywords“Modern”, “Gogol”, memoirs, Larissa Andersen, Natal’ya Il’ina
Publication date19.10.2018
Number of characters500
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