The Austian myth about Russia
The myth of Russia in Austrian culture is, to much extent, outlined by the notions of barbaric Russian people (this can be come across in different texts, and has, evidently, very deep historic roots) or of marked by God Russian land (that is less popular and ‘fresher’ in the historic aspect), – the nation seen as dangerously unpredictable, mysterious in an Asiatic way, and searching for holiness as a super-goal. Even in the 19th century a quaint combination of different cultural codes in Austrian culture made it possible to perceive Russia – her numerous people, so unlike Europeans, and her powerful state – in a substantially less critical way than it was characteristic of British or German notions about Russian world. One of many striking pages that can be found in the history of the Austrian perception of Russia is R.-M. Rilke’s love for the country and his religious admiration for her people. Of special significance for the history of the Austrian myth’s formation there are close, often blood relations between Habsburgs, on the one hand, and rulers of Russia, on the other.