Ravinskij D. Walking in Saint Petersburg as a Cultural Phenomenon

Dmitry Ravinskij
Russian National Library
Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation 
E-mail: dravinskij@mail.ru


  Download  |  Go to Issue #1. 2021


ABSTRACT. The central streets of the nineteenth and early twentieth-century Saint Petersburg inspire mixed feelings of admiration, disturbance and awe in the newcomers. Abundance of hastily moving pedestrians and vehicles was a special feature of Russia’s most splendid city. In pursuit to defend themselves from the psychological pressure of the “hostile crowd”, the citizens eventually developed particular strategies of urban behavior. One of them was flânerie, i.e. regulated and semiotically thick strolling up and down the fashionable streets of the city. Another strategy, developed in contrast to both the hasty movement of everyday life and the snobbish flânerie, was meditative walking, which was a kind of a creative action. In the article, the author defines different “genres” of such walks, naming them after A. Blok, F. Dostoevsky and A. Kushner.


KEYWORDS: Saint Petersburg, city walking, flânerie, Blok, Dostoevsky, A. Kushner


DOI 10.31250/2618-8619-2021-1(11)-147-155
УДК 008:94(470.23-25)



  • Alexandrov A. A. Blok v Peterburge — Petrograde [Blok in Saint Petersburg / Petrograd]. Leningrad: Lenizdat, 1987. (In Russian)
  • Benjamin W. Bodler [Baudelaire]. Moscow: Ad Marginem Press, 2015. (In Russian)
  • Zerihina E. I. Etiket peterburgskoi progulki [The Etiquette of Saint Petersburg Walking]. St. Petersburg: Avrora, 2009. (In Russian)
  • Ravinskij D. K. “Peterburgsky hlyshch” kak model muzhskogo povedeniia [“Saint Petersburg Fop” as a Mode of Masculine Behavior]. Etnograficheskoe Obozrenie, 2006, no. 4, pp. 8–13. (In Russian)
  • Senett R. Padenie publichnogo cheloveka [The Fall of the Public Man]. Moscow: Logos, 2002. (In Russian)
  • Toporov V. N. Peterburgskii text russkoi literatury [Saint Petersburg Text of the Russian Literature]. Saint Petersburg: Iskusstvo-SPb, 2009. (In Russian)
  • Fedotov G. P. Izbrannye trudy [Selected Works]. Moscow: ROSSPEN, 2010. (In Russian)