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A Baltic German novel and its author



The article discusses the Russian historical novel „Constantin Loeven (From my memoirs)” (1831) by Baron Karl Georg Woldemar Friedrich von Rosen (1800–1860), who was born in Estonia. Rosen’s literary activities started from writing poetry in Latin, of which no example has survived. He used German to publish criticism and translations, but most of his oeuvre is in Russian. He started learning Russian at the age of 19. Since 1825 he published in Russian, as his ambition was to become not only a Russian author, but also a Russian national ideologist. So he wrote some plays on themes of Russian history and a libretto for the first Russian national opera „A life for the Tzar”. 

The article analyses the innovative qualities. of Rosen’s novel. The scene is laid in Estonia, southern Russia, and Greece. The protagonist participates in the Greek War of Independence. The Greek theme enables „Constantin Loeven” to be classified as a historical novel, which was the most topical genre of the time. Unlike in earlier Russian literature Rosen’s romantic hero of Baltic German origin is not a gloomy criminal, but rather a modern man with a complex and strange mindset, a freedom fighter. The character owes to the German sentimentalist and romanticist tradition, as well as to the French libertine novel. In addition, the article specifies on some biographical details of baron Rosen.