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The problematic aspect of national stereotypes, which give rise to either phobia or mania, is more pronounced in literary criticism than in literature itself, even though these fields intersect. Amazingly enough, the rolling echoes of guns from many battlefields (Reconquista, the Thirty Years War, The War of the Spanish Succession, Napoleonic Wars) keep reverberating within the professors' offices. This article attempts to demonstrate how rather reasonable authors, when dealing with the culture of a different country, all of a sudden, start using their pen to pass on shifty and irrational attitudes (this concerns mutual relations of Spain and France, or France and Russia). We point out special moments, when certain conflicts highlighted by a literary critic (Melhior de Vogue) are counterbalanced by unique attraction of writers' talents (e.g., Proust / Tolstoy, Andre Gide / Dostoyevsky). We juxtapose patterns of formation of ideological and aesthetical phobia.
phobia / mania, national character, stereotypes of perception, aversion, attraction, transformation of artistic forms, ideological and aesthetical
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