Metaphors of memory: Count Kokovtsov and his “Fragments of memories”

Abstract: This article is devoted to the reconstruction of “Fragments of memories of my childhood and the time in the Lyceum”, the memoirs of Count Vladimir Nikolayevich Kokovtsov, the former Minister of Finance and Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Russian Empire. The history behind his words is analysed, as are the circumstances surrounding the transfer of Kokovtsov’s memoir to the State Archive of Belgium (Archive of Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History in Brussels), and the history of its publication over many decades. “Fragments of memories” is compared with “Out of my past”, another memoir written by Count Kokovtsov. The author of the article tries to understand the peculiarities of the construction of the past by the representatives of the imperial bureaucracy, to reveal the specifics of its memorial culture and identity. Kokovtsov’s memoirs are remarkable within the context of Russian emigration memoiristics. They reflect the ambitions of an old Russian bureaucrat who survived the existential tragedy of exile and who tried to find moral support in the past.

Authors: Mikhail Kovalev
Keywords: Count Kokovtsov, Russian Empire, Russian Imperial bureaucracy, Russian emigration, historical memory, memoires, Rossica, Imperial Alexander Lyceum
Volume: 9
Issue: 1
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