chapter  5
Middle 1840s: In the Slavophil Camp
WithPeter K. Christoff
Pages 29

The two principal categories into which Iurii Samarin’s friendships, associations, and contacts fall are the Slavophil and the Westerner. Central and particularly elusive and disconcerting is the one exact and generally agreed upon definition of the terms ‘Slavophil,’ and ‘Slavophilism.’ The bewildering meanings, connotations and usages of these terms, before and after the 1840s and to the present, remain an unsolved and perhaps an insoluble problem. Replacing ‘Slavophilism’ with a new, invented term after its usage of nearly two centuries is futile even if feasible. Koshelev and particularly Tsimbaev give much attention to this basic problem of the meaning and usage of “Slavophil” and “Slavophilism.” Tsimbaev in the introduction to his survey of Moscow Slavophilism observes, quite correctly, “Clarification of the different meanings of the word ‘Slavophil,’ during the various periods of its existence, could serve as a necessary and beneficial introduction to the study of Slavophilism.”