So far my primary focus in this study has been on the ways in which the American or the Russian Other participated in the creation of the traveler/ hero’s sense of (national) self in the second half of the nineteenth century, which I saw-in compliance with the early Bakhtin’s philosophical notions of aesthetic (re)creation of subjectivity-as a superfi cially benevolent, though covertly fraught with contradictions and ultimately self-affi rming act. I will now press on with the investigation of the crucial participation of the foreign Other in the formation of the self in real-life and fi ctionalized travel encounters from the turn of the century, but my concerns will shift a little in order to explore more specifi cally the mechanisms behind such cultural exchanges that bring to the fore questions regarding the use (and abuse) of “ethnicity” as a hero-formative event. Three seemingly very different texts-Vladimir Korolenko’s novella Bez iazyka [Without a Tongue]3 and Abraham Cahan’s short story “Theodore and Martha”4 and novel The White Terror and the Red5-will serve as anchors for my discussion.