Matthias Schwartz: Documentary Devices in Soviet Literature of the Thaw Period and Beyond
After the ideological transformation of literature that occurred in the context of World War II, the post-war period in Europe witnessed an increasing trend towards documentary art forms in literature, film, art and theatre, culminating in the 1960s. In the Soviet context, this turn appears as a search for ways out of the aesthetic aporia of Stalinist literature (e.g. in terms of affect-poetic, genre-poetic, epistemological aspects). In the course of the cultural-political »Thaw«, this trend initially became one of the most powerful catalysts of cultural-political change, before a differentiation and redefinition of documentary literary devices took place in response to the cultural-political changes from the mid-1960s onwards.
The papers of the panel reconstruct and discuss different literary devices and theories of documentary writing in the Soviet Union within the international context, with a particular focus on the 1950s and 60s. They deal with both literary theoretical and aesthetic genealogies, self-proclaimed or external demands on documentary literature, as well as an exemplary analysis of specific literary works with their poetic and epistemological implications.
Chair: Matthias Schwartz
Discussants: Clemens Guenther, Elizaveta Mankovskaya, Anatoly Pinsky, Benjamin Massey Sutcliffe
Matthias Schwartz is a slavist/historian and research associate for the project Affective Realism. Contemporary Eastern European Literatures.