26 Nov 2019 · 8.00 am

Matthias Schwartz: Documentary Devices in Soviet Literature of the Thaw Period and Beyond

Venue: San Francisco Marriott Marquis, 780 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94103 (USA), 4, Pacific H
Research project(s): Affective Realism

Panel at the Annual Convention 2019 of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES) in San Francisco

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.