Clemens Günther, Matthias Schwartz (Hg.)

Documentary Aesthetics in the Long 1960s in Eastern Europe and Beyond

Studies in Slavic Literature and Poetics Bd. 67
Brill, Leiden 2024, 349 Seiten
ISBN 978-90-04-53309-7 (Print); 978-90-04-68642-7 (PDF)

This book is the first to deal with documentary aesthetic practices of the post-war period in Eastern Europe in a comparative perspective. The contributions examine the specific forms and modes of documentary representations and the role they played in the formation of new aesthetic trends during the cultural-political transition of the long 1960s. This documentary first-hand approach to the world aimed to break up unquestioned ideological structures and expose tabooed truths in order to engender much-needed social changes. New ways of depicting daily life, writing testimony or subjective reportage emerged that still shape cultural debates today.


Table of contents

  • Introduction: Firsthand Time
    Clemens Günther and Matthias Schwartz | 1–28

Part I Exposing a Painful Past: Modes of Testimony

  • “Document of the Soul:” Varlam Shalamov’s Documentary Writing in a Contemporary Context
    Franziska Thun-Hohenstein | 31–51
  • The Dreyfus Affair for Soviet Children: on the Encoded Poetics of Aleksandra Brushtein’s Documentary Prose
    Natasha Gordinsky | 52–70
  • Supplementing Evidence: Danilo Kiš’s Poet(h)ics in the Context of Yugoslav Documentarism of the 1960s
    Tatjana Petzer | 71–93
  • Hands of Time and Large Numbers in Alexander Kluge’s (Post-)Documentary Literature
    Gunther Martens | 94–114

Part II Discovering the Self and the Other: Modes of Expressing Individuality

  • Celebration and Abstraction: the Documentary Mode of Jonas Mekas’s Diary Films
    Christian Zehnder | 117–144
  • Documentary and Poetics Interwoven: Mikhail Kalik’s Cinema
    Elena Nekrasova | 145–163
  • The Technique of Documenting: on the Early Reportages of Ryszard Kapuściński and Hanna Krall
    Matthias Schwartz | 164–185

Part III Refining the Senses: Modes of Self-Reflective Artistic Practices

  • “Dramas of the Fact:” Soviet Conceptualisations of Documentary Theatre in the 1960s
    Anna Hodel | 189–216
  • “Instead of Approximate Precision—Precise Approximation:” Ian Satunovskii’s Poor Poetry
    Georg Witte | 217–240
  • Reproductions without an Original: the Self-Published Aesthetics of Cold War-Era Copies
    Sarah A. Burgos | 241–266

Part IV Exploring the Everyday: Modes of Perceiving Social Issues

  • The Trials of Documenting: Frida Vigdorova’s Notes of the Brodsky Court Proceedings
    Anja Tippner | 269–287
  • The Poetry of Mikhail Sokovnin: an Aesthetic Opposition to the “Literature of Fact”
    Ilya Kukulin | 288–310
  • “Discourses of Sobriety:” Documentary Aesthetics in Conceptual Art in the United States
    Renate Wöhrer | 311–335


Bücher im Gespräch

Episode 19: Dokumentarische Ästhetiken

Im Podcast des ZfL sprechen Matthias Schwartz und Clemens Günther über den Band.


Internationale Konferenz
16.01.2020 – 18.01.2020

›Firsthand Time‹. Documentary Aesthetics in the Long 1960s

ZfL, Schützenstr. 18, 10117 Berlin, Aufgang B, 3. Etage, Seminarraum