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2019 Convention Home
2019 Program Theme
Session Submission Type: Panel
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.
One Day that Shapes the World: Constructing Socialist Globality in Izvestia’s 1960 Den’ Mira Initiative - Clemens Guenther, Freie U Berlin (Germany)
Building Sites of Tolyatti: How (not) to Overcome the Novel - Elizaveta Mankovskaya, Princeton U
The Empirical Imperative: How to Know the Post-Stalin Village - Anatoly Pinsky, European U at St. Petersburg (Russia)
Iurii Trifonov and the Perils of Dokumental’nost’ - Benjamin Massey Sutcliffe, Miami U of Ohio