Readiings for Dr. Richard Tempest's Talk on Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn: Homepage
On April 9th, join Dr. Richard Tempest online for a presentation on “Overwriting Chaos: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's Fictive Worlds, which is part of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Research Spotlight Series.
When: April 9, 2020 from 4:30 pm
Background Readings for the Presentation, Overwriting Chaos: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's Fictive Worlds, by Dr. Richard Tempest
After years of living in exile, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn returned to Russia in 1994 and published a series of eight powerfully paired stories. These groundbreaking stories-- interconnected and juxtaposed using an experimental method Solzhenitsyn referred to as "binary"--join Solzhenitsyn's already available work as some of the most powerful literature of the twentieth century. With Soviet and post-Soviet life as their focus, they weave and shift inside their shared setting, illuminating the Russian experience under the Soviet regime. In "The Upcoming Generation," a professor promotes a dull but proletarian student purely out of good will. Years later, the same professor finds himself arrested and, in a striking twist of fate, his student becomes his interrogator. In "Nastenka," two young women with the same name lead routine, ordered lives--until the Revolution exacts radical change on them both. The most eloquent and acclaimed opponent of government oppression, Solzhenitsyn was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1970, and his work continues to receive international acclaim. Available for the first time in English, Apricot Jam: And Other Stories is a striking example of Solzhenitsyn's singular style and only further solidifies his place as a true literary giant.
This book offers an in-depth analysis of Alexander Solzhenitsyn's reception in the U.S., U.K., and Germany before and after 1991. Elisa Kriza explores his corpus through the paradigm of witness literature and confronts contentious subjects, such as antifeminism, anti-Semitism, and revisionism. Redefining Solzhenitsyn's work as memory culture, Kriza reveals the dynamics that transform a controversial figure into a moral icon.
Drawing on the prose, poetry, and criticism of a broad range of Russian writers and critics, including Pushkin, Turgenev, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Chekhov, Bakhtin, Gorky, Nabokov, and Solzhenitsyn, Close Encounters: Essays on Russian Literature explores themes of chance and fate, freedom and responsibility, beauty and disfiguration, and loss and separation, as well as concepts of criticism and the moral purpose of art. Through close textual analysis, the author offers a view of the unity of form and content in Russian writing and of its unique capacity to disclose the universal in the detail of human experience. With an emphasis on Dostoevsky, Close Encounters foregrounds ethical and spiritual concerns of Russian writers and stimulates the reader to pursue his or her own critical exploration of Russian literature.
Russia's provinces have long held a prominent place in the nation's cultural imagination. Popular culture has increasingly turned from the newly prosperous, multiethnic, and westernized Moscow to celebrate the hinterlands as repositories of national traditions and moral strength. Lyudmila Parts argues that this change has directed debate about Russia's identity away from its loss of imperial might and global prestige and toward a hermetic national identity based on the opposition of "us vs. us" rather than "us vs. them." In Search of the True Russia offers an intriguing analysis of the contemporary debate over what it means to be Russian.