Platonov Readings I to IV
In 1984, Joseph Brodsky wrote from exile in the US: “A great writer is one who elongates the perspective of human sensibility, who shows a man at the end of his wits an opening and a pattern to follow. After Platonov, there was no other such writer of Russian prose again”. The suppression of the novel Chevengur and The Foundation Pit, he claimed, “set back the entire literature fifty years”. However, with regard to his reception, it is also the case that Platonov has not yet found the place he deserves alongside authors of the modern age such as Franz Kafka in the awareness of educated non-Russian speaking readers. He is regarded as the most famous unknown of Russian literature of the 20th century. Although some of his most important novels and stories have in fact been translated into German several times, he has to date made no long-lasting impact.
We will be talking to the translator of his work and to three European writers in whose literary pantheon Platonov plays a key role as to why this is the case. The occasion for these discussions is the publication of a new translation of the novel The Foundation Pit (Die Baugrube) by Gabriele Leupold (Suhrkamp Verlag, 2016).
Authors in Conversation are supported by Suhrkamp Verlag and Weltlesebühne e. V.
Programme Authors In Conversation (PDF, 249 kB)
“Nowadays there’s a shortfall of proletariat” – Translating "The Foundation Pit". Gabriele Leupold in Conversation with Christiane Körner
Platonov Readings I
“The eschaton has descended” – Reading "The Foundation Pit". Sibylle Lewitscharoff in Conversation with Katharina Raabe
Platonov Readings II
“The point was to declare the cosmos invalid” – Learning from "The Foundation Pit". Andrzej Stasiuk in Conversation with Volker Weichsel
Platonov Readings III
“Platonov took the Revolution at its word” – "The Foundation Pit" as a Philosophical Concept. Dževad Karahasan in Conversation with Lothar Müller
Platonov Readings IV