Events Series

Andrej Platonov. Utopie und Gewalt

Literary critics are unanimous in their assessment that Andrei Platonov ranks among the classics of modern world literature. However, this stands in surprising contrast to the slow reception of his work in both the west and the east. The reasons for this are Platonov’s demanding poetics and his multi-layered, contradictory ideas. He defies superficial classification: Platonov was neither a communist bard, nor a social critic. At the same time, in his most important novels, which could not be published in Russian until the Perestroika period, he is a chronicler of the early years of the Soviet Union. His life and work are representative of the charged relationship between communist power and artistic freedom. In a comprehensive volume, Andrej Platonov. Utopie und Gewalt, Osteuropa illuminates the biographical and historical context in which Platonov’s journalistic and literary work unfolded.
Contemporary analyses highlight the relationship between revolutionary enthusiasm and force, between utopia and violence, and between reason and terror, while illuminating the collectivisation of agriculture and the specific Soviet process of modernisation, using mobilisation to bring about the industrialisation of the country and homogenisation of society.
The focus of the literary analyses is the key work The Foundation Pit. The volume also includes essays on Platonov’s language and its translatability, as well as film and music studies on the artistic rendition of his work in cinema and contemporary music. Works from Platonov’s journalist oeuvre are also published for the first time in the German language.

Manfred Sapper, Volker Weichsel (Hg.)
Andrej Platonov. Utopie und Gewalt
Berlin 2016 [= Osteuropa 8–10/2016]
528 p., 125 fig.
€ 32.-
ISBN 978-3-8305-3658-1

Conference and Publication are sponsored with Funds from Bundesstiftung zur Aufarbeitung der SED-Diktatur.

Information on the special issue (PDF, 93 kB)
Contents and abstracts (PDF, 929 kB)