ON THE OUTSKIRTS OF EMPIRE: IDENTITY DISCOURSE
addresses strategies for the production of national consciousness and identity
discourses (particularly Polish and Ukrainian) that formed as "periphe-ral"
to the Russian Empire. An article by A. Kotenko (
CLIMATE AND CULTURE
This selection continues a series of publications
relating to "Climate and culture" inaugurated in NLO № 99. An
article by V. Viugin (Russian
Academy of Sciences Institute for Russian Literature [Pushkin House], St.
Petersburg) addresses the
role of the "climate metaphor" in early Socialist Realist prose, as
well as the transfor-mations that weather-related symbolism underwent in later
cinematic adapta-tions of this type of text. Viugin focuses primarily on
frequently anthologised works, most of which were known to Soviet readers since
school. An article by Susanne Frank(
NAME AND PUNISH: ORIGINS AND PARADOXES OF SOVIET LAW-MAKING
examines problems of succession and rupture in the formation of legal and
literary languages following the 1917
revolution. In this situation, authority depended on legitimising discursive
strategies, which were forming in the gap between the necessary and the actual.
An article by T.Iu. Borisova (Na-tional Research University, Higher
School of Economics, St. Petersburg) examines the legislative
activity of the Soviet government in late 1917 — early 1918, when the revolutionary leaders were trying to oppose themselves to
previous "exploita-tive" regimes, in part through experimentation
with new forms of revolutionary legislation. David Feldman
INSTRUCT AND DEMONSTRATE: DEFORMATION OF THE LITERARY PROCESS IN THE AGE OF IDEOLOGICAL CONTROL
In his article "’Cheap set-up’: Aleksandr Afinogenov’s "Lie" (Lozh’) and 1930s Stalinist cultural politics", Ilya Veniavkin examines the history of the writing, staging and prohibition of the aforementioned play due to the implementation of the principles of socialist realism in Soviet life. Veniavkin reconstructs the lite-rary, theatrical and political context of the play in order to reveal the conflicts that had come to a head in Soviet literature by the mid-1930s. An article from Natalia Skradol, "’Living got sweeter’: the Stalin-era chastushka and production of the ‘ideal Soviet subject’" addresses the pragmatic aspect and ambivalence of this folklore genre, which ostensibly aimed to play an educational role in the for-mation of the new Soviet person.
In his article "Detective series and serial killer. The genre as a dilemma" Evgenii Soshkin demonstrates that the classical detective formula never contradicts the principles of a series. Deflection from those results in radical mutation of a villain (who is typologically defined by motivation). Detective series and serial killer complement each other. Eventually, the serial killer figure is absorbed by detec-tive series which causes the latter to change its concept dramatically.
The title of this section plays on the title of Maurice Blanchot’s Lepas au-dela (1973), which can be translated, with a view to the ambiguity of the French pas, as "the step not beyond". In two essays ("The Beast of Lascaux" and "Speaking Is Not Seeing"), published here for the first time in Russian, Blanchot considers the asymmetry of the verbal and the visual, of language and seeing as we experi-ence them; he peers deeply into the word (speech, writing, poetry) that as such is devoid of a centre and contains limitless potential for extending beyond its own boundaries. This is where we get the "step not beyond words" [shag v-ne-slova], in a neat formulation by the translator Viktor Lapitsky. In turn, Aleksandr Ulanov takes up Blanchot’s experience in his essay "Possibilities of the impossible": the very manner in which the essay is written seems to continue the French thinker’s "wandering", "multiple", "impossible" speech. The section closes with an article by Tatiana Nikishina (Samara State Academy of Social Sciences and Humanities), "The problematisation of the communicative function of language and the clash of text modalities". Nikishina examines the paradoxical commu-nicative strategies in Blanchot’s prose, in particular, his combination of incom-patible text modalities in one grammatical construct.
VVEDENSKY AS EVENT
This thematic section was initially to be given the more customary title of "Book as event", but in the final account a different title was chosen. And here’s why: however significant and long-awaited the appearance of Vsjo [Everything](2010), the new edition of the collected works of Aleksandr Vvedensky put together by Anna Gerasimova, putting the accent on "the book" would inevitably narrow the discursive field by presenting an excessively predetermined direction for discussion — with a view to the tense situation that emerged around the textual criticism, notes, legal, ethical and other rights connected to the publication (and preparation for publication) of Aleksandr Vvedensky’s work. Our editor, to the contrary, wanted to avoid getting bogged down in questions of competence, services provided, textual criticism, critical apparatus and so on, preferring to concentrate exclusively on the poetry and poetic philosophy of this most complex and radical of the OBERIU poets. For this reason, he paid less attention to philo-logists and "specialists on OBERIU" and more to poets, translators, people who write, people for whom the experience of (reading) Vvedensky was necessarily an event and a personal challenge. The section features essays and articles from Vladimir Aristov (Moscow)-"Not a Hydrangea (towards portraits of Aleksandr Vvedensky)"; Nadezhda Grigoreva (Universitat Tubingen), "The temptation of madness: notes on Vvedensky’s anthropology"; Polina Barskova (Hampshire College), "Vvedensky and ‘we’"; Arkadii Dragomoshchenko (St. Petersburg State University, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences), "Mesh"; Eugene Ostashevsky (New York University), "A logico-philosophical ‘Potets: a few remarks on the ‘Vvedensky and Wittgenstein’ theme"; Kornelija Icin (Belgrade University), "The ‘Wingless Eros’ of Aleksandr Vvedensky’s poetry"; Keti Chukhrov (Russian State Humanities University), "A few of the positions of Aleksandr Vvedensky’s poetry", and Alexander Skidan (New Literary Observer), "Critique of poetic reason".