In: World Literature Studies, vol. 15, no. 1
Year, pages: 2023, 3 - 22
Cultural memory. Imagination. Memory politics. Politics of the past. Sincerity rhetoric. Post-Soviet Russian novel. Sergei Lebedev. Maria Stepanova.
Article type: ŠTÚDIE - TÉMA/ARTICLES - TOPIC
Document type: PDF
This article deals with the ways the Russian writers Sergei Lebedev and Maria Stepanova conceptualize memory, remembering, and the past. The special focus is on the presence of sincerity rhetoric and its intertwinement with memory in Lebedev’s Liudi avgusta (The people of August, 2016) and Stepanova’s Pamiati pamiati (2018; In Memory of Memory, 2021). At first, the study outlines the current position of memory studies within literary theory and the main tendencies of cultural memory development in post-Soviet Russia. Lebedev’s and Stepanova’s novels are then comparatively read on this cultural-theoretical and cultural-historical background. The crucial aspect can be considered the ethos of “curative sincerity” (Ellen Rutten’s concept) that both texts seem to rely on. We approach Lebedev’s and Stepanova’s texts as examples of postmemorial writing, which does not rely on the first-hand experience with the past it depicts, but encounters the mediatized forms of the past. Therefore, imagination plays an important role for the narrator or authorial subject. The imaginative investment into remembrance accompanies the attempts to sincerely retell the truth about the past, while being aware of the impossibility of retelling the whole truth, which leads to an understanding of predecessors’ actions with empathy and compassion.
How to cite:
Kapičiak, J., Ulbrechtová, H. 2023. Postmemorial sincerity in the writing of Sergei Lebedev and Maria Stepanova. In World Literature Studies, vol. 15, no.1, pp. 3-22. 1337-9275. DOI: https://doi.org/10.31577/WLS.2023.15.1.1
Kapičiak, J., Ulbrechtová, H. (2023). Postmemorial sincerity in the writing of Sergei Lebedev and Maria Stepanova. World Literature Studies, 15(1), 3-22. 1337-9275. DOI: https://doi.org/10.31577/WLS.2023.15.1.1
Publisher: Ústav svetovej literatúry SAV, v. v. i.
Published: 30. 3. 2023