Zobrazení státu v současné ruské literatuře (T. Tolstaja a V. Sorokin)

Title in English Portrayals of Government in Modern Russian Literature (Tolstaya and Sorokin)

ŠAUR Josef

Year of publication 2017
Type Article in Proceedings
Conference Kontexty literární vědy VII
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Field Mass media, audiovision
Keywords government; literature; Russia; T. Tolstaya; V. Sorokin; dystopia
Description The government has always played an important role in the Russian society. One of the reasons why its influence was felt in different areas of social life was its exclusive position of power, which has been both celebrated and condemned in Russian literature. The shortcomings and negative features of the Russian government have also been portrayed in the hyperbolic and dystopian narratives of The Slynx by Tatyana Tolstaya and Day of the Oprichnik by Vladimir Sorokin. However, far from being only imaginary dystopian visions of a perverse totalitarian future, these works are rooted in the Russian historical experience. Their fictional future Russian totalitarian state features elements of the medieval tsardom of Muscovy and the USSR as well as Jelcin’s and Putin’s Russia. Both Tolstaya and Sorokin fulfil the words of the Russian 19th-century philosopher Pyotr Y. Chaadaev, stressing the barbaric nature of the Russian government and the absence of democracy in their portrayals. Moreover, there is no ultimate “victory of good” in either novel; both end with a confirmation of the authoritative and despotic tradition.

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