Title Representation of the Past as the Major Factor of Self-Identity in Post-Soviet Literature
Author(s) Kazbek K. Sultanov.
Information about the author(s) Kazbek K. Sultanov, DSc of Philology, Professor of Lomonosov Moscow State University, Head of the Department of Literature of the Peoples of Russian Federation and CIS, А.M.Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Povarskaya 25 a, 121069 Moscow, Russia. E-mail: sulkaz@inbox.ru
Received July 09, 2016
Published September 25, 2016
Issue Vol. 1, no 1–2
Department Literature of the Peoples of Russia
Pages 302-321
DOI DOI:10.22455/ 2500-4247-2016-1-1-2-302-321
UDK 8(47).09
BBK 83.3(2Рос=А/Я)
Abstract The essay examines the problem of identity in its implicit relation to the memory of the past on the material of post-Soviet literature. The question of identity or “how to think identity” is and has always been relevant for every national literature. Arguing with interpretation of identity as counterpart of nostalgic traditionalism, the author stresses not only the importance of ethno-cultural context, but also the importance of constants of non-ethnic origin such as openness, dynamism, progressiveness, and mutual permeability of cultures in the process of self-identification. The role of the “still persisting past” as part of this process has been so significant in a number of literary works that one can speak of a specific temporal mode of the way historical memory functions. A reminiscing man/woman has become a favorite image in the literatures of the peoples of Russia. The paradigm of historical memory bears on key symbols and stock conventional characters but often itself becomes the catalyst for retrospective maximalism, idealization of the past, and tautology of meaning directed towards potential inexhaustibility of traumatic experience. However, identity as well as understanding of the past cannot be reduced to such intensity and self-sufficiency of historical remembering, when the recurrence of trauma displaces projective thinking about the future and inevitability of change.
Keywords identity, historical memory, historical narrative, reconstruction, temporality, neo-archaization, demythologization, traumatic experience, retrospective maximalism, symbolic representation
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