George Orwell’s Forerunners and Disciples: Anti-Utopia in Modern Russian Literature

  • Date: –16:00
  • Location: SCAS, Thunbergssalen Linneanum, Thunbergsvägen 2, Uppsala
  • Lecturer: Boris Lanin, Johan Peter Falck Fellow, SCAS. Professor of Russian Literature, Russian Institute of Theatre Arts (GITIS), Moscow
  • Website
  • Organiser: Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study (SCAS)
  • Contact person: Sandra Rekanovic
  • Seminarium

Russian Utopia considered social reality as something to be transformed: the title of Nikolai Chernyshevskii’s novel What Is To Be Done? is indicative. A Utopian implied goal is the realization of a visionary future, anti-utopia depicts its dark consequences. “Anti-Utopia” suggests the negation of a specific ‘utopian’ system or construct. It implies that there may exist a genuine utopia. “Dystopia” suggests the impossibility of any utopia whatsoever.
    Anti-Utopias in contemporary Russia have transformed from a literary genre into a method of modeling reality and depicting the near future. The orientation to political issues happened:

1)    because of postmodernism’s legacy, with its ‘border crossing trends’ that reshape the readers’ picture of the world.

2)    because of the transformation of a literary genre from intellectual mainstream into mass

3)    because modern anti-utopia becomes kind of ‘universal’ - social, philosophical, futurological, - and literary genre.



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