"Homeland! Why are you so infinitely Unstoppable?”: The Search for a Domestic Space Between the Undecipherable West and the Incomprehensible East

Barbara Ronchetti


The starting point and essential inspiration of this essay is the diffuse displacement of contemporary man confronting the changing cultural and territorial boundaries in the post-Soviet era. By the mid-1990s, the rapid changes Russia was undergoing in joining the web of Western cultures and new modes of communication were finding full expression in the literary field. The Russian search for a renewed geographical identity is explored through the pages of contemporary writers (Erofeev, Pelevin, Shishkin, Sharapova, and Stogov).

In the works under consideration in this paper, the immensity of endless spaces, which for centuries have characterized the Russian territorial specificity, straddling two continents, have changed value owing to the disappearance of specific cultural and spiritual frontiers.

Faced with a complex and unreadable present, modern Russian literary characters are looking for answers with which to reconstruct real and imaginary geographical spaces, while reconnecting the past to the future. Recalling memories of their recent history, they move towards a new understanding of a limited portion of the world. The complex dialogue between the inner world and territorial reality becomes a key via which to comprehend some of the most relevant cultural phenomena in post-Soviet Russia (and Europe).



Contemporary Russian Literature; Post-Soviet Literary geography; Memory and Literature; Personal Identity and National Identity; European Literature

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13125/2039-6597/304

NBN: http://nbn.depositolegale.it/urn%3Anbn%3Ait%3Aunica-17620

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