ENG / RUS
hard cover, 428 pp., 2013
The mode of writing prevalent under Stalinism is marked by a particular kind of corporeality, maimed and disfigured by wars, waves of terror, famines and large-scale administrative manipulations of the population. The study approaches these texts via two interconnected agendas. The first one attempts a theoretical conceptualization of the different strategies employed by writers and readers in the context of Stalinist bio-politics. The second seeks to rethink the connection between the Soviet intellectual experiment and the European thought of the same period. The book’s opening and closing essays both talk about the Soviet deaf-blind author and scholar Olga Skorokhodova (1914-1982). Deaf-blindness is interpreted here as an allegory of writing under Stalinism, while Skorokhodova’s personal experience of inventing her own “deaf-blind” language is treated as an experiment in challenging and overcoming this regime of writing.