Tue, Sep 13|
Decolonizing Dostoevsky - A new perspective on Russian classics
This event is organised in cooperation with the Young European Federalists Hessen and the Frankfurt Chapter of the Europa Union Frankfurt/Main.
Time & Location
Sep 13, 2022, 7:00 PM – Sep 14, 2022, 8:00 PM
About the Event
The relationship between Russia and the West has often oscillated between attraction and antagonism. But culture, especially classic literature, helped bridging the gap. Russian writers like Leo Tolstoi or Feodor Dostoevsyi had often spent time in Europe, and Germany, as part of their education and their works were read with curiosity by Germans, inspiring the young Thomas Mann, but also Oswald Spengler, who were fascinated by their rejection of modernity. Their attitude towards non-Russians within the empire is less well known, but telling. Alexander Pushkin's poem "To the Slanderers of Russia" from 1831, directed at Western Europe, seamlessly fits into the Russian narrative for their current war against Ukraine and their anger at Western "interference" in their colonial conquest:
"T' is but Slavonic kin among themselves contending,
An ancient household strife, oft judged but still unending,
A question which, be sure, you never can decide."
Much like in the 19th century, Putin's Russia has reestablished itself as a beacon of antiliberalism. At the same time, scholars of colonialism are beginning to scrutinize Russian culture for colonial and imperialistic traditions. The time has come to have a new look at the Russian classics and to "Decolonize Dostoevsky" and other writers with Ukrainian philosopher Dr. Volodymyr Yermolenko and host Thielko Griess from Deutschlandfunk.