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Von Lipowanern, Merja und Mari: Denis Osokins Poetisierung ethnokultureller Diversität

Authors
  • Binder, Eva
Type
Published Article
Journal
Zeitschrift für Slawistik
Publisher
De Gruyter Akademie Forschung
Publication Date
Mar 30, 2023
Volume
68
Issue
1
Pages
125–148
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1515/slaw-2023-0005
Source
De Gruyter
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

In the current Russian literary scene the writer Denis Osokin (*1977) takes on the role of a poet of ethno-cultural diversity. In his texts, Osokin evokes other languages and cultures. In doing so, he makes use of various textual operations of mystification, which, besides a primitivist author’s mask, include pseudotranslation. The aim of this article is to explore this literary technique central to Osokin and its implications for a general understanding of (Russian) culture and ethno-cultural diversity. Thereby the text-centred model of pseudotranslation introduced by the Israeli literary scholar Gideon Toury will be extended and pseudotranslation will be conceptualized, as proposed by Brigitte Rath, as “a mode of reading” (Rath 2014) – a literary technique through which an original is imagined that is not accessible as the original itself, but only through this imagination. In Osokin’s work, this original can take on the form of a text, a language, or an entire culture. By imagining an original and/or origin that is marked as fictional, Osokin undermines identity discourses and destabilizes seemingly stable categories and assumptions, such as centre and periphery or majority and minority cultures. The aesthetic-poetic and the critical-deconstructionist potential of Osokin’s prose will be exemplified by the short prose text Eugen Lwowskis Geschlechtsbeziehung mit einem Spiegel, which presents itself as a pseudotranslation from German, and the short story Ovsjanki, which is a miniature pseudo-epic reviving the Finno-Ugric people of the Merja, who were assimilated centuries ago by the Slavic-Russian population.

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