Prof. Erokhin attempts to delineate and characterize the contemporary literary field in Russia both sociologically and artistically. From the sociological point of view, the main question is: what are the basic sociological and sociogeographical features of the current Russian literature process? In other words: where are the boundaries and margins of Russian literature now and how are they defined? Does the Russian classical tradition, well investigated and elucidated by generations of scholars, still play its role as the principal medium of understanding what is going on in this ideologically and aesthetically competitive, apparently cluttered domain? To discuss these questions, four authors are chosen from among the most popular and debatable Russian writers of the present time to illustrate various strategies of contesting and holding positions within the contemporary Russian literary field. The lecture is based on original auctorial texts as well as on a selection of media publications and scholarly literature devoted to the mentioned writers.
Alexander Erokhin received his PhDs at the Moscow Lomonossov University. His main fields of research are comparative literature studies and the history of the Russian and German-speaking literatures of the 20th century. He is involved in various research projects of the Institute of World Literature (Moscow, Russian Academy of Science) dedicated to the literary contacts between Russia and Germany in the 20th century. He has published essays on Aleksandr Blok and Goethe, Dostoevsky and Europe, Walter Benjamin and Russia, anarchist literature in Germany, and the Russian prose of the 21st century. Alexander was a grantee of prestigious European and German scholarships (Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Erasmus Mundus, German Literary Archive, Goethe Society in Weimar). Currently, he is the Director of the Department of Publishing and Book Science of the Institute of Social Communications (Udmurt State University, Izhevsk, Russia) where he has been teaching courses on world and today’s Russian literature. As a Fulbright Visiting Scholar at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Alexander Erokhin has a research program concerned with the changing field of actual Russian-speaking literature(s).