Into the Bright Future: Mikhail Armalinsky’s Literary Revolution and Poetics of Porn
Jasmina Savic addresses how pornography reemerges in the late-Soviet culture as an alternative discourse to the official ideology and Russian literary tradition. Due to its provocative content and greatly obscene language, Mikhail Armalinsky’s pornographic oeuvre appears to challenge Soviet puritanism and break the scope of taboo practice of sex in Russian culture. The case of Mikhail Armalinsky’s controversial publication of Pushkin A .S. Secret Notes 1836-1837 illustrates the way literary pornography compromises the image of “asexual” Soviet society by provoking the public body to partake in an “orgy” of sexual discourses. In Armalinsky’s hands, Pushkin’s Secret Notes become a discursive sexual device par excellence used to disclose sexual powerlessness of Soviet intellectuals, distort the socialist rhetoric, and shake foundations of the establishment built upon the Pushkin myth.
Jasmina Savic is a Ph.D. Candidate in Slavic Languages and Literatures at UIUC. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from Belgrade University, and holds a Master’s degree in Slavic Studies from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her research interests encompass issues of sexuality, erotica and pornography of the late- and post-Soviet times.