Lectures

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Katja Freise: Maturity through dialogue (in German)

How accidental are the “accidents” in a work of art? Are they a result of a pure caprice of the author or do they have a semantic dimension rendering them deeply rooted in the whole of the work and thus making these elements a part of a work’s dialogical structure? Trying to solve these questions,

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Monika Tokarzewska: The dialogism of the metaphor (in German)

The terms „Gemeinschaft“ and „Gesellschaft“ have played a key role in German sociology ever since Ferdinand Tönnies published his groundbreaking monograph with both of them in its title. But what is the meaning of these concepts outside of the German-speaking world? What difficulties are there for a translator to overcome when transferring both terms into

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Maria Andrianova: The Sixtiers in Leningrad and their dialogue with contemporaries (in Russian)

(in Russian language)
Despite its brevity, the era of the Khrushchev thaw has become a significant milestone in the history of Soviet literature. The weakening of the political pressure on intellectuals led to a cultural enlivenment yielding rich fruits in literature. Yet commonly, when referring to the “sixtiers”, literary scientists mean primarily Moscow-based writers and poets,

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Irina Sudoseva: The interior as an aesthetic category in the literature (in Russian)

The semantic function of the interior in literature has not been thoroughly analysed too often. Yet, it can hardly be impugned that its importance for the artistic whole of a literary work is not limited to purely decorative role. In her lecture, Irina Sudoseva outlines the possible ways of classifying and interpreting of this artistic

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Alla Tatarenko: Russian formalism and poetic roots of postmodernism (the example of Serbian literature) (in Russian)

(in Russian language)
Serbian literature of the second half of the 20th century offers a paramount example of a coherent postmodernism manifesting itself in a most consistent way. One of the main characteristics of the Serbian postmodernism noticeable at all stages of its development is the influence of theoretical thoughts of the Russian formalist school. In

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Eelco Runia: Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace and the Theory of History

Leo Tolstoy’s epic novel War and Peace provides not only a comprehensive account of the events that took part during the Napoleonic wars, it is also a place where Tolstoy intensely reflects on the way historicists deal with history. Eelco Runia traces the paths of both the novel’s structure and Tolstoy’s argumentation in order to

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Vladimir Biti: Victim narratives as founding myths (in German)

(in German language)
Victim narratives are inherent components of many founding myths. By playing the role as catalysts of solidarity and unity of human communities they have an important function in the process of collective, especially national, identity formation. How do they fulfil their cultural function in literature? How do they change a given historical reality

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Aage A. Hansen-Löve: Some literary moments of silence (in German)

(in German language)
The inexpressible, the taboo, the mysterious undoubtedly belong toliteratureandart, andnot justsince modernism. But what lies behindthevoidsandomissions? Isthe artisticabstinencejust speechlessness or is it an“eloquent” silencewithits own peculiar semantics? Let AageHansen-Löve take you along to an entertainingjourney through thewhitespaces of(notonlyRussian) literature and art.
Prof. Dr. Aage Hansen-Löve is professor emeritus of Slavic philology at Ludwig Maximilian

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Cultural Studies

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Monika Tokarzewska: The dialogism of the metaphor (in German)

The terms „Gemeinschaft“ and „Gesellschaft“ have played a key role in German sociology ever since Ferdinand Tönnies published his groundbreaking monograph with both of them in its title. But what is the meaning of these concepts outside of the German-speaking world? What difficulties are there for a translator to overcome when transferring both terms into

[continue reading…]

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Vladimir Biti: Victim narratives as founding myths (in German)

(in German language)
Victim narratives are inherent components of many founding myths. By playing the role as catalysts of solidarity and unity of human communities they have an important function in the process of collective, especially national, identity formation. How do they fulfil their cultural function in literature? How do they change a given historical reality

[continue reading…]

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The dialogic image of the Other

An objective judgment of a foreign culture seems impossible. Nonetheless, humanities scholars keep calling on us to overcome “Eurocentrism” and “Orientalism”. In most cases, however, this leads solely to the observation of how deeply Europeans have internalised this attitude. An equal dialogue between the cultures of the West and the East therefore hardly seems achievable. Following a thorough analysis of images of China and Tibet in European films from 1980 to 2010, I nevertheless found that an equal dialogue between the West and the East is not only possible but is also slowly being realised.

 

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Book reviews

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Open letter to Gabriele Krone-Schmalz on the question of how to understand Russia

Dear Ms. Krone-Schmalz,
You have published a book, titled beautifully How to understand Russia1 .
I’m someone, who since being a student of Slavic Studies 1978 and up to the present day, already as a Professor of Slavic Philology at the University of Göttingen, could be called a person who tries to understand Russia. I spent many

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Review of: Borwin Bandelow, Wer hat Angst vorm bösen Mann? (Who’s afraid of the wicked man?)

A professor of psychology in Göttingen has finally found the answer to the age-old question of what drives serial murderers and those who kidnap young girls in order to torment and rape them for years on end. The answer is nothing other than a lack of endorphins, intoxicants which are similar to opium and which the body produces to reward itself. People recovering from near death experiences, for example, experience particularly high levels of endorphins, as do women who have just given birth. In his book, Professor Bandelow asserts that in the ability to produce endorphins humans possess a mechanism with which they are chemically rewarded for their actions.

 

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Frank Schirrmacher: Ego – Das Spiel des Lebens, A Review

Frank Schirrmacher: “Ego – Das Spiel des Lebens”, Karl Blessing Verlag, München 2013, 352 Pages
Frank Schirrmacher provides a somewhat apocalyptical criticism of the mechanisms of financial and commercial markets, or rather of the ways in which they make us defenseless – and reaps extreme reactions: Die Welt labels him a paranoiac, whose conspiracy theory is

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Literary Studies

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Maria Andrianova: The Sixtiers in Leningrad and their dialogue with contemporaries (in Russian)

(in Russian language)
Despite its brevity, the era of the Khrushchev thaw has become a significant milestone in the history of Soviet literature. The weakening of the political pressure on intellectuals led to a cultural enlivenment yielding rich fruits in literature. Yet commonly, when referring to the “sixtiers”, literary scientists mean primarily Moscow-based writers and poets,

[continue reading…]

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Irina Sudoseva: The interior as an aesthetic category in the literature (in Russian)

The semantic function of the interior in literature has not been thoroughly analysed too often. Yet, it can hardly be impugned that its importance for the artistic whole of a literary work is not limited to purely decorative role. In her lecture, Irina Sudoseva outlines the possible ways of classifying and interpreting of this artistic

[continue reading…]

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Alla Tatarenko: Russian formalism and poetic roots of postmodernism (the example of Serbian literature) (in Russian)

(in Russian language)
Serbian literature of the second half of the 20th century offers a paramount example of a coherent postmodernism manifesting itself in a most consistent way. One of the main characteristics of the Serbian postmodernism noticeable at all stages of its development is the influence of theoretical thoughts of the Russian formalist school. In

[continue reading…]

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Vladimir Biti: Victim narratives as founding myths (in German)

(in German language)
Victim narratives are inherent components of many founding myths. By playing the role as catalysts of solidarity and unity of human communities they have an important function in the process of collective, especially national, identity formation. How do they fulfil their cultural function in literature? How do they change a given historical reality

[continue reading…]

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Aage A. Hansen-Löve: Some literary moments of silence (in German)

(in German language)
The inexpressible, the taboo, the mysterious undoubtedly belong toliteratureandart, andnot justsince modernism. But what lies behindthevoidsandomissions? Isthe artisticabstinencejust speechlessness or is it an“eloquent” silencewithits own peculiar semantics? Let AageHansen-Löve take you along to an entertainingjourney through thewhitespaces of(notonlyRussian) literature and art.
Prof. Dr. Aage Hansen-Löve is professor emeritus of Slavic philology at Ludwig Maximilian

[continue reading…]