The Occult Revival in Russia Today and Its Impact on Literature

Menzel, Birgit

In order to bring attention to the wide range of uses of the occult and to help open up a new perspective of cultural history, I will approach the topic here as broadly as possible. I will sketch some contexts of the occult in Soviet unofficial culture, and then suggest a typology of approaches to the occult, each of which can be applied to contemporary contexts. To illustrate the impact on current Russian literature, I will then discuss three literary texts, all written after 1990: Olesya Nikolaeva's story A Cripple from Childhood (Invalid detstva), Yury Mamleev's novel Flickering Time (Bluzhdaiushchee vremia) and Vladimir Sorokin's novels Ice (Led) and Bro's Path (Put' Bro). In conclusion, I will address the role and function of the occult in Russia Today.

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The Harriman Review
The Harriman Institute, Columbia University

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Harriman Institute
The Harriman Institute, Columbia University
The Harriman Review
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January 7, 2021