Anna Ljunggren

Anna Ljunggren

Professor, Russian literature

Stockholm University

Anna Ljunggren is Professor of Russian at Stockholm University. Her main area of research has been 19th and 20th century poetry (Boris Pasternak, Elena Guro, Innokentii Anneskii, Fedor Tiutchev). She has also conducted a project dedicated to contemporary Russian prose at the turn of the millennium. She is originally from St Petersburg, where she got her MA in Romance languages. She taught for a number of years in the U. S.

The Contemporary Russian Cosmopolitans

During the Post- Soviet period Russian culture has re-entered a common globalized space. The traditional dichotomy of Russia vs. the West which characterized Russian cultural dynamics has entered a new phase marked by the re-evaluation of the notion of exile, or émigré literature.

Authors (and chosen works) studied here belong to three generations of Russian cosmopolitan writing beginning with Nabokov and Brodsky, both regarded as precursors by younger Russian writers: Vladimir Nabokov’ s trilingual cosmopolitan “utopia,” Ada or Ardor (1969) and Joseph Brodsky’s story of travelling to Venice, Watermark (1989). More recent prose will include novels by André Makine, beginning with the most acclaimed, Le Testamant français (1995), and those of Mikhail Shishkin, such as the semi-documentary Montreux-Missolunghi-Astapowo. Auf den Spuren von Byron und Tolstoj (2002) published simultaneously in Russian and German.

An attempt will be made to reveal shared features: myths and patterns of representations, where and when the original Russian national – and in this sense vernacular – literary legacy enters the spaces and tongues of adoptive cultures.

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