Zur lettischen Literatur in der Sowjetzeit: Strategien des Widerstandes aus postkolonialer Perspektive
AbstractThe article provides an interpretation of the development of Latvian literature during the Soviet period. In order to grasp historical connections, an overview of the literary, cultural and social development in the territory of the present day Latvia in a comparative perspective is attempted as well. The historical processes in Latvian literature are dealt with against the background of the colonial experience from the beginning of the Latvian letters in the 16th century onwards. The literary development during the Soviet era is seen as a repetition of an earlier pattern of colonial experience with foreign models gradually being appropriated and transformed in the creative output of representatives of the local cultural elite. To describe the cultural logic of Soviet colonialism and its gradual overturn, postcolonial critical methodology is used as a research tool and its applicability to Latvian literature discussed in the context of contemporary scholarly discourse. Investigations of Soviet colonialism undertaken by researchers of Baltic literatures and cultures (Violeta Kelertas, Epp Annus) as well as East-Central European researchers (Cristina Șandru, Andrei Terian, Madina Tlostanova, Nataša Kovačeviḉ) are involved in the discussion alongside various perspectives upon global colonial relations (Edward Said, Bill Ashcroft, Walter D. Mignolo, Jürgen Osterhammel et al.). The impact of Soviet ideology and colonial presence upon Latvian literature is discussed while providing a three-step pattern in the development of literature of the Soviet period. The early phase of the Soviet ideological presence (till approximately the mid-1950s) with its emphasis on a complete renewal of literary process is followed by two periods where critical appropriation and inversion of the Soviet model become dominant. The final part of the article provides a case study of the work of the Latvian dramatist Gunārs Priede (1928–2000) whose formative years reveal the impact of the Soviet ideological pressure while, on the other hand, Priede’s dramaturgical output from the mid-1950s onwards initiates new trends which are marked by latent manifestation of anti-colonial self-consciousness of the Latvian nation.
Metrics (links, shares etc)
Annus, E. 2012. The Problem of Soviet Colonialism in the Baltics. – Journal of Baltic Studies, 43/1, 21–46. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01629778.2011.628551
Annus, E. 2011. The Conditions of Soviet Colonialism. – Interlitteraria, 16/2, 441–450.
Ashroft, B., Grifftihs, G., Tiffin, H. 1989. The Empire Writes Back: Theory and Practice in Post-Colonial Literatures. London/New York: Routledge.
Berelis, G. 2005. Imants Ziedonis. – Lettische Literatur, 1, 7–9.
Briedis, R. 2010. Teksta cenzūras īsais kurss: prozas teksts un cenzūra padomju gados Latvijā. Rīga: LU LFMI.
Hasselblatt, C. 2006. Geschichte der estnischen Literatur: Von den Anfängen bis zur Gegenwart. Berlin/New York: Walter de Gruyter.
Kalnačs, B. 2011. Baltijas postkoloniālā drāma: modernitāte, koloniālisms un post-koloniālisms latviešu, igauņu un lietuviešu dramaturģijā. Rīga: LU LFMI.
Kappeler, A. 1992. Russland als Vielvölkerreich: Entstehung, Geschichte, Zerfall. München: Beck.
Kelertas, V., ed. 2006. Baltic Postcolonialism. Amsterdam: Rodopi.
Kovačević, N. 2008 Narrating Post/Communism: Colonial Discourse and Europe’s Borderline Civilization. London: Routledge.
Lukas, L. 2006. Die Deutschbalten auf dem estnischen literarischen Feld um 1900. – C. Hasselblatt, ed., Different inputs – same output? Autonomy and dependence of the arts under different social-economic conditions: the Estonian example. Maastricht: Shaker, 72–88.
Mignolo, W. D. 2011. The Darker Side of Western Modernity: Global Futures, Decolonial Options. Durham/London: Duke University Press.
Moore, D. C. 2006. Is the Post- in Postcolonial the Post- in Post-Soviet? Toward a Global Postcolonial Critique. – V. Kelertas, ed., Baltic Postcolonialism. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 11–44.
Osterhammel, J. 2012. Von einem hohen Turme aus. – Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 254 (31.10.2012), 6.
Priede, G. 2013. Gunāra Priedes dzīve un darbi 1928–1958. Rīga: Jumava.
Said, E. 1978. Orientalism. New York: Pantheon Books.
Şandru, C. 2012. Worlds Apart? A Postcolonial Reading of post-1945 East-Central European Culture. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
Strods, H. 2010. PSRS politiskā cenzūra Latvijā 1940–1990. Rīga: Jumava.
Terian, A. 2012. Is There an East-Central European Postcolonialism? Towards a Unified Theory of (Inter)Literary Dependency. – World Literature Studies, 3, 21–36.
Thompson, E. M. 2000. Imperial Knowledge: Russian Literature and Colonialism. Westport / Connecticut / London: Greenwood Press.
Tlostanova, M. 2012. Postsocialist ≠ Postcolonial? On Post-Soviet Imaginary and Global Coloniality. – Journal of Postcolonial Writing, 48/2, 130–142. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17449855.2012.658244
Veidemann, R. 2003. Literature as the factor of Social Coherence: Estonia’s Case. – Interlitteraria, 8, 55–67.
Copyright (c) 2017 Interlitteraria
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
The contents of Interlitteraria are published under CC BY-NC-ND licence.