“The Scar Will Always Be There”: The Post-Soviet Melancholia in Gundega Repše’s Novel 'Conjuring Iron'

  • Artis Ostups
Keywords: postmodernism, trauma, melancholia, narrative, Gundega Repše


The article discusses the cultural and narratological aspects of melancholic understanding of history in postmodern Latvian fiction. The first part of the study offers a brief overview of Latvian fiction of the 1990s and early 2000s with a special attention to the interrelated questions of history, trauma, and representation. The second part shifts from cultural contextualization to defining melancholic temporality and highlighting narrative ways of expressing it in fiction which addresses trauma, collective and individual, from a posttraumatic place in time. The third part analyzes the indirect and disjointed engagement with Soviet occupation in Gundega Repše’s novel Conjuring Iron (2011). This is done by focusing on the poetics of unnarrated as a sign of prolonged mourning and by thinking about the epistemology of a fragment.


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