Cover Osteuropa 5/2006

In Osteuropa 5/2006

Mikhail Shishkin’s “Intellectual Novel”

Karlheinz Kasper

Deutsche Fassung


In the past few years, several Russian novels have appeared that represent the type of book Thomas Mann called the “intellectual novel”. After Vladimir Makanin (Underground, or A Hero of Our Times), Oleg Yur'ev (The Zhidiatin Peninsula) and Viktor Pelevin (Dialectics of the Period of Transition from Nowhere into Nothing), Mikhail Shishkin, who has been living in Switzerland since 1995, has published Maidenhair, one of the most artistically demanding efforts of the genre. This still untranslated novel is highly controversial in Russia, but has received a major prize for literature.

(Osteuropa 5/2006, pp. 123–146)